Asterix and the Big Fight (film)

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Astérix et le coup du menhir
Directed byPhilippe Grimond
David N. Weiss (English US)
Produced byYannick Piel
Helene Blitz (English US)
Written byAdolf Kabatek and Yannik Voight, adapted from René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
David N. Weiss (English US)
StarringRoger Carel (French) / Bill Oddie (English UK) / Henry Winkler (English US)
Narrated byTony Jay (English US)
Music byMichel Colombier
Distributed byGaumont (France)
Release date
  • 1989 (1989)
Running time
81 minutes
CountryFrance
Germany
LanguageFrench

Asterix and the Big Fight (Astérix et le coup du menhir) is a 1989 French-German animated film directed by Philippe Grimond and produced by Yannick Piel. It is based on the Asterix comic book series. The film 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).

Plot summary[edit]

The Romans capture Druid Getafix, as part of their plan to deprive a rebel village of Gauls from the magic potion that gives them super-human strength. When the village attempts a rescue, Obelix accidentally hits Getafix with a menhir in the resulting chaos, causing him to be struck with amnesia and insanity. As the village comes to grip with this, a travelling soothsayer named Prolix arrives and begins deceiving some of the credulous villagers into believing a number of prophecies he predicts, despite the fact he is a fraud.

Knowing the Romans will quickly realise the village is in trouble without the magic potion, Asterix and Vitalstatistix desparately attempt to have Getafix brew some. His concoctions quickly prove problematic, and alert a garrison of Romans into sending a spy into the village. Despite being camouflaged, he is captured and used as a guinea pig for some of Getafix's less dangerous creations. However, one of these makes him lighter than air causing him to float away, where he reports their problem. The Romans send a patrol to investigate, and come across the Soothsayer, whom they capture. Although Roman laws declare such individuals to be arrested, the garrison's centurion is convinced of Prolix's abilities and uses him to chase away the villagers.

Returning to the village, Prolix foretells doom if the village is not abandoned. Everyone leaves for a nearby island, except for Asterix, Obelix and Getafix. Shortly after the Romans move in, Getafix brews a very noxious potion whose vapors engulf the village, both restoring his memories and sanity, and driving off the Romans on the belief that Prolix's prediction was true. Getafix quickly brews the magic potion and convinces the villagers to test the soothsayer's abilities by having them attack the Roman camp. In the aftermath of the attack, Prolix is hit by a menhir after his abilities are discovered to be a fake, while the centurion is demoted for his failure, as the village returns to normal.

Cast[edit]

Character France United Kingdom United States
Asterix Roger Carel Bill Oddie Henry Winkler
Obelix Pierre Tornade Bernard Bresslaw Rosey Grier
Idefix/Dogmatix Roger Carel Frank Welker
Prolix Julien Guiomar Ron Moody Bill Martin
Bonemine/Impedimenta/Bonnemine Marie-Anne Chazel Sheila Hancock Lucille Bliss
Panoramix/Getafix/Vitamix Henri Labussière Peter Hawkins Danny Mann
Centurion/Caous/Bossa Nova Roger Lumont Brian Blessed Ed Gilbert
Optio/Crysus Patrick Prejean Michael Elphick Danny Mann
Assurancetourix/Cacofonix/Franksinatrix Edgar Givry (speaking), and Jean-Jacques Cramier (singing) Tim Brooke-Taylor Greg Burson (speaking), and Tim Brooke-Taylor (singing)
Abraracourcix/Vitalstatistix/Bombastix Henri Poirier Douglas Blackwell Greg Burson
Decurion/Ardeco/Sergeant Noodles Gerard Croce Andrew Sachs Greg Burson

Additional Voices[edit]

Release notes[edit]

The first English dub of Asterix and the Big Fight featured Bill Oddie, Bernard Bresslaw, Peter Hawkins, Brian Blessed, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Andrew Sachs, and Ron Moody, amongst others, and was widely seen in the UK. For the UK DVD Box Set release, rather than using the British dub, an American produced dub was included, featuring the voices of Henry Winkler as Asterix, Rosey Grier as Obelix and Lucille Bliss as Bonnemine. This dub was commissioned by Disney/Touchstone Pictures for a planned US release in 1990, but never materialized and was shelved until French distributor Gaumont acquired the rights and included it on the DVD. The American dub is considered inferior by fans of the original due to it changing parts of the script as well as character names (Getafix is changed to "Vitamix", Vitalstatistix to "Bombastix", Cacofonix to "Franksinatrix," Impedimenta to "Bonnemine" (her actual French name), and Unhygienix to "Fishstix"), and general dumbing-down for an audience assumed to be unfamiliar with the characters.[1][2] The American dub assigns stereotypical Italian comedy accents to the Roman characters, features a narrator (Tony Jay) 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.

Historical inaccuracies[edit]

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Fan Opinions".
  2. ^ "Fan Opinions". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19.

External links[edit]