Asterix is a series of French comic books, by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo… or rather it used to be, as the things have changed throughout the years, with a new duo taking over not that long ago, but regardless: it is a very important part of comic history, and yet, there must be plenty of people who don’t know about the existence of Asterix, Obelix, Dogmatix (AKA Idéfix ), Getafix (AKA Panoramix), the magic potion that helps the Gals fight back the attacks of the Romans… and even less people who have actually read the comics. I do have to confess that I didn’t get to read much of Asterix, but I am quite familiar with the movies. As a child I loved watching the feature length movies, and recently after talking to a friend, I decided to rewatch the ones that I know, watch those that I didn’t, and get a full picture of how the Asterix canon holds up!
NOTE: I didn’t watch the live action movies, because I don’t consider them to be good adaptations. We’re talking about animated movies here!
ASTERIX THE GAUL
We start off with the first movie, and it feels remarkably simplistic. Basically: Asterix and Getafix end up in a roman settlement, where they’re asked to make the magic potion, and they just mess with them. There’s a lot of pretty funny shenanigans, but it did feel like a bit little for a feature length movie. Obelix wasn’t even on screen for that long! I’m not calling it a BAD movie, but I can’t deny that when starting my journey through this film series, this wasn’t a good start, and the authors of the comic didn’t like it that much either, hence why they insisted on more of their involvement with these films in the upcoming future, which is what we got.
ASTERIX AND CLEOPATRA
Cleopatra makes a bet with ceasar, that her architect Edifis can build a magnificent palace in Alexandria within 3 months. That architect asks for the aid of Getafix, who brings Asterix, Obelix and Dogmatix for help in Egypt. This movie is one big chase to finish the palace, and I will say, that for a large chunk of the movie, I wasn’t certain if the involvement of the original creators changed that much. In fact, I did thought that the first movie might have been funnier… but then, once the battle sequence began, I was sold on this one being an improvement
THE TWELVE TASKS OF ASTERIX
Sooo, in a strange and interesting twist, Caesar’s army comes up with the excuse that they can’t defeat the Gals, because THEY ARE GODS, and in a bit of bureaucratic mambo jumbo, Caesar’s council argues whenever or not this is a waste of funds and man-power… or whenever they’re Gods or just demi-Gods…. and if that makes an actual difference. ANYWAY, Caesar decides to prove to the world that the Gals are mortal, so he gives them 12 tasks that they must perform in order to proof that they are Gods. Should they fail, they are to surrender to Rome. This movie is basically Asterix and Obelix going on a big trip, overcoming various challenges, and it’s…. hilarious. A few of the tasks are challenging, but many aren’t, and are instead used as opportunities for jokes, and it’s pretty amazing. I love it! Also funny to note that this movie was based on an original script and not a pre-existing comic! Just ehhh something that I found interesting to note!
ASTERIX VERSUS CAESAR
So Obelix falls in love with a girl called Panacea, but she already loves Tragicomix, both her and him gets kidnapped by the romans and its up to Asterix and Obelix to save them, which even includes them… joining the roman Legion! When I think about it, this should be a big massive plot, but it really doesn’t feel that way. Obelix’es crush? Mah, forget about it! The roman Legion? Just a small subplot! We just follow along and jump from one thing to the other. Strangely, this is fun! It’s a really fun ride! I had less fun than with the previous movie, as the challenges the heroes faced were not as inventive, but … still, really fun ride!
ASTERIX IN BRITAIN
Oh boy, here we go! The Romans try to conquer Britain, and naturally someone in one village has some relatives in Gal, so… time to invite Asterix, Obelix and Dogmatix to bring them a barrel of the fabled magic potion in order to help them in battle against the onslaughts of the roman army. This felt like more of a real plot. While I really liked the previous 2 movies, this one was quite a refreshing change of pace by having the story feel … a bit more real. There were stakes here. If our heroes lose the magic potion, then the Brits are doomed! There was even a bit of action, combined with quite a lot of comedy and jokes about all the British stereotypes, all while still seeming reasonable and not over-the-top (like the live action adaptation of this, ARGH!). So emm…. it’s a really good movie! If we’re to have a plot, this is how you do it!
ASTERIX AND THE BIG FIGHT
Obelix throws a giant rock at Getafix (long story), which causes him to not only get amnesia, but also lose his mind completely. This way the village can’t produce their magic potion. While trying to get their duid back into shape, a weird old man by the name of Prolix enters the village and basically takes over as the village wiseman. Asterix is one of the few to see that Prolix is a liar, and up to no good. It’s certainly not a bad movie, but I will confess that it didn’t quite get to me as much as many of the others. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood while watching or something. It’s a perfectly ok movie, I just happen to prefer many of the other movies in this series.
