A flawed adaptation of the comic but an enjoyably funny thrill ride of a movie.
Asterix and the Vikings is the first animated asterix movie in over 12
years since the 1994 "Asterix conquers America". It also has the honor
of being the first digitally colored asterix animation, which makes the
largely entertaining story a lot more breathtaking to behold.
Every scene of this movie is vividly rendered in bright cheerful hues
adhering closely to the color schemes of the comic books it was based
on. The character designs also stick relatively close to the comic, for
better or for worse, preserving the simple but unique look of the
characters. Being simple in terms of character design, this allows for
more time and effort to be spent on the actual animation, which by the
way surpasses many other big screen theatrical animated movies.
Character movements are very fluid and possess a quality that looks way
beyond what a modest budget would usually produce; there is always
something moving in every scene and no evidence of the usual cost
cutting animation short cuts. 3D computer images are incorporated
seamlessly with the traditionally animated 2D art. If anything, the
style of shading makes the 3D elements look more like traditional comic
book paintings than CGI models.
The storyline takes much of its elements from the "Asterix and the
Normans" comic, and this is where its main flaw lies. As an adaptation
of said comic, "Asterix and the Vikings" takes way too many liberties
with its source material. Long time fans of the comic would no doubt
find much to dislike about the movie's story and its lack of adherence
to the source.
On the other hand, one can see this story as a really fun one if taken
on its own without comparing it its source material. Highly comedic,
well written jokes pepper the upbeat script. The funniest parts were
the numerous pop culture references and jibes at modern day 21 century
life. Mobile communications, the shopping channel, commercial airlines
and even sports cars are spoofed to great effect. Excellent chemistry
and acting by the cast (I watched this in English by the way) though a
couple of voices like Cacofonix I found really irritating (but I guess
it is all part of his character).
If there is anything to criticize about the story, it is the lack of
"asterix". This story seems to be more like Justforkix's story of
teenage romance and "coming of age" with Asterix and Obelix merely
playing supporting roles. This gives a pretty big sense of staleness
since much of the story's elements are the usual staples of such teen
movies. Derivative and clich.
arf arf arf
It's not awful but what a waste... Lousy gags, bad music, poor drawings
Regarding the impressive number of animators and intervallists on this
picture (from, hum... a hundred different studios throughout the world?
Come on, how can you expect something coherent when doing an animated
movie this way!) I wonder if one guy on the credits = one drawing! The
lines are rough, the 3d work inadequate (I'm not against it, but not in
this film) But the backgrounds are corrects. The storyline is rather
dumb, far from the precise cleverness of the BD, and obviously aimed at
an international audience. To distribute a movie all over the world
doesn't mean to take everyone in the world for a simple-minded guy... A
cultural object is far more interesting when challenging, even when it
is a foreign movie (being french in this case it's even worse!).
Some new stuff is doing well (the Olaf character, sometimes, like with
the stone explanation, but it's not great) but the modern references
are exasperating (music, SMS -not even a verbal joke, just a stupid
bird named short message service: does anyone know imagination?). But,
hey, it's a M6 / TPS production with some Celine Dion in it...
Asterix is underemployed and Obelix talks too much. Goudurix could be
great (like in the book) but he is too clearly a "cool guy" having a
love affair (with an uninteresting made up female character). In fact,
only the vikings (wizard excepted) are funny. Too much action, not
enough laughs. The best part of the movie are the end credits. Not the
music, but the few stills it contains. BD style. Well, definitely,
Asterix is not made to move!.