Sunday, June 22, 2014

First Look at "Asterix: The Land of the Gods"

Asterix: The Land of the Gods
Asterix: The Land of the Gods.
This has turned into an international night here, so let's continue with our review of some recent and upcoming international animation releases.

"Asterix: The Land of the Gods" (aka Astérix: Le Domaine des Dieux) is a French comic strip that a Franco-American team is making into an animated feature film. The actual name will be "Asterix: The Land of the Gods 3D."

This is an adaptation of book 17 (yes, this was a long-running series in France) of the Asterix comic book series, by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations). Book 17 actually was called "The Mansions of the Gods." The title referred to certain homes that Romans built (see synopsis below). Quite flattering for the Romans!

There is no trailer yet. However, there are some quick clips and behind the scenes video that gives a pretty good idea of what is coming, which is what we have provided here.

The quick synopsis - according to various sources, with no certainty that this is actually what the film itself will show - is that Julius Ceasar and his henchmen decide to conquer Gaul (modern France) once and for all by surrounding the main remaining Gaulish encampment with their own Roman town called "The Land of the Gods." This will deprive the Gauls of access to the forests that nurture them and force them to assimilate into Roman society. A bunch of Gauls with long and hard-to-pronounce names (see the list of voice actors below) and try to thwart the Roman threat.

The Asterix comic book series was, as almost all such works are, commentary on modern times and issues and not about Rome and Gaul beyond surface themes. There were all sorts of topical references relating to France in the 1970s. It's unclear how that will translate into this film. There is no actual resemblance to events during the time of Ceasar.

The voice actors are:
The film is directed by Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy, distribution in France is by DSH.  It will be in English and French, and it officially is considered a joint production of both France and the United States (some folks think this is completely French when it is not). The animation and effects were produced by M6 Studios, Mikros Images, Grid Animation, and Dreamwall.

The release date in France is November 26, 2014. There does not seem to be a US distributor yet, but somebody likely will step up for this project, maybe even Disney. They project an American release early next year. We shall see, these things don't always happen as planned and, in fact, it may never be released in the United States.


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