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Since the last horrid Astérix film and the fact that we only get the
Swiss German version in cinemas, here, I went to watch it with quite a
bit of trepidation... Unfounded, as I was happy to discover ^____^
The film is funny and modern, has good gags, a good animation, an amusing character interaction, a good voice cast (Note: I can only speak for the Swiss German one!) except for the Viking chief's daughter Abba (her name is great, despite the not very inspired voice actress)...
I especially liked the character Justforkix (Goudurix in French, Grautvornix in German. He's the young man who is supposed to be put in shape...). He's a very amusing portrayal of a mollycoddled, urban teenager; but he's very likable, despite the teenage mannerisms... XD The interaction between Astérix & Obélix and their young charge is fantastic and thoroughly entertaining.
It shouldn't be compared to the old films, since this one is quite different... Which surprisingly doesn't make it bad. On the contrary. When they tried to modernize the last film (twelve years ago), they completely blew it. This film, however, proved that it can be done just fine... ^-^
I came out of the theater cheerful... Always a good sign ^_~
Attending this film was an excuse to escape the work I had to do for my classes but it turned out to be one of my best experiences here in France. The film makes quick work of building multidimensional characters and has an excellently smooth storyline. The characters really did have the voices you would expect reading the graphic novels and the artistic talent exceeded my expectations The music was catchy and the comedy toying and lighthearted, almost a flinstoneish inclusion of modern items in playful manners. The film was attention grabbing, cute and action packed at the same time. A wonderful tale spun expertly. I'll be showing it to my French students.
... but I laughed. A lot.
I saw 'Astérix et les Vikings' at a public screening during the World Cup. The sound was lousy, it was too bright to see the screen properly - but I still enjoyed myself immensely. The names of some of the characters had me rolling on the floor: Smsix, Abba, Vikea... All not very witty, but in good Astérix tradition. Some very good jokes, but also some that not everybody seemed to get.
The only thing I didn't like were the voices of Astérix and Obélix, in the German version at least. The voice actors are very well-known around here, which was the only reason they were casted, really. They don't fit the characters at all.
All in all, a good way to spend some time (and if it's free, like in my case, all the better) and to have a couple of laughs. 8 out of 10.
wow! it's even better than I expected! the best animated Astérix movie ever! and it feels so good to hear Roger Carel doing the voice of Astérix again! I surely recommend it to everyone who likes the comic books of Astérix! but I suggest that you go to see the french version, cause it surely is the best and you hear the original cast! did you know that Roger Carel has played Astérix for nearly forty years? i think he did a marvelous job! and the song from Céline Dion at the end fits rally good to the end credits! the music is good, the drawings are good, the actors are wonderful... in a word: a masterpiece! go to see it! you will not regret this!
As a great fan of Asterix I was off course very thrilled when I saw
that it was decided the adventures of Asterix would once again become
animated, because quite frankly I found the movies to be really
unimaginative and unwatchable.
The animation itself left me almost speechless. Also for the first time we were able to hear some familiar music in an animated cartoon ("Get Down On It" and "Eye of the Tiger").
The story itself didn't really follow the comic. Only the original idea, that the Vikings wanted to learn fear and thus kidnapped Justforkix who was sent to the Gaul village to become a man, was used. Some of the characters were taken from some other Asterix adventures (seen in the comic books).
The thing that bothered me most was the poor delivery of lines. In the comic the punch lines were much better delivered and the story was simply more amusing. In the movie even those punchlines they used were lost, because the story around them has been changed so much, they were actually just trying to place these punchlines in the new story and failed! Still as this is obviously intended for the youngest of viewers I will say that my nephew enjoyed it greatly, while the rest of us (my father, brother and myself - the four of us went to see it together) were bitterly disappointed and immediately pulled the original comic from our collection.
So to summon it all up, you'll see great animation, hear good music, all in all have a very well made cartoon in front of you - but with a poor storyline.
I think it's the first time that I go inside a theater and go out so
disappointed. There were two reasons why I went to see "Astérix et les
Vikings": first as a film buff, and second as a big Astérix fan.
In the end, the film doesn't satisfy any request. It's simply a big animated mess and it proves that the Astérix franchise is going from bad to worse.
In fact, it has been this way since the death of first scenarist René Goscinny in 1977. His faithful collaborator, illustrator Albert Uderzo took his place, but the following books were clearly lacking of the quality that was present during the Goscinny years.
"Astérix et les Vikings" is based on the book "Astérix et les Normands", which was published during the Goscinny reign. The basic story is the same: Goudurix, Abraracourcix' nephew' arrives to the village and Astérix et Obélix must turn him into a real man, while the Vikings come to Gaul in order to discover what fear is, because it seems that fear gives wings.
The similarities end here. What follows in the book is a non-stop series of laughs, gags and hilarious dialog with the result that the Vikings do discover fear and they flee Gaul. The movie is silly, unfunny, fast-paced, corny... Well, just name a default and it has good chances of being applied...
The difference between the book and the movie could be more acceptable if the movie was good. But the new ideas simply crashes it in a bottomless pit. Even older Astérix movies such as "Astérix le Gaulois", which almost transferred the lines one by one without changing them are easily better.
