Popular animated hero Asterix and his faithful sidekick Obelix travel to ancient Egypt to help Cleopatra build a new summer home. Cleopatra and Julius Caesar have made a bet, with Caesar ... See full summary »
The diminutive Asterix and his rather larger companion Obelix, warriors of the last village in Gaul still free after the Roman invasion, set out on a mission to deliver a barrel of their ... See full summary »
Pino Van Lamsweerde
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An animated series based on the European comic book about an American cowboy described as "The man who shoots faster than his shadow." Lucky Luke, with his horse Double Six, travels the Old... See full summary »
When Julius Cesar fears, that he will probably never be able to defeat the gaulic village of Asterix and his friends, he has the idea of offering the Gauls a deal: if they are able to solve twelve tasks that he selected, he will hand over the Roman empire to them. If not, they have to submit. Written by
I've been laughing at "The Twelve Tasks of Asterix" for about 20 years now. Early on, I laughed hardest at the slapstick comedy segments. Now, I laugh hardest at the history-based jokes and sly sexual references. So you see, like all the best children's entertainment, this can be enjoyed on several different levels - some for the kiddies, some for the adults.
(The slapstick comedy is still cool to my adult self, by the way. Nothing beats watching an unruly mob of Gaulish villagers tear through a phalanx of hapless Roman dudes...)
The plot is very episodic, centering around the efforts of wily Asterix and oafish Obelix to perform twelve tasks and, if successful, become gods in the eyes of the Romans. Inevitably, some of the tasks are more interesting than others. The best one is set in the Place That Sends You Mad, a spot-on satire of bureaucracy and red tape. Probably the lamest task involves alligators and an invisible string, but even that's okay.
The animators did an excellent job capturing the style of the Asterix comic books. Oddly enough, though, the quality of the drawing is variable. Sometimes the characters look quite rough and sketchy, and other times the lines are much cleaner. However, the task set in the Beast's cave is undeniably very well-animated and even a bit creepy.
The ending is outrageous, and therefore brilliant. It brings the Asterix saga to a satisfying close (of course, the little guy's adventures continue in various formats). Speaking of the ending, pay especially close attention to Caius Tiddleus's cup when he's getting tickled by the priestess in the closing moments. It's a good, naughty sight gag.
This movie was my first exposure to Asterix, and thus I have a soft spot for it. Sentiment aside, though, I do think it's easily the best of the Asterix films, and is only rivaled by the very best comic adventures. Hey, I honestly haven't got tired of it during these twenty-odd years of occasional viewing - that's about the best endorsement I can give a film!
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