Spoilers Alert: The second 3D animated film about the popular cartoon Gauls once again scores with lots of humor and a fantastic look. But every now and then the makers of Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion in their ambitious statements. We reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
We are in the year 50 BC. All of Gaul is occupied by the Romans… All of Gaul? No! Of course, the indomitable people resist at all times! The druid Miraculix is worried about the future of the village and sets out with Asterix and Obelix to find a successor to whom he can entrust the secret of the legendary magic potion. But the devious Demonix also tries to get possession of the magical formula and doesn’t even shy away from making a pact with the Romans. While Asterix and Obelix cross the whole of Gaul in their search for a worthy druid apprentice, the women have to defend the village alone against the Roman soldiers. And the potion supplies won’t last forever…
Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion explanation of the ending
There was a time when repeats of the “Asterix” animated films were shown on the private channel Sat.1 every other weekend. The fact that these also achieved really good ratings underlines the fact that Asterix and Obelix are still going strong today and an animated feature film only seemed to be a matter of time. In 2014 (in this country 2015) it came: “Asterix in the Land of the Gods” not only transferred the design of the comic books brilliantly into a three-dimensional world. The directors Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy also seemed to have internalized the tone, humor and the social and political criticism that takes place between the lines of the originals. Their film scored points with its originality and depth, although the sometimes interchangeable dialogues robbed the story of a little of the timelessness that makes the animated films such a hit to this day. In “Asterix and the Secret of the Magic Potion” there are now and again puns and dialogue jokes that clearly expose the film as a product of the 2018 production year. But on the whole, the story remains consistently classic precisely because of its global political undertones.
Miraculix and Obelix.
Such a direct allusion to modern trends, such as the reference to the “Fortnite” dances that have been going viral for some time, would not have existed in the “Asterix” films in the past, not only because there were computer games that could have been referenced, simply didn’t exist yet, but also because such pop culture references place a film very precisely in a certain time. This brings us directly to one of the core problems in “Asterix and the Secret of the Magic Potion”, which for the first time is not based on one of the countless “Asterix” comics, but comes directly from the pen of Alexandre Astier. During their foray through Gaul, Asterix, Obelix and Miraculix make a lot of acquaintances with potential potion magicians. It’s not just the creative neologisms, which usually indicate either character traits, their origins or some other modern trend that are funny for the moment. The stations here, which are linked together like in a road movie, are definitely entertaining, even if they rarely have any added value in terms of narrative. Instead, due to their numerous references, they are simple providers of gags that keep the narrative pace constantly high.
In addition, there is a lot of action and amusing interactions, interspersed with some running gags, between the countless characters who accompany Asterix, Obelix and Miraculix on their journey through Gaul. Here, too, some of them only serve the purpose of being used for repeated jokes, for which the use of overly clear stereotypes is not sparing. But at the same time, the fast-paced adventure action film flair comes as close to the comics as only a few “Asterix” films before – and that’s saying something, after all, the two-dimensional cartoons were always visually particularly close to the original. “Asterix and the Secret of the Magic Potion,” on the other hand, can be imagined as a comic book, even without a direct source. The animation is flawless, the movements along with the visualized sounds underline the impression that the makers were very keen to get to the core of the “Asterix” stories. This is definitely a consolation in view of the misunderstood transference into narrative modernity.
Asterix and Obelix find display case in Miraculix’s cauldron.
But in the end the directors get their act together, because their “Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion” is not only full of allusions to all sorts of pop culture trends, but is first and foremost a major socio-political film (although this time noticeably more focused on political correctness). (more trusting than the previous films) commentary with a focus on gender debates. The fact that the women here have to defend themselves all alone from the invasion of the Roman soldiers and that it is a little girl who proves to be a worthy successor to Miraculix fits perfectly into this time and develops a much greater emotional punch without the need for a staged crowbar , as do films that push such themes, such as the recent “Captain Marvel”. There are also many meaningful dialogues between the individual supporting characters, who take stock of the state of the country as if they were talking about the state of our world today. Not everything is always accessible to an audience outside France’s borders; Many allusions remain decidedly regional, while others have general applicability. Above all, the reckoning with religious opportunism creeps in smartly and cautiously through the narrative back door.
Conclusion: A 3D animated adventure, both narratively and visually in the best “Asterix & Obelix” style. It’s just that the world political leaders don’t always get along with the story, which otherwise relies more on slapstick and humor.
“Asterix and the Secret of the Magic Potion” can be seen in USA cinemas from March 14th.