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CGIFeature Film

Teaser for First CGI ‘Astérix’ Feature

The first teaser is out today for the French animated feature Astérix: Le Domaine des Dieux (Asterix: The Land of the Gods) directed by Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy. Animated by Mikros Image, this first all-CGI Asterix feature will be released in France on November 26th. No word yet on whether the film will receive U.S. distribution. This film, the ninth Asterix animated feature, is based on the classic French comic series created by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo.

  • BigFan

    US distribution? Yes please.

  • Mister Twister

    Call me a snob, but I’ll rather read the original comic.

    • Tom

      Because you asked.
      You’re a snob.

  • Toonio

    More of the same… :( Seems we are headed for another crash in the animation industry.

    • bob

      Ya.. we should learn from disney and switch up the formula to ensure success.

  • Rufus

    I read all the comics and grew up on it. Of the animated films the Surprise for Caesar is the best. This actually looks pretty good. Sure looks better than those live-action films.

  • Chris Powell

    Oh man I was just thinking of this project while looking at some Asterix art in a bookstore. Sign me up. Translation anyone??

    • Pock C

      I’m not sure it’s the greatest translation ever but basically they say :
      “_ Charge !!
      Uh, what are you doing ?!
      _ We are doing that we just voted to go on general strike !
      _ Unanismously !
      _ What ?
      _ We consider this assault potentially dangerous !
      _ Or course it’s dangerous, it’s an assault, we destroy the village !
      _ We already said it : war, yes, strenuousness, no !
      _ Well ! I got it, I’m coming down.

      • Chris Powell

        Thank you !!

      • zompist

        You got it. Just for completeness, the titles preceding the conversation read:
        “The most powerful army… the most disciplined… the most merciless… is unleashed upon Gaul.”

  • otterhead

    Looks great. In this clip, anyway, they translated the characters and energy to 3D surprisingly well.

  • Mesterius

    If I had been more hyped for this film, I’d be really annoyed that they deliberately don’t show Asterix and Obelix in animation. (I’m a big fan of Goscinny and Uderzo’s comic strip, by the way, and the original “The Mansions of the Gods” comic album is a classic:

    • Sarah

      The first few minutes of the film with Asterix and Obelix was online last month, but now I see it’s been taken down. I can say, they look good!

  • RCooke

    Uderzo drew well. But Schulz created more compelling characters and an entire world. And was far, FAR more successful and popular and relatable.

    • DangerMaus

      Guess we will have to disagree on the points of more compelling characters and creating an entire world. Schulz’s CB world consisted of a sandlot, a wall, his house and a schoolhouse. Frankly, Dennis the Menace had a bigger world than Charlie Brown. Schulz’s popularity stemmed from the fact that he worked in a medium that provided a wider dissemination of his material purely on the basis that the newspaper was as ubiquitous a staple in homes worldwide as TV is now.

      Goscinny and Uderzo worked in comics which never had the penetration that newspapers did and they still managed to become well-known and liked worldwide, along with Herge’, despite the handicap of vastly smaller distribution. So to say their characters are less compelling than Charles Shculz’s is inaccurate as far as I am concerned.

      I will concede that Shultz’s characters were more relatable because his humour was derived from observations of the mundane trials and tribulations of daily life, while G&U’s Asterix books were comedic-adventures with humour deriving from a broader sense of slapstick and the absurd. Still, I believe G&U managed to put a fair amount of commentary and subtext into their stories, similar to how Peyo did in “The Smurfs”.

      Regardless, I’m not sure how any of this has relevance to the fact that Amir Amidi went off on a rant about Blue Sky computer artists violating the sanctity of Charle’s Schulz’s lines and marks, while maintaining a complete silence on an artist whose style and draughtsmanship is as intimately tied in with “Asterix The Gaul” as Shculz was with “Peanuts”.

      Not that I’d agree with him in either case, since a translation into another media does not have any impact on the original work of art. A person doesn’t like Blue Sky’s interpretation of “Peanuts”? Well, Schulz’s works are still out there for anyone to consume. Even the last twenty years worth, when he was so obviously out of gas that it was painful to watch a great artist sinking into a morass of mediocrity.

      • Auzra

        Is it possible though that Amid may have opinions on the matter but does not wish to share them considering they were not well received last time with Peanuts? Or maybe he thinks the film looks fine, a target doesn’t need to be on his back 24/7.

        I feel like people ask for less opinion heavy comments in the articles and once we get it, people go, “Hey! Where’s the snarkiness?”

