Asterix and the Big Fight (film)
|Astérix et le coup du menhir|
|Directed by||Philippe Grimond|
|Produced by||Yannick Piel|
|Written by||Adolf Kabatek and Yannik Voight, adapted from René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo|
|Starring||Roger Carel (French) / Jürgen von der Lippe (German) / Bill Oddie (English)|
|Music by||Michel Colombier|
|Running time||81 minutes|
|Language||French / German / English|
Asterix and the Big Fight is a 1989 animated movie directed by Philippe Grimond as a French-German co-production which was produced by Yannick Piel as Astérix et le coup du menhir. It is based on the Asterix comic book series. The movie has a different plot from the book of the same name. It combines plot elements from Asterix and the Big Fight and Asterix and the Soothsayer. Although there is plenty of fighting — as usual for an Asterix story — the actual fight that the story is named for is not part of the movie's plot. The novelization was titled "Operation Getafix" (the German translation of the film was Operation Hinkelstein, a hinkelstein being a menhir).
The Romans plan to capture Getafix to keep him from making the magic potion. In an effort to rescue him, Obelix accidentally puts Getafix out of action with a menhir, the impact of which causes amnesia and insanity.
While the Gauls come to grips with this, a major storm sweeps over the village and a soothsayer named Prolix seeks shelter with them. He quickly deceives the more credulous villagers about the authenticity of his abilities and after the storm passes he sets up in the forest nearby.
Asterix and Vitalstatistix desperately attempt to have Getafix brew the potion, resulting in explosions and the occasional flying cauldron — alerting the Romans that something is up. They send a camouflaged, and very reluctant, spy to investigate. He is quickly captured and used as a guinea pig for Getafix' less explosive concoctions. However one of these makes him lighter than air causing him to float away, and he reports their problem.
The Romans send a patrol to investigate, and come back with the Soothsayer instead, however the villagers think the sceptical Asterix has driven him off. The centurion is quickly convinced that Prolix is genuine (much to his dismay since Gaulish soothsayers are to be arrested) and decides to use him to chase away the villagers. Soon Prolix appears at the gates and foretells doom if the village is not abandoned — all but Asterix, Obelix and a still crazed and potion brewing Getafix leave, going to a nearby island.
Meanwhile Getfix brews a truly noxious potion whose vapours engulf the village, driving off the Romans who had quickly moved in, but also convincing them that the soothsayer had real abilities since the smell matched his prediction of pestilence. However when Getafix accidentally tastes some he is cured (despite Obelix' attempt to treat his condition with a second tap from a menhir).
Getafix brews the magic potion and convinces the villagers to test the soothsayer's reliability by attacking the Roman camp. The soothsayer is "menhired", the centurion demoted to the ranks, and the village goes back to normal.
The first English dub of the Asterix and the Big Fight featured the voices of British actors Bill Oddie, Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Hawkins, Brian Blessed, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Andrew Sachs, and Ron Moody, amongst others. For the English DVD Box Set release, rather than using the British dub, an American dub was included, featuring the voices of Henry Winkler as Asterix and Rosey Grier as Obelix. This dub had been intended for a U.S. release which ultimately never materialized, and it was shelved for over a decade until it appeared on DVD. The American dub is considered inferior by fans of the original due to it changing parts of the plot as well as character names (Getafix is changed to "Vitamix", Vitalstatistix to "Bombastix", Cacofonix to "Franksinatrix," and Unhygienix to "Fishstix"), and general dumbing-down for an audience assumed to be unfamiliar with the characters. The American dub assigns stereotypical Italian comedy accents to the Roman characters, features a narrator explaining the plot to the audience, and makes changes to the terminology of the original story, substituting "wizard" for druid, "fortuneteller" for soothsayer, "rockets" for menhirs, and "vitamin potion" for the magic potion.
The optio wears a standard legionary's helmet in the film. In his rank, his helmet would actually have had plumes of horse hair or feathers on either side of his helmet that could be accompanied by a helmet crest. He would also carry the hastile, a special staff roughly his own size.