Here's a trailer for Steven Spielberg's motion-capture odyssey The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, based on the beloved Belgian comics from yesteryear. A Tintin movie isn't on its face a bad idea, but this? This I'm not so sure about.

The Tintin books, with their beautiful, adventure-promising cover art and globe-trotting tales of genteel intrigue, were a favorite of mine as a kid, a slightly more square but blessedly more numerous version of the Indiana Jones chronicles. So it's a bit painful to catch a glimpse of the movie version and see the cold, eerie visage of motion-capture animation staring back at me. Why couldn't this have been a hand-drawn adventure just as Hergé's comics were? What's this constant need to make everything newer and slicker? (Don't answer that. We already know why.) If they had to animate with computers, why not just straight up Pixar-style computers? I mean, has motion-capture ever looked good? I don't think it has, not in A Christmas Carol, not in The Polar Express, and most certainly not in Beowulf. It's a sleek, lifeless medium that makes "people" look like soulless ghouls. Sorry, but it's just how I see it.

Anyway, hopefully Spielberg will bring at least some whimsy and lifeblood to the proceedings, though Tintin was never really about big set pieces like the ship in the desert we see here, and Spielberg loves him some set pieces. Bah. Sorry to be a grump, but this one hits close to home.