ASTERIX CONQUERS AMERICA
Oh yeah, suck on that Christopher Columbus! Asterix got there first! … and maybe the chinese and the vikings… ANYWAY, the romans kidnap Getafix and shoot him out a catapult towards the end of the world! However, since the world isn’t flat, he lands in….. an ind- EH, I mean, a native american village, full of…. really weird stereotypical native americans. It’s … a weird movie! It has a title about America, but … it’s not big of a deal here. It takes about 30 minutes for our heroes to get to America… they spend about 30 minutes there, and then the finale is back in Europe, with none the American character returning. It feels… weird. I know I didn’t mind some other movies when they just jumped from one thing to the other, but this is different. The Ind- NATIVE AMERICANS are part of the movie for so long that it cannot be just shrugged off as „not that important“, so it feels really weird to hand-wave them away like that! And emmm I did talk with someone who did read the comic book that this was based on, and because of that, I know that things looked much different in the original source material. So emmm, quite a dud with this one. Quite boring in all honesty, with a few pop songs, which are cringe-worthy…
ASTERIX AND THE VIKINGS
Oh Lord….. this movie. Soooooo…. the chief of a viking village is annoyed that everybody keeps running away from him and his people. The village mage just explains to him how „fear gives his enemies wing“, and he stupidly misunderstands that it’s meant literally, and that his men have to learn fear in order to fly. That’s why they go to Gal in order to learn what fear is
…. you got that? I know some characters in these movies acted stupid, but it feels like a bit too much, and a bit too quickly for me to just accept it. You’d think it’d be at least an excuse to get Asterix and Obelix up North, but… not exactly, this isn’t weird enough! You see, the brother of the village chief has a son, Justforkix, who needs to men’up, so he’s to spend time with Asterix and Obelix….. And oh-oh, the vikings strike, and they think that Justforkix is the master of fear, and as such, gets kidnapped, meaning that Obelix and Asterix have to save him!
…. did I mention that Justforkix is like… super modern? He has a bird, which is called SMS, and he’s not into that boring celtic music, he has some really modern tunes!!!! And WOAH, the viking chief has a pretty daughter, who, unlike Justforkix, is really into fighting, however her father won’t let her? .. and that she’ll be Justforkix’es love-interest? And that the movie has a ton of pop-songs? …. this is such a disgrace to this franchise. This is a wannabe Dreamsworks flick, and not one of the good ones! An utter dissapointment to me, and many others. I guess I put this and the previous one close, but while the earlier one was just lazy, this one … it feels like effort was put into making this really bland and uncreative. The only thing to give it credit for, is that it is the only movie to not be about fighting the romans, but… that’s little consolation. Once more, after having a discussion with someone who read the books, this movie is a mix of a few books, which don’t really work well together, and doesn’t feel in spirit with what the series stood for! Ugh, more than 10 years has to pass before this movie continued the Asterix film series, and … it feels like it killed it once more. Only a miracle could bring the series some dignity back
ASTERIX: THE MANSIONS OF THE GODS
There we go! Now that’s what I’m talking about! Caesar plans to conquer the Gal village by… building a few giant mansions, where a bunch of roman people will live, and slowly, they’ll influence the whole area with the roman culture, and as such, eliminate the Gal village! It is a crazy plan, but also one that works incredibly well! This movie goes places… from just stoppingthe construction, to a few people moving in… It’s even a very subtle commentary on culture, and staying true to yourself, which doesn’t at all stop it from having some funny jokes! And also, without a bit of doubt, this is the first movie to get under my skin with the action. I was thrilled watching this masterpiece, and even with it being a kids movie, I did kind of get sucked in, to where I wasn’t sure if the heroes would make it. Frankly, of all the movies in this series, this was my favorite by far!!!!! Isn’t that bizarre?
It’s a movie, part of a long running movie franchise, which gets a sequel, years later, and it’s made in CGI, and yet…. it’s not only good enough to stand next to the classics, but even above them?! THAT ALMOST NEVER HAPPENS!!!! Dang son, we got it! We have an incredible sequel! Normally I would only adress this to Asterix fans, but…. honestly, if you don’t care about Asterix, you should probably still consider giving this one a look, because it’s that good! You probably won’t know all the characters, but … it’s so darn good!!!
Ok, so this was my look at all the animated Asterix movies. Hope you had some fun reading through this, and I’ll see you next time!