    • DangerMaus

      Also, I can’t believe I committed so many misspellings of his last name in that post. It’s rather embarrassing, but I am unable to edit the comment.

    • Or, Peanuts is American and Asterix is not. I suspect that kind of has something to do with why Peanuts is more popular and well-known in America, and consequently why Americans might complain more about a CGI movie based on it.

    • It’s also worth noting that Schulz’ style was always designed to work best within the 2D medium of pen and ink, depicting flat forms and being heavily married to line quality, rather than Urderzo’s which was always used to convey volume and weight and thus lends itself more readily to 3D. Also, everybody jumped down Amidi’s throat after he smeared the Peanuts teaser, so it’s no surprise he’s not displaying an opinion here.

    • Guest

      Asterix is about 350 millions books sold. I don’t know where you’re from but from France, I can tell you it seems a bit hard to do far better !

  • DangerMaus

    What I can’t figure out is why these computer animated films from different studios all end up looking the same in terms of finish. The characters in this clip look quite close to Uderzo’s and yet the total look and finish to the film looks the same as a CG picture from DWA or PIXAR. It’s hard to describe what I’m looking at in words.

    For example, I watched “Megamind” today and the film in terms of skin texture and shading looks the same as this. The textures and look just take on a sameness from film to film, no matter who makes them.

    Yet, whoever did the lighting job in the museum sequence in “MegaMind” really outdid themselves, at least to me. The lighting job in that sequence really stood out to me. I’ve never really noticed the lighting in any of these types of films purely for the lighting alone, but I definitely noticed it in that sequence.

    • Fried

      I dunno, it’s very easy to generalize art styles from looking the same just because they have similarities.

      Dreamworks CGI humans look much more different than say, Disney’s CGI humans. They tend to have more skin textures, their eyes have more noticeable lashes and the eyes are highly detailed like a real pupil.

      I mean, you can say “All anime looks the same!” too just because most of the backgrounds look similar, sometimes they have the same eyes and proportions, but Elfen Lied looks nothing like Nichijou if you actually look carefully at the roundness of Nichijou and even the different shapes of the eyes, plus the softer coloring.

      You can even argue that with cartoons. “All cartoons are looking the same today! Noodle limbs, bright colors, Photoshopped backgrounds. Regular Show looks like it could cross over with Adventure Time and Steven Universe no problem!” but again, there are enough differences to give them an individual style.

      But the main point is that in mainstream, things tend to look similar. Because it’s well received and well liked or it’s the “trend” right now. A popular art style is going to be copied by many people. There are A LOT of people who want to draw exactly like Glen Keane, so of course, we end up with future artists who have adopted his way of drawing lines.

      But I mean, personally, someone like Jin Kim’s art looks exactly like Glen Keane’s. And there are many, many others who draw like them not because they are copying each other but because the way they are drawing is very basic. Many people who haven’t even heard of these artists probably draw like them because it’s just a very common thought process when drawing. Compare them to someone like Carter Goodrich who is very unique to himself.

      I understand what you’re saying, but this is not the first nor last time we will have mainstream stuff have a mainstream style. A lot of technicolor Disney, MGM and Warner Brothers felt very similar in their finish product. Hence why most of those early cartooning/animation books tend to feature Elmer Fudd molds and the same Disney-looking animals. There weren’t exactly a ton of Gerald McBoingBoing’s popping up.

      Heck, even CN had a similar mold where Johnny Bravo, PPG, and Dexter’s Lab were almost drawn, inked, and colored the same way. You’ll just end up seeing a popular art style used a lot, it only makes sense. And Pixar’s type of CG is very, very popular among artists.

    • TStevens

      I suspect a lot of it is that they are all using the same software. Most of the 3D artists I work with can usually identify the different rendering engines pretty quick. For a while everything was Mental Ray, then V-Ray, and onto Render Man from Pixar, etc. Cinema 4D has one look while Maya and Lightwave have another… It is the same in most fields: a technique or method comes along and lots of people imitate it until they figure out how to make it their own. If everyone is currently working with Maya, V-Ray, and Mudbox then it makes sense that productions will start to have aesthetic similarities.

  • Martin Cohen

    I activated my wayback machine and found on a shelf of mine “Asterix the Gaul”, “Asterix and Cleopatra”, and “Asterix the Legionary”. Good times.

  • Pedro Nakama

    The translation is something about him losing his American Express Traveler’s Cheques.

  • mick

    That looks great. I’m learning french from this minute so as to get the full effect of the filum.

