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Asterix and the Vikings

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Asterix and the Vikings Movie Poster Image
Animated French tale has cartoon violence, some laughs.
  • NR
  • 2006
  • 78 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

It's not a bad thing to be afraid because fear can make you brave. Real courage is overcoming your fear. Fear doesn't give you wings, love does.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Asterix and Obelix genuinely want to help and bravely take on all comers in order to save their village and their friends. Teen Justforkix is rude and unhappy, but he tries his best and learns to stand up for himself. Love interest Abba is a strong voice for women's equality; she wants to go raiding with the men and she thinks women should have a say in who they marry. Other teen girls wear tight clothing and are fawning and giggly. A background character seen a couple of times is a black pirate drawn in an old, racist style that resembles minstrel-show makeup and has overly exaggerated lips.

Violence & Scariness

Lots of cartoony, slapstick mayhem with characters hitting, punching, choking, and battling with swords, hammers, axes, and spears. No one's hurt and no blood is shown, although lots of teeth fall out. Mention of dragging a woman by the hair to pick her as a wife and of biting a finger off in the past. A skeleton with an axe through the skull is shown as an implied threat. Some scariness from menacing Vikings who wear skulls as ornaments like belt buckles and who drink from skull mugs.

Sexy Stuff

An open-mouth kiss. Feelings of attraction and love shown. A character says he sends messages to "all my babes." Teen girls fawn and giggle over a teen boy new to the village.

Language

"Sucks" and "tramp stamp."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink from wooden steins and skull mugs. One drink makes a teen choke. Barley beer mentioned. A village doctor named "Getafix" distributes a "pick-me-up" potion that gives people strength and energy.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Asterix and the Vikings is a feature-length movie in the popular Asterix comic-book franchise from France. There's lots of cartoon-mayhem violence with no permanent harm of gore shown. Fighting is something the characters enjoy doing. The Vikings are sometimes dark and menacing and are often shown with skull jewelry or drinking glasses. There's a couple of kisses, one showing open mouths, and some stereotypical teen behavior like fawning and giggling. Abba is a good female role model who wants to be treated the same as men and to be able to decide her own future. Some drinking is shown at feasts, a character mentions barley beer, and one drink chokes a teen who tries it. The village doctor is named "Getafix" and distributes a "pick-me-up" potion that gives Popeye-type strength and energy to those who drink it. Strong language includes a couple of instances of "sucks" and mentioning "tramp stamps." These areas of concern, plus the length and weaving together two plots, make it best for big kids and up.

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What's the story?

In ASTERIX AND THE VIKINGS, Teen Justforkix (Sean Astin) is sent to a small village in Gaul to be trained by Asterix (Paul Giamatti) and Obelix (Brad Garrett) in the manly ways of the warrior. Meanwhile a Viking tribe has decided that Justforkix is the key they need to learn how to fly and become the most powerful warriors in the world. When the Vikings kidnap Justofrkix and take him back to their own land, he starts to fall for Abba (Evan Rachel Wood), daughter of the Viking ruler who's engaged to the evil Olaf (Diedrich Bader). How long can Justforkix hide that he can't fly? And will Abba be forced to marry Olaf?

Is it any good?

This animated adventure, part of a popular French comic-book franchise, has plenty of big-kid and tween appeal from cartoonish mayhem, slapstick, and colorfully silly characters. And they'll enjoy a lot of the zaniness, as well as some tension and suspense, that drive a story of a couple of teens who resist the traditional roles their parents and society have laid out for them. The strong English-language cast includes both genuine Hollywood stars and voice-acting veterans who all add to the fun.

There are some dated representations of fawning, giggly, teen girls and a cringe-worthy, but thankfully very brief, stereotyped black pirate. The animation is fine, nothing special. Fans of the franchise will enjoy Asterix and the Vikings, even if it's not the best. But the full-length running time and the way two story lines are shown side-by-side mean it's unlikely to hold little kids' interest for long.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about cartoon violence in Asterix and the Vikings. Is it different from real life? How? Why shouldn't you do what the characters do?

  • Why doesn't Justforkix like being a boy? Why doesn't Abba like being a girl? What's different about being a boy or a girl?

  • Have you seen any other Asterix movies, or read the comic books? If you have, which was your favorite? If you haven't, would you like to now?

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