Tintin-Le Temple du Soleil (Prisoners of the Sun) (1969)

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Released 4-Nov-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1969
Running Time 74:47 (Case: 77)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Eddie Lateste
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Philippe Ogouz
Claude Bertrand
Lucie Dolène
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $19.95 Music François Rauber


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    I loved the Tintin comic books as a boy and previously reviewed one disc of the 1990 TV series here. Subsequently, I purchased the box set of that series and my boys have watched it many times. That series included adaptations of 21 of the original 24 books. This film is an earlier adaptation of 2 of the books which were later readapted during the series. This film is based on The Seven Crystal Balls and Prisoners of the Sun. It was made in 1969 and is a French/Belgian co-production. As with the series this is an animated movie and to my knowledge there has not yet been a live action adaptation although a number of projects of this ilk are currently in the works. This is one of three Tintin films which have just been released to local DVD by Madman, the other two being L'affaire Tournesol (The Calculus Affair) and Et La Lac Aux Requins (The Mystery at Shark Lake). This film Le Temple Du Soleil has generally been referred to as The Temple of the Sun in English but here is being released as Prisoners of the Sun.

    The story involves an expedition of 7 scientists to Peru to find the tomb of Inca, Rascar Capac. They find the tomb and remove the mummy which incurs the curse of Rascar Capac which results in the 7 members of the expedition seemingly going mad twice a day and sleeping all the rest of the time. When Professor Calculus is kidnapped, Captain Haddock and Tintin must follow the trail to Peru in order to rescue their friend and unravel the mystery. They assisted (or hindered) by the Thompsons in this endeavour.

    Interestingly, despite this being a feature film, the television series actually spent more time telling this story than the film does as it was two double episodes in the series totalling about 90 minutes. Here the run time is only 74 minutes and it is obvious in the way The Seven Crystal Balls is adapted. This part of the story feels a little rushed. Another point of difference to the series the very English and manly voice given to Tintin which is a little surprising at first. Also the film features two songs written by Jacques Brel which seemed a little out of place to me. Also, the slapstick quotient seems to have been ratcheted up in this version, with the Thompsons especially being more prominent. Despite this my young boys thoroughly enjoyed this adaptation, telling me they preferred it to the series, however, I personally disagree with their assessment.

    Despite this film being quite decent, I prefer the version in the 1990 TV series. Certainly worth having for Tintin fans, though.

   

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is surprisingly good for an animated film of this age.

    The feature is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.I cannot say categorically what the original theatrical ratio was however a Region 2 version of this movie was previously released in 1.33:1. I would however be surprised if that was the theatrical ratio in 1969. For now, until some better information comes to hand, I will assume that 1.78:1 is somewhere in the neighbourhood of the original ratio. It was originally filmed in 35mm.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout with a little mild grain and some minor MPEG artefacts such as at 52:20.

    The colour was quite decent for animation of this age.

    There were some fairly regular white spots and the print generally seemed a bit dirty.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. They are yellow, clear and easy to read.

    There is no layer change.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio is reasonable.

    This DVD contains one audio track, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 224Kb/s. Overall, the sound is somewhat muddy but quite listenable. It is disappointing that only the dubbed English track is available rather than the original French (at least as an option).

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand.

    The music by Francois Rauber is jaunty but sometimes annoying. As I mentioned above there are also two song written by Jacques Brel.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     The menu was still and includes music. There are no extras. Some trailers for other shows were included.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The only other edition of this film I can find evidence of is a Region 2 box set of all three Tintin movies from this series. They are 1.33:1 and based upon the online screen shots I found the video quality is very ordinary. I think Region4 is the best available.

Summary

    A 1969 feature film of two Tintin books.

    The video quality is quite good.

    The audio is reasonable.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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