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6/7/17

THE TWELVE TASKS OF ASTERIX - REVIEW


Written and directed by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, co-creators of the iconic Astérix comics, The Twelve Tasks Of Asterix was a feature-length animated film from 1976. While not based on any specific story from the books, it was later adapted into a comic.

The plot for this film could easily work as the very last Astérix story since it basically gives the powerful Gauls one final challenge against Julius Caesar and the outcome is pretty final so that alone makes it a must-watch for fans. The story sees Caesar challenge the Gauls to 12 Hercules-type tasks in order to determine once and for all whether they are gods or not. If they lose, the Gauls must finally bow to the Roman Empire but if they win, it is Caesar who will have to relinquish all power to them. Of course, Astérix and Obélix are selected to take on all of the challenges and although some of the more Olympic tasks like throwing a javelin or sprinting are a walk in the park for them, there are also more psychological and treacherous tasks for the Gauls to sink their teeth into.

With the help of some magic potion, of course, the Gauls face an evil hypnotist, an effortlessly effective wrestler, maddening bureaucracy, force feeding, an island of beautiful women, even ghosts and that makes for a very funny, often strange, sometimes intense journey. The tasks themselves, the writing and the voice acting are the best aspects of this animated film which, while definitely enjoyable, isn't quite as polished and classic as Asterix and Cleopatra from 1968. The animation itself is pretty good but the film doesn't try to match the aforementioned feature's unforgettable music and songs which, in a way, makes it more unique but also makes it fall just short. If you're not too familiar with the Astérix comics then I would probably suggest reading some of those and checking out the two animated films released before this one first but do see Twelve Tasks also.

Although not the definitive Astérix movie or storyline, The Twelve Tasks Of Asterix remains a very good, consistently fun animated feature with numerous stand-out moments and it gives the heroic Gauls one of their biggest challenges ever.

Watch it.

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