  • Plo

    It’s actually animated in English and translated in French ;)

    • Guest

      This one is actually animated in French. And the interest of this scene is to start promoting the movie on the name of its cult co-director, actor, director, tv showrunner, editor, writer, composer, Alexandre Astier (he does the voice of the centurion). It showcases how his brand of humor blends in with Goscinny’s and thus, the cross generation appeal of the movie. The joke of the teaser about “strenuousness” is actually meant for adults, as it was a criteria unions wanted to be recognized for some jobs in recent debates about age retirement in France. It’s linked to the big strikes of 2010 which is lost on kids but has adults in stitches.

      • MonsieurU

        Well said. Alexandre Astier has produced some really good stuff so far, so I’m looking forward to seeing his take on an Asterix story.
        Asterix and the Vikings (and Asterix and the Indians, I believe) was scripted in english, had american voice actors and was animated in english in hope of securing an american release that never really happened.

        It was not the first european feature to attempt this, and none were picked up for distribution in the states.

        I’m really happy that this time around Roger Carel, the original voice of Asterix, is back on board. His voice acting for Asterix is always excellent.

        I would have liked to see this movie being done in 2D, and would have loved to work on it, but well. There are other 2D movies being produced right now, so I don’t feel too bad about that particular film being 3D.

  • Mesterius

    “This looks a lot better than those out-of-sync hand-drawn ones.”

    Um… huh? You’re judging the potential quality of this CGI feature vs. the eight hand-drawn animated Asterix features based on the English dubbing of the hand-drawn films? All the while we still haven’t seen anything of this new film with English dubbing? That makes no frikkin’ sense…

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    Looks great! I’d love to see animated versions of Asterix in Spain and Asterix & the Magic Carpet,

  • Roberto González

    I would like to see more 2D animated movies instead of CGI and Asterix movies were some of the few 2D exceptions. However I just like good movies in general. Asterix and the Vikings and Asterix in America looked good and were entertaining but , at least in my opinion, they lacked the funny spirit of the comic books and they were too “Disney” and too childish. Still a lot better than the life actions one but not really what made Asterix popular in the comic books. This one is CGI, but it’s nicely done and most important, I get the feeling the script is going to be more in the Goscinny style this time around. The story they are using as inspiration is not a very adventurous one, it’s really all about satire and that’s what made Asterix different to Disney or other american animated movies. Incidentally I think some of the first animated Asterix were very good, especially Asterix and Cleopatra and The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, which is a masterpiece in terms of comedy and pretty well done in the animation department.

  • Roberto González

    Truth is both of these movies are fairly well done, actually. I disagree with Amid’s criticisms about the Peanuts movie cause , apart from a little texture, it still looked 2D. If they had changed the way the characters looked I would probably have problems too. Here it’s the same thing. Uderzo’s drawings were more volumetric so they use a more typical CGI style here and they also look simmilar to the comic book. I’d probably prefer if both of them were done in 2D but as long as they are not changing the designs too much or add the unnecessary realistic eyes or things like that I still recognize the characters and their appeal.

  • DBenson

    Curious choice of books. “The Mansions of the Gods” feels more like a light satire than a real adventure (a direction the Asterix stories often took, along with foreign excursions full of modern stereotypes). Caesar builds “luxury” flats near the village, fills them with middle-class Romans, and waits for their civilizing presence to pacify the Gauls. These days it might play more as a story about rural gentrification (the village economy is turned upside down by Romans with cash); maybe that’s a timely concern to the French.

  • Jill Andersen

    I don’t know if there are too many people with enough familiarity of Le French (both language and country) to have caught onto this so I thought I’d share the hilarity:
    The commanding soldier is (quite obviously) calling to charge but what the foot soldiers reply is a rather hilarious nod to something very, very french: strike.

    following the question “what the hell are you doing?” they reply that they have voted to strike – unanimously. because “they estimated that the assault could be potentially dangerous”
    This is really funny because in France there are strikes all the time about everything, so much so, that it borders on the ridiculous sometimes.

  • DangerMaus

    I doubt he would use that as a metric, because for the most part Blue Sky’s artists managed to make Charlie Brown and Snoopy look pretty close to Schultz’s characters, regardless of addition of textures such as fur. The characters look relatively 2D when the camera pulls back from the closeup of Charlie Brown’s head to the mid-range shot with Snoopy and CB.

  • Danjal Waziri

    I actually liked Gerard, especially in the first film, which was the best in my opinion (the rest was overloaded with popular culture references). Speaking of which, it would be interesting to know wether he will be the voice for Obelix in this. I somehow doubt it since his popularity in France seems to have vastly declined recently