Animation has the quality of other 21st century movies, but it has its faults and any film beginner could find the mistakes. The greatest example is the continuity mistake, where the day follows the night after a fraction of second, in the same sequence.
Imagine. They took animation studios from numerous countries and they still can't get adequate film-making.
The changes of the original story are simply unbearable. And they still could be even if there was no original story. Goudurix, in the movie, has a pet pigeon named SMS and who act as his cell phone (!). Grossebaf, the Viking chief, has a rebellious teen daughter named Abba (!) and she constantly defies her father's authority. There's also a stupid Viking wizard, his cartoonish dumb and muscular son, the faithful bride of Grossebaf who is obsessed with decoration (her name is Vikea!) and... well I can't stand that much longer.
We're far from the original gags from the original book. The biggest problem is the difficulty of transferring the images to the big screen, mainly because the greatest laughs in the books come from the verbal jokes and visual gags which do not have the same appeal on a theatre screen. I remember that the greatest moments in the book were Obélix laughing at the invaders' names (which all finish in 'af') and Goudurix tries to scare them in ridiculous ways.
And if everything wasn't enough, somebody in the publicity staff decided to write on the movie poster that there's an already existing Céline Dion song which would be featured in the final credits. If it was a new song, I could have understood. But using an old song is only another proof that the movie is so badly made that they're ready to do anything in order to attract film-goers.
The only good point for this movie is that it is so stupid and the end is so bad that we just can't walk out of the theater without being left cold. In a summer release, it just can't hurt...
The only other acceptable point of the movie is how Goudurix becomes courageous. His psychological transformation in the book is too spontaneous and not credible, while it's better pictured in the movie and the motivation point is more believable.
So if you haven't seen the movie yet, don't waste your money on it. Grab the book instead.
Oh René, why did you leave us?
Based on Goscinny/Uderzo's "Astérix et les Normands" published in 1967,
this movie roughly follows the plot of the cartoon book,but it
introduces new characters :Grossebaf's daughter,Abba (a good
innovation) ,a wicked viking and his muscle man half-wit offspring,and
Goudurix's father.Another significant difference is that the album was
called "Astérix ET (=and) Les Normands" and the heroes did not leave
their village .Half of the flick takes place in the Vikings'land.The
part of the bard ,Assurancetourix,which was prominent in the album , is
reduced to the bare minimum,although it's finally he who...
It's pleasant to watch ,but it lacks the puns,the anachronisms,the word games ,in a nutshell,it lacks the magic the albums would bring when we used to read them in the sixties (the best Asterix albums were made in the sixties and early seventies) But the biggest mistake is the music:"eye of the tiger' is bad taste in that context ;the rest of the score is fake disco/funk and the last song and its "moral" so unbearable it's an insult to Goscinny's extraordinary sense of humor!Sorry but Elton John did much better with his "lion king" music.
Having been a faithful Asterix fan all of my life, I have to say that
"Asterix and the Vikings" is probably the most well done of all the
Asterix films. Its got some very funny jokes in it and the animation is
superb. As many people have pointed out, it doesn't really follow the
plot of the comic ("Asterix and the Normans") very closely, but in many
ways that's just as well, because that book stands out in my mind as
one which poked a great deal of fun at the culture of the sixties, and
much of it is very dated today.
What really rubbed me the wrong way, though, is how they incorporated a Disney-style plot into the film which took much of the focus away from Asterix and Obelix. We have a misunderstood boy who doesn't fit in, Justforkix. We have a tom-boy girl who doesn't fit in because she wants to be treated as equal to men, Abba. They meet and fall in love, but their love is threatened because boy is ashamed to be totally honest with girl, but in the end their love wins out. This has been the plot of so many Disney (and, be fair, other studios too) films that its not funny and the plot was old twenty years ago. I mean, they even gave Justforkix a whimsical animal sidekick.
Not only did I find this derivative and clichéd, but it really detracted from the story and left me dissatisfied.
I think that it speaks volumes about how superb the rest of the movie was that I still think very highly of it, despite the way the plot got hijacked.
After another raid in an empty village, the chief of the Vikings
Timandahaf misunderstands the explanation of his adviser Cryptograf
that "fear gives wings to the dwellers" and believes that fear actually
makes the villagers fly. They decide to chase the champion of fear in
Gaul to learn how to fly and make them invincible warriors. Meanwhile,
the nephew of Vitalstatistix, Justforkix, is sent from Parisium to the
Gaulish village to become a man and Asterix and Obelix are assigned to
train the youngster. The stupid son of Cryptograf, Olaf, listens to a
conversation of the coward Justforkix with Asterix and Obelix and
kidnaps him. While returning to the Viking village, Justforkix meets
Abba, the daughter of Timandahaf, and they fall in love for each other.
But the Machiavellian and ambitious Cryptograf plan to marry his son
Olaf with Abba and become powerful. In the end, Asterix realizes that
it is not fear that gives wings, it is love.
When I was a teenager, Asterix was my favorite comic book and I read all the Goscinny and Uderzo stories. This feature film shows all the original elements and humor of the comics in a delicious and wonderful animation. The romance of Justforkix and the gorgeous Abba is delightful and the situations Asterix and Obelix get involved are hilarious. My vote is ten.
Title (Brazil): "Astérix e os Vikings" ("Astérix and the Vikings")
If you're an avid Asterix reader, you'll probably know what most
characterizes the Vikings (called 'Normans' in the book): they don't
know fear. Don't take it too literally, that doesn't mean they're the
bravest, just that they don't know the meaning of fear. Well, that's
taking it literally I guess.
They're indeed such fearless people that legal authorities never get the respect they deserve, kids don't fear their mothers' stories, and hiccups are practically incurable diseases. But Olaf, the fearsome chief, heard that fear gave people wings, a secret weapon the Normans ought to get, so they went to a randomly picked Gaul, for what they call an educational trip.
Meanwhile, our Gallic heroes must take care of Justforkix, the chief's nephew too softened by Lutetian lifestyle. The kid is an interesting character, the first preeminent teen in the series, and a cocky city slicker patronizing the Armorican yokels, but revealing his true side when he witnesses a (literally) landing of Normandy on the beach (guessed the reference?) and decides to leave the village, panic-stricken. Confronted by Asterix and Obelix, he touchingly admits he's the champ of fear, at least when he's alone. When the word comes to Olaf, he orders his men to capture the champ so he can be taken away from the ignoramuses' bad influence.
The story's most delightful fun (or funniest delight) is the sight of poor frightened Justforkix surrounded by towering Normans, and then Olaf, the chief, asking him, in all solemnity and seriousness, to scare him. That's writer Goscinny at the top of his game, and to be fair, the movie adaptation "Asterix and the Vikings" played fair with that aspect of the story, and made Justforkix a fun and endearing character. Too bad they had to ruin him with so much anachronistic stuff. I know references to the present time are undeniably part of Asterix fun and it works as long as it's not blatant anachronism. But this is a tricky form of humor that doesn't translate well in the screen.
Take the original "Asterix in Britain", Asterix and Obelix go to Londinium and see many British archetypes such as a big sundial and the giant tower where prisoners are jailed, these are jokes that don't age because the archetypes they refer to, don't. But in the book, they also encounter four successful bards surrounded with hysterically screaming teenage girls, and of course, they look exactly like the Beatles, who were at the pinnacle of their career in the mid-sixties, when the story was written. The joke worked in that context, but when the film was adapted in 1986, the authors wisely skipped this reference. Naturally, the Beatles' gag didn't affect the timeless appeal of the album, but how does a story that feels like a product of its time manages to stand its test.
In "Asterix and the Normans", Justforkix drives a Roman car, talks about Lutetia's catacombs (nightclubs) and plays a music that looks like Rock 'n' Roll, he's obviously representing the then-young baby-boom generation. But within its own anachronism, the joke works because, unlike the Beatles' gag, his music could pass for any version of Rock. In "Asterix and the Vikings", the movie goes fairly well, until all of a sudden, Justforkix engages in a "Get Down on It" routine, and the sight of the Gallic villagers dancing to hip-hop music was a real embarrassment. "Asterix vs. Caesar" in 1985 started with a catchy theme that screamed 80's, but it was just the cover song, in "Vikings", the rest of the film didn't have the Gauls doing the moonwalk
"Asterix and the Vikings" desperately tries to match some marketing requirements, but all it manages to sell is the witty little Gaul's soul. Couldn't they just come up with original songs? Or original lyrics to famous songs? They even have a training montage for Justforkix, with "Eye of the Tiger". I can see some of the executives thinking, that would be fun to have Rocky music but the question is "would a live-action film do the same?" So why not treat your film with similar respect? Why? This is endemic to movies belonging to our era, they really believe some curse changed the minds of younger audience and everything should have a connection to their present.
Justforkix even has a bird named SMS, because he can send short messages, well, the bird was cute, but the day the word SMS won't be used anymore, what use will be left of that gag? The reference to the present must be subtle, take "The Twelve Tasks of Asterix", one of the greatest sequences was the 'Place that sent people mad', a magnificent (and still relevant) satire about bureaucracy that didn't need any references to phones or typewriters. The tragedy of "Asterix and the Vikings" is that it's a great animated movie in the visual sense of the word and it treats most of the original material with overdue respect, they waste a few opportunities for nice jokes but overall, this is a real improvement from the disastrous "Asterix and the Indians".
However, it sins by intelligence-insulting predictability or obviousness. Take Olaf's daughter Abba, an obvious creation in order to appeal to the feminine target. Still, she looked and sounded like an interesting and fully developed character, a conventional rebel, but who was a fine complement to Justforkix' cowardly attitude. Now, did she have to tell the guys "one day, women will be equal to men", "we deserve respect" and so forth. We already know that's what she's supposed to incarnate, girl-power but why telling it in such an on-the-nose manner?
The film was good, but it's for these desperate attempts to be a product of its time that it fails to get a timeless appeal and will probably be forgotten when people will still laugh at "Asterix and Cleopatra" or "The Twelve Tasks".
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