has insulted Cleopatra
by saying that the Egyptians have become decadent. To prove him wrong, Cleopatra declares that she will have a palace for him built within three months. The Queen of the Nile warns her architect Edifis that if he fails to make the three-month time limit, he will be fed to the crocodiles. Since such a thing would not be possible without magic, Edifis goes to Gaul and enlist the aid of his friend Getafix, with Asterix, Obelix, and Dogmatix along for the ride.
The construction of the palace is inhibited by Edifis' rival Artifis, who would love to see the former fed to the crocs. Artifis incites a worker's rebellion, and sabotages shipments of stone, both are stopped by the magic potion. Artifis tries to get rid of the Gauls by first trying to trap them in a pyramid, then framing them for attempting to poison Cleopatra and kidnapping Edifis. The Gauls are able to survive both attempts, and Artifis and his lacky Krukhut are forced to work on the palace without
Caesar learns of the Gauls' aid, and not wanting to lose face, tries to capture them. Though the Gauls are able to fend off the Romans, the palace gets wrecked. Asterix and Dogmatix send word of this to Cleopatra, and she puts Caesar in his place. The palace is completed, Edifis recieves his reward, Getafix recieves scrolls from the Library in Alexandria, and the Gauls return home triumphant.
Note: The Animated Adaptation
is the first animated appearance of the pirates.
- Animated Adaptation: Released in 1968. Including...
- Adaptation Expansion: Included a second encounter with the pirates, as well as an attempt by Caesar to quietly neutralize Getafix.
- Disney Acid Sequence: The "When You're Eating Well You're Well" song.
- Early-Installment Weirdness: The pirates look different in this film than in the comics and the later animated films. The captain is taller and more muscular, and his hair is more orange than red. The lookout in the crow's nest is smaller, and the wisecracking old pirate is replaced by a parrot.
- Villain Song: "The Arsenic Cake" song from Artifis and Krukhut.
- Been There, Shaped History: Obelix breaks the Sphinx's nose while climbing it.
- Better to Sink than Be