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Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgas..., Common Sense Media
Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods Movie Poster Image
French comic character saves ancient Gaul in animated tale.
  • G
  • 2016
  • 85 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Sometimes the little guy can best those who seem to have more power.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Asterix is a Gaul patriot who loves his village and will do anything to defend it. But he has principles and won't harm Roman civilians.

Violence & Scariness

Cartoon violence played for comedy. Scuffles, usually represented with clouds of dirt rising up to obscure actual fighting -- occasional clenched fists, toothless faces seen through the dust. Serious fighting, as when Romans threaten villagers' existence, requires drinking of magic potion. Tiny Asterix's potion-enhanced strength can send Romans flying through the air with a mere punch. A boy and old man are captured by Romans, thrown in a cage. A Gaul is tied in chains, thrown in dungeon. A Gaul prone to tossing Romans into the air notes, "I like Romans without armor. They make a nice sound when they hit the ground."

Sexy Stuff
Language

"Crap," "fart," and "butt."

Consumerism

Asterix movies and comic books comprise a long-running franchise.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The Gauls imbibe a magic potion that gives them superhuman strength to battle the Romans.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods is an animated French feature based on the popular Belgian-French character Asterix, who is from comic books originally published in 1959. As the comics explain, the action takes place in 50 B.C. when ancient Gaul is occupied by the Romans, except for one small village that refuses to cave to the conquerors. Asterix, Gaul warrior, is the heart of the village's rebellion, infuriating Roman emperor Julius Caesar, who schemes to conquer them by different methods and tricks. Much of the humor depends on rampant cartoon violence and sophisticated speech by unlikely characters, like soldiers and Roman slaves. Language includes "crap" and "butt." A boy and old man are captured by the Romans and thrown in a cage. A Gaul is tied in chains and thrown in a dungeon. One Gaul prone to tossing Roman into the air notes, "I like Romans without armor. They make a nice sound when they hit the ground." The Gauls imbibe a magic potion that gives them superhuman strength to battle the Romans.

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What's the story?

ASTERIX: THE MANSIONS OF THE GODS presents a Roman emperor Julius Caesar who is often whiny and sometimes maniacal and sometimes diabolical (his advisers can't make up their minds). He's bent on conquering the last hold-out village in Gaul, part of the Western European area he had conquered during his ancient reign. Asterix, a small but feisty Gaul warrior, is at the heart of the village's rebellion, goading Caesar to keep turning to stranger and stranger methods to eradicate the rebels. This time he orders the construction of luxury apartments in the middle of the Gaul's forested turf. He then sends Romans, whether they like it or not, to live there and outnumber the stubborn Gauls. The Gauls, who love nothing more than a big fight, and especially a fight with Romans, are corralled by Asterix, who advises them to use force only when necessary and never on civilians. When that necessity arises, he gulps down a magic potion designed by the village's Druid priest, Getafix, to imbue him with superhuman strength. Roman warriors are scared of Asterix and his best friend, the hulking, super-strong Obelix, and often surrender or retreat rather than battle. Much of the humor depends on rampant cartoon violence and sophisticated speech by unlikely characters, such as soldiers and Roman slaves.

Is it any good?

This funny French animated movie is entertaining for kids who are comfortable reading subtitles. The English subtitles rapidly streak across the screen in Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods as Gauls make clever quips in French, which means that kids young enough to enjoy this most might have a difficult time keeping up with the reading. The animation quality is good though unremarkable, but the notion that small, ill-equipped ancient rebels can use their wiles and a magic potion to continue to thwart the juggernaut Roman army will probably delight little kids.

Some of the vocabulary will be over the heads of younger kids but will entertain the grown-ups watching along with them. A Roman slave is clearly far more intelligent than the soldiers ordering him around, and he manages to negotiate freedom through the use of politeness and flowery language, which others use as well: "figuratively," "avaricious," "eradicated," "invincible,' and "indomitable." Roman soldiers catch the contagion and start requiring that their general ask them nicely when the time comes to attack the enemy. "Be so kind as to fire."  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about cartoon violence. How do we know we can laugh at it instead of worrying about the characters' safety? 

  • What makes Asterix and his villagers funny in Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods? Does the fact that they like to fight make them scary or funny?

  • Asterix is a Belgian-French character. Do you think kids all over the world find the same things funny?

Movie details

For kids who love foreign films

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