Tintin is a 17-year-old journalist living in Brussels, Belgium. At a flea market, he discovers - mostly because of his dog Snowy - a model of a ship called the Unicorn and buys it. A man named Barnaby Dawes warns Tintin and says that he exposes himself to great danger unless he gets rid of the model. Another man named Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine is a collector of model ships and wants to buy the ship from Tintin, but he flatly says no. When Tintin gets home Snowy starts chasing a cat and then accidentally tips over the ship so that the mast breaks. When Tintin discovers that the mast is hollow, he goes to the Maritime Library, where he finds a book about the Unicorn and its captain, Sir Francis Haddock. It also says that the knight of Hadoque was attacked by pirates and that he had with him a secret cargo in the ship. When Tintin gets home, the model ship has been stolen and he suspects Sakharine.
When Tintin comes back after confronting Sakharine, he notices that his apartment has been searched, but nothing has been stolen. But the thieves probably were looking for has always been below Tintin's Office. There Tintin finds an old parchment that says: "Three brothers united. Three unicorns who sail together in the midday sun to speak. Because of light is the light and it is to radiate eagle cross". Then Tintin on the parchment had been in a ship's mast, it fell out of the mast when the ship turned over and then rolled it into the agency and he who stole the ship knew that parchment contained therein. But when the thief took the ship, he discovered that the parchment was not there so he came back to the apartment to look for it, but he did not think it had fallen below the cabinet. That was why the apartment was ransacked. Then there was a knock on the door where Barnaby has news for Tintin, but he is shot and the shooter escapes. Barnaby had time to notice eleven letters in a newspaper with his blood before he loses consciousness.
Next morning Thompson and Thomson investigate and ask what Barnaby was trying to say. Tintin writes a word with the letters as Barnaby noticed: K, A, R, A, B, O, U, D, J, A, N = Karaboudjan. Tintin's wallet is stolen by the mysterious pickpocket who Thompson and Thomson had long been looking for and he gets away. Unfortunately, Tintin's parchment was in the wallet, but Thompson and Thomson promise to find the pickpocket. Afterwards, Tintin is kidnapped by a sailor named Allan Thompson and taken to the ship as they marked the letters meant, Karaboudjan. The leader of the league proves Sakharine also is looking for the three pieces of parchment that are hidden in the mast on the three Unicorn models. Tintin manages to get loose and hit the man who is actually the captain of Karaboudjan, Captain Haddock Tintin figures out that Haddock is a descendant of Sir Francis Haddock. Tintin and Haddock manages to escape from Karaboudjan and take a life boat to get to Bagghar in Morocco before Sakharine and find the man who has the third Unicorn, Sheik Omar Ben Salaad.
In Brussels, Thompson and Thomson, without knowing it, find the thief who turns out to be the retired officer Aristides Silk. They will not listen to him, though he acknowledges several times, until they find the wallets collection he has. Tintin and Haddock are attacked by the Karaboudjan's seaplanes, but Tintin manages to capture the pilots. After Tintin and Haddock have flown a bit, they end suddenly in a storm and crash lands in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Haddock begins then tell about Sir Francis Haddock: The year was 1698 - The Unicorn, the proudest ship of Charles II's fleet, had left the island of Santo Domingo in the Caribbean and set course towards Europe. They had been at sea for less than a day with good wind when it came from the lookout that a ship was heading for them and it was pirates. Sir Francis Haddock saw a horrible revelation to go against him, at that moment in history Haddock passed out. They found later by Lieutenant Delcourt and taken to Afghar. When Haddock drinking spirits he tells the story again.
The awful revelation that Sir Francis Haddock saw was the pirates' leader, Red Rackham, who managed to overpower and capture the crew. Rackham, threatened to throw the knight's men overboard if he did not tell was the Unicorn's secret cargo was. Haddock revealed the secret door to the ship's hidden cargo holds and where was the secret cargo: 400 pounds of gold, jewels and treasures. But still Rackham threw Haddock's men overboard and they were eaten by sharks. When the pirates had fallen asleep, Haddock managed to free himself. To kill all the pirates at the same time, he decided to blow up the Unicorn in the air, but the story was a huge clue: Rackham, said he and Haddock would meet again - in another time, in another life.
Sakharine is a descendant of Red Rackham, and he will use his secret weapon, Bianca Castafiore, the Nightingale from Milan, to break the glass as Omar Ben Salaad has around its model to steal the scroll. Tintin and Haddock go immediately to Bagghar. When they arrived in Bagghar Thompson and Thomson hand back Tintin's wallet with the parchment. Castafiore manage to sing down Omar Ben Salaad's bulletproof glass box, Sakharine's pet falcon gets hold of the parchment and Allan steals Tintin's parchment that he had given to Captain Haddock. After a chase through the city succeeds Tintin gets all three parchments, but then forced them to give them to Sakharine to save Haddock and Snowy's lives. Then, when Tintin is about to give up, Haddock convinces him to continue and uses the Karaboudjan's radio frequency to find out where they are headed. It turns out that Karaboudjan is heading back to Brussels.
Tintin and Haddock then fight the Sakharine and Allan and Tintin manages to get back all three parchments and Sakharine and Allan are forced to give in to it is found that Barnaby had survived. When Tintin and Haddock are watching properly in the parchment see the coordinates at the bottom and they are targeted against Moulin Arts Castle. Tintin and Haddock go into the cellar, helped by the butler Nestor, and find the treasure's location. But there was also a piece of paper there and it is the beginning of a new adventure where they will find the Unicorn's wreck.
Voice / Motion Capture Cast
- Jamie Bell -as- Tintin
- Andy Serkis -as- Captain Haddock & Sir Francis Haddock
- Simon Pegg -as- Inspector Thompson
- Nick Frost -as- Inspector Thomson
- Frank Welker -as- Snowy
- Daniel Craig -as- Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine & Red Rackham
- Tony Curran -as- Lieutenant Delcourt
- Sebastian Roché -as- Pedro
- Toby Jones -as- Aristides Silk
- Daniel Mays -as- Allan Thompson
- Mackenzie Crook -as- Tom
- Joe Starr -as- Barnaby
- Gad Elmaleh -as- Omar Ben Salaad
- Kim Stengel -as- Bianca Castafiore
- Enn Reitel -as- Nestor & Mr. Crabtree
- Sonje Fortag -as- Mrs Finch
- Cary Elwes -as- Pilot
- Phillip Rhys -as- Co-pilot
- Oct 23 - Belgium, France
- Oct 26 - United Kingdom
- Nov 11 - India
- Nov 24 - Hong Kong
- Nov 28 - Spain
- Dec 01 - Japan
- Dec 09 - Canada (Quebec only)
- Dec 16 - Australia
- Dec 21 - Canada (except Quebec), United States
- Dec 23 - Venezuela
- Dec 25 - Mexico
- Dec 26 - New Zealand
- Dec 30 - Pakistan
- Jan 20 - Brazil
The Adventures of Tintin was well responded to by critics, and broke Pixar's streak by taking the 2012 Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Picture. It did not, however, go on to win the Academy Award for the same category (which it was not even nominated for). It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score, but lost to "The Artist."