Astérix et le coup du menhir
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPhilippe Grimond (Original)
George Roubicek (English UK)
David N. Weiss (English US)
Written byAdolf Kabatek (Original)
Yannik Voight (Original)
George Roubicek (English UK)
David N. Weiss (English US)
Based onAsterix and the Big Fight
Asterix and the Soothsayer
by René Goscinny
Albert Uderzo
Produced byYannick Piel
Helene Blitz (English US)
StarringRoger Carel (Original) / Bill Oddie (English UK) / Henry Winkler (English US)
Narrated byTony Jay (English US)
Music byMichel Colombier
Distributed byGaumont (France)
Release dates
  • October 4, 1989 (1989-10-04) (France)
  • May 4, 1990 (1990-05-04) (Britain)
Running time
81 minutes
CountriesFrance
West Germany
LanguagesFrench
German

Asterix and the Big Fight (in French: Astérix et le Coup du Menhir; in Germany as Asterix – Operation Hinkelstein) is a 1989 French animated film directed by Philippe Grimond and produced by Yannick Piel. It is the first film based on the Asterix comic series to be produced outside France being a co-production between France and Germany. Despite sharing the same title as Asterix and the Big Fight, the film shares only minor plot elements with that story, and is primarily an adaptation of Asterix and the Soothsayer. In the film, Getafix is accidentally made insane and amnesic by Obelix, forcing Asterix to try to cure him as his village is deceived by a fraudulent soothsayer that works for the Romans.

Plot summary

The Romans try to 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 Asterix and Obelix attempt a rescue, Obelix throws and accidentally hits Getafix with a menhir in the resulting chaos, causing him to develop amnesia and insanity. While the village comes to grip with this, Prolix, a conman posing as a soothsayer, arrives during a storm and begins deceiving some of the superstitious and credulous villagers into believing a number of his prophecies, which he predicts in exchange for food and drink (later gold).

Knowing that Romans will quickly realise that the village is in trouble without the magic potion, Asterix and Vitalstatistix desperately attempt to have Getafix brew some. His concoctions quickly prove problematic and alert one of the local Roman garrisons into sending a spy into the village. Despite being camouflaged, the legionary is captured and used as a guinea pig for some of Getafix's creations. One of these makes him lighter than air, causing him to float away back to the Roman camp, where he reports their problem. The Romans send a patrol to investigate and in the forest come across Prolix, whom they capture. Although orders from Rome state that all Gaulish soothsayers are 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, Dogmatix 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 after he accidentally drinks some and driving off the Romans in the belief that Prolix's prediction has come true. Getafix quickly brews the magic potion and convinces the villagers to test the soothsayer's abilities by having them attack the Roman camp. Because he didn't predict the Gauls storming the camp, Prolix is revealed to be a fake; during the battle (led by the women of the village, whom Prolix had deceived the most), Prolix is flattened by another menhir thrown by Obelix and loses his mind. In the aftermath of the battle, the centurion is demoted for his failure and ordered by his Optio (now in command) to clean up the damage, the demented Prolix is also ordered to leave the camp and the still-floating legionary happily flies away as the village returns to normal.

Cast

Character Original United Kingdom United States
Astérix/Asterix Roger Carel Bill Oddie Henry Winkler
Idéfix/Dogmatix Unknown
Obélix/Obelix Pierre Tornade Bernard Bresslaw Rosey Grier
Panoramix/Getafix/Vitamix Henri Labussière Peter Hawkins Danny Mann
Le décurion Cétinlapsus/The decurion Totalapsus/Optione Patrick Préjean (L'optione) Michael Elphick (Decurion Crysus) Danny Mann (uncredited)
Agecanonix/Geriatrix Paul Bisciglia Unknown
Prolix Julien Guiomar Ron Moody Bill Martin
Cétautomatix/Fulliautomatix Jean-Claude de Goros Unknown Bill Martin (uncredited)
Abraracourcix/Vitalstatistix/Chief Bombastix Henri Poirier Douglas Blackwell Greg Burson
Assurancetourix/Cacofonix/Franksinatrix Edgar Givry (speaking)
Jean-Jacques Cramier (singing)
Tim Brooke-Taylor Greg Burson (uncredited)
Le décurion Plutoqueprévus/Ardeco/Sergeant Noodles Gerard Croce Andrew Sachs
Bonemine/Impedimenta Marie-Anne Chazel Sheila Hancock Lucille Bliss
Le centurion Caius Faipalgugus/The centurion Voluptuous Arteriosclerosus Roger Lumont Brian Blessed (General Caous) Ed Gilbert (Bossa Nova)
Ordralfabétix/Unhygienix/Fishstix Yves Barsacq Unknown Ed Gilbert (uncredited)
Un légionnaires/A legionnaires Jean-François Aupied
Bruno Choël
Unknown
Mme Cétautomatix/Mrs. Fulliautomatix Paule Emanuele Unknown
Caius Blocus/Bulbus Crocus Jean-Claude Robbe Unknown
Le narrateur/The narrator N/A Tony Jay
Mme Agecanonix/Mrs. Geriatrix Jeanine Forney Unknown Mona Marshall
lélosubmarine/Bacteria Danièle Hazan Unknown

Release notes

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 Bonemine. This dub had been intended for a U.S. release which ultimately 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 "Chief Bombastix", Cacofonix to "Franksinatrix," Impedimenta to "Bonemine" (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

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

  1. ^ "Fan Opinions". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2006-08-06.
  2. ^ "Fan Opinions". Archived from the original on 2011-07-19.