Tintin-L'Affaire Tournesol (The Calculus Affair) (1964)

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Released 4-Nov-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1964
Running Time 57:12
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ray Goossens
Madman Entertainment
Starring Hergé
Charles Shows
Martin Brozius
Roger Carel
Jean Clarieux
Hubert Deschamps
Joop Doderer
Coen Flink
Paul Frees
Larry Harmon
Pieter Lutz
Dal McKennon
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $19.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan 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 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    This is the second of three Tintin feature films which have been released to local DVD by Madman. The first one I reviewed was Le Temple Du Soleil from 1969 which was made as a feature film by Belvision. They had previously made a television series in the late 50s, early 60s called Herge's Adventures of Tintin (not to be confused with the 1990 television series available on DVD). This movie L'Affaire Tournesol or The Calculus Affair seems to actually be episodes of the television series cut together to make a short feature film as opposed to actually being made as a feature. The style is quite different to the 1969 feature and the voices (in the English dub) are very toffy-nosed English, seemingly taken from a Biggles series. Some are OK but others jar badly especially Eastern European secret police with regional English accents, guvnor. On the plus side, this one misses out on the musical interludes included in the other film which were a bit annoying.

    The story here is based on the comic book of the same name but cuts down the complexity to fit it into a 57 minute running time. Strange phenomena occurring at Marlinspike, the house of Captain Haddock make Tintin and Haddock think something sinister is going on until they realise that the things are being caused by a new invention of Professor Calculus. The new invention is an ultrasonic weapon which is soon stolen by Agents of Borduria, an Eastern European country. In short order, Professor Calculus gets kidnapped as the Bordurians want him to develop the weapon for them. Tintin & Haddock must rescue Calculus before the Bordurians use the weapon to take over the world. They are assisted (sort of) by The Thompsons.

    Obviously the animation is hand drawn and fairly simple compared to the later series. In fact, the animation style reminds me of shows like Rocky & Bullwinkle. Despite its origins and age this is an enjoyable animated film and certainly worthwhile for fans of Tintin.


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Transfer Quality


    The video quality is 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. It is my impression that this has been cropped from 1.33:1 which seems to be the original aspect ratio of the television series.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout with some minor MPEG artefacts. The print is a little dirty at times.

    The colour was quite decent for animation of this age.

    There were some black spots and blobs along with some obvious edge enhancement.

    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
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    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 surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     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 of these Tintin movies. They are 1.33:1 and based upon the online screen shots I found the video quality looks very ordinary. I think Region 4 is the best available despite the cropping.


    A 1964 Tintin feature film made up of episodes from a previous TV series.

    The video quality is good but seems to have been cropped.

    The audio is reasonable.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
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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