Just for the record, Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin" opened in Europe nearly two months ago and has already made $239 million before one US dollar has been spent. Presumably, it didn't cost more than that to produce and already has turned a tidy profit.


So, whatever it makes in the US is gravy!


But that's okay because the story is of European origin, specifically Belgium as cartoonist Herge's creation. The comic book series has been hugely popular with children throughout Europe even after Herge's death in 1983.

The series has been adapted to film first for television in 1969 with Tintin and the Temple of the Sun then in 1991 with a television series The Adventures of Tintin .


Spielberg got hold of it through his Amblin Entertainment and with the help of the new 3D brings it to the masses around the world - starting in it's birthplace.


The story revolves around a young journalist named Tintin. No Tintin is not the dog; the dog's name is Snowy. Americans will no doubt be confused because of the old television series "Rin Tin Tin" which starred a dog, but this is not the same.


While in a local market, Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell) espies a model of a privateers galleon in splendid detail and decides to purchase it. He is suddenly approached by two separate men - one who warns him to get wid of the ship as it will bring nothing but trouble; the other man was the trouble.

The second man, a bearded gentleman named Ivanovich Sakharine (Daniel Craig) is a bit more determined than the previous guy with a mysterious air.


Later that day, after Tintin and his dog were out and about learning about the ship at the local library, they return to find their apartment vandalized and the ship missing.


It doesn't take long for them to trace the whereabouts of the ship and the adventure officially begins. Sakharine has possession of a cargo ship and holds it's captain - captain Haddock - captive in his own drunkenness.


After rescue by Tintin, he joins him on the quest fro the secrets of the model ship - with one definitive clue Only a true Haddock can solve the the riddle of three small maps.


Reminiscent of Indiana Jones series we go around the world by plane, boat, car and anything else that moves. There is also a certain military feel, very much like "Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost Ark". This is probably what drew Spielberg to Tintin, strong similarities.


After all is said and done, Spielberg did an excellent job casting, directing and presenting Tintin to the big screen though the 3D is negligible.


"The Adventures of Tintin" is a good adaptation of the classic European children's series. Whether or not it flies in the United States in moot since it is a big hit in the foreign markets.   -- GEOFF BURTON