Synopsis: The magic potion that gives Asterix and Obelix their superhuman powers tips over during a brawl in their Galic village. The potion s creator Getafix is captuRed by the Romans. Because they think that the world is flat the kidnappers sail Westward catapulting Getafix into space at the edge of the world. Asterix and Obelix set out to find their friend. Their search leads to America where Indian s are holding Getafix prisoner. The tribe s power hungry medicine man wants the magic potion. Our heroes challenge is to protect the secret formula rescue etafix and complete the Long journey home.
eyelights: the animation.
eyesores: the horrible songs. the drab script.
‘Astérix et les Indiens’ is by far the least worthy of the ‘Astérix’ animated film series (at least, as of this writing). When I first saw it, back in the ’90s, I simply loathed it. I couldn’t believe how terrible it was compared to the other entries in the series.
It certainly didn’t hold up next to the big classics, ‘Astérix et Cléopatre‘ and ‘Les 12 travaux d’Astérix‘, but it even waned next to the least of the lot. I only knew of one person who would defend it, and he could only muster up tepid enthusiasm.
Watching it now, I understand his take on it more than I used – even as I continue to dislike it.
For starters, the animation is far better than most of the other films. The characters move more naturally, fluidly, than in the others, and the picture has more of a 3D quality to it. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes too cartoony for its own good, and it panders to the kiddies by including a few cheesy slapstick bits.
Furthermore, the script is lacking of any of the elements inherent to the original books; the wise-cracking humour and cross-cultural winks at the audience are nonexistent here. If anything, the film goes down a conventional route that is inadequate for an Astérix film.
It’s quite conceivable that the problem lies in the fact that the film was produced in Germany instead of in France, as all the other entries were. I’m not saying that the Germans can’t make animated film. Hardly. I’m simply suggesting that they may not have had an affinity for the material, which is prototypically French. That’s all.
What i’m saying is that much flavour was likely lost in translation – even though it is loosely based on Goscinny and Uderzo’s book ‘La Grande Traversée’. What this film ends up doing is taking us on a rather bland adventure, going middle-of-the-road on every level; at no point does one feel excited about any moment in the picture.
Bland, bland, bland.
To make matters worse, ‘Astérix et les Indiens’ had a few songs and musical numbers injected in it. By the ’90s, “cartoons” were expected to have musical numbers in them for whatever reason, but these were completely out of place in a typical Astérix adventure. And they were horrid. So very very horrid. If you must do it, at least do it well. And with taste. Geez.
Contributing to the film’s failings is the voice acting, with some characters (such as Abraracourcix) being completely off, tonally. I suspect that some of the former actors were no longer available for this one, but you’d think that the producers would at least make an effort to get similar voices, or at least voices that match the characters’ morphology. Alas.
All this to say that ‘Astérix et les Indiens’ is a boring, run-of-the-mill animated film. Some kiddies will enjoy it, but most people who grew up on Astérix books and films will likely find this one severely lacking – it’s an Astérix film in name only, really, with very little in common with the original works. It’s utterly forgettable.
Date of viewing: April 21, 2013