Asterix and the Big Fight (film)

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Astérix et le coup du menhir
Directed by Philippe Grimond
David N. Weiss (English US)
Produced by Yannick Piel
Helene Blitz (English US)
Written by Adolf Kabatek and Yannik Voight, adapted from René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo
David N. Weiss (English US)
Starring Roger Carel (French) / Bill Oddie (English UK) / Henry Winkler (English US)
Narrated by Tony Jay (English US)
Music by Michel Colombier
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution (English US)
Release dates
  • 1989 (1989)
Running time
81 minutes
Country France
Germany
Language French

Asterix and the Big Fight (Astérix et le coup du menhir) is a 1989 French-German animated movie directed by Philippe Grimond and produced by Yannick Piel. 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).

Plot summary[edit]

When the Romans plan to capture Getafix in order to keep him from making the magic potion, a rescue is attempted by the Gauls, in which 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.

Knowing they won't be able to protect themselves without the magic potion, Asterix and Vitalstatistix desperately attempt to have Getafix brew some, resulting in explosions and the occasional flying cauldron, and thus alert the Romans that something is up. They send a camouflaged, and very reluctant, spy to investigate, who 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, where he reports their problem. The Romans soon send a patrol to investigate, and come back with the Soothsayer instead, whom the villagers think had been driven off by a sceptical Asterix. 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 — apart from Asterix, Obelix and a still crazed and potion brewing Getafix, the entire village leave for a nearby island.

Meanwhile Getafix 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 soon brews the magic potion and convinces the villagers to test the soothsayer's reliability by having them attack the Roman camp. The soothsayer is quickly "menhired" when he's found to be a fraud, while the centurion is demoted to the ranks for his failure, as the village goes back to normal.

Cast[edit]

Character France United Kingdom United States
Asterix Roger Carel Bill Oddie Henry Winkler
Obelix Pierre Tornade Bernard Bresslaw Rosey Grier
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
Assurancetourix/Cacofonix/Franksinatrix Edgar Givry and Jean-Jacques Cramier (singing) Tim Brooke-Taylor
Abraracourcix/Vitalstatistix/Bombastix Henri Poirer Douglas Blackwell Greg Burson
Ardeco Patrick Préjean Andrew Sachs

Release notes[edit]

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, Rosey Grier as Obelix and Lucille Bliss as Bonnemine. 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," Impedimenta to "Bonnemine" 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.". 

External links[edit]