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
Obelix falls for a new arrival in his home village in Gaul, but is heartbroken when her true love arrives to visit her. However, the lovers are kidnapped by Romans; Asterix and Obelix set ... See full summary »
Caesar has had enough when another legion is hacked to pieces by the damned single indomitable village in Gaul because of the druid's magic potion, so he decides to tackle the problem at ... 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
When Julius Caesar lists the Twelve Labours of Hercules, several of them are wrong, namely Hercules killing Geryones and Diomedes and Hercules freeing Theseus from the underworld. Hercules killed Geryones while having to steal his cows; when Hercules had to steal Diomedes's men-eating horses he fed Diomedes to the horses; Hercules went into the underworld to capture the multi-headed dog Cerberus, during which he also rescued the captive Theseus. See more »
The Studio Idefix logo is in the form of the MGM logo, but it features Dogmatix in the logo and bears a Roman laurel wreath; the Latin inscription reads "Delirant Est Romani" ("These Romans are crazy.") See more »
As a bonus feature for the German DVD release, each Asterix film was given a new dubbing in a German dialect. This film was dubbed in Bavarian. See more »
The most psychedelic yet to many the ultimate screen-Asterix
Once again, in the year 50 BC, the Romans are having the holy hell beat out of them by a small village of defiant Gauls, who have inhuman powers, thanks to a magic potion. Rather common, as we all know. Hence the rumor spreads among the fearful Romans, that those Gauls could potentially be gods (unlike in the comics, the Romans here aren't aware of the magic potion). Bad news for Emperor Julius Caesar, who offers chieftain Vitalstatistix a deal: the chief's most capable men (obviously Asterix and Obelix) must complete twelve tasks. If they fail, the village must give up their defiance. If they win however, Caesar will accept their divinity and relinquish his crown – or rather his laurel wreath. Hence, our heroes must run faster than Greek marathon-runner Asbestos, beat Verses (the Persian) at javelin, beat Cilindric (the German) at a fistfight, cross a lake that is the home of sirens, survive the hypnotic gaze of Iris (the Egyptian), eat an enormous meal at Calorofix' (the Belgian) tavern, make it alive through the "cave of the beast", retrieve Permit A38 in "The Place that sends you mad", cross a ravine filled with hungry crocodiles via an invisible tightrope, answer the question of an old man on the mountain, spend a night on the haunted "plain of the dead" and finally survive a fight in the Colosseum in Rome.
Let me start off by saying, in Germany the "Asterix"-comics always had something of a family-tradition. Many a dad bring brought home the newest "Asterix" to their kids and for many kids – including myself – that was pretty much like somebody else's Dad taking his kid to a baseball-game. Actually, there were usually two copies purchased: One to be read and kept in mint-condition, the other one to take to the local grilled chicken shop and read will eating, pretending the grilled bird was grilled boar. (Don't laugh: In Germany it was not uncommon to see people sitting in the "Hendl-Shop", a German version of KFC, chowing away while reading "Asterix" and it wasn't even considered bad manners).
Having dropped that nostalgic tit-bit, I'm not the first to point out that "The Twelve Tasks of Asterix" is considered by many fans the best of all the many cartoon-adaptation. For one, it's not an adaptation, but rather a story completely unrelated to the series. The first two movies, "Asterix the Gaul" and "Asterix and Cleopatra" kept close to the comic, but missed the satire and cultural references that made the comics appealing not only to kids but to adults as well. What came later was clearly produced entirely for kids.
"The Twelve Tasks of Asterix" on the other hand could be enjoyed by both young and old, in fact, seemed to have been geared more at an adult-audience. The scene with the nymphs was rather raunchy for "Asterix"-standards, the task in the Madhouse (a pun on modern bureaucracy) probably wouldn't even make sense to younger kids, while the task with the ghost-legion was rather spooky. The animation remains the most pedestrian of all Asterix-films, but it's the seemingly careless painted backgrounds that give the film its charm and (thanks to the xerographic process) almost psychedelic feel, that at times remind of Ralph Bakshi cartoons like "Heavy Traffic", "Wizards" or many other 'artsy' 70's cartoons.
Producers often don't seem to understand that cartoons and comics are two different medias, which have only one thing in common: they're both painted. That doesn't make them compatible or easily translatable, however. Most of the 'twelve tasks' (perhaps with the exception of Obelix versus the Belgian cook; in German called Mannekinfix) wouldn't work well on paper, nor would they fit into the Asterix (comic)-formula. This is probably the reason why "The Twelve Tasks of Asterix" work, while most other Asterix-cartoons fail at capturing the magic of the comics, or – at best – appear like a pale adaptation.
The third Asterix cartoon (there would be five more, including numerous live-action films and a computer-animated cartoon) would remain the last for almost ten years. After that, the cartoons took on another formula, which usually spliced the stories from various comics together and, as said, were mainly targeting a minor audience. Whether that was because "The Twelve Tasks" was a box-office bomb or not, I cannot tell – but like many other hardcore Asterix-fans I felt sorry that future films would take the direction they did, and that "Twelve Tasks" would remain a unique experience. And this uniqueness made it the ultimate Asterix-cartoon and possibly the dearest to the hearts of most lifelong fans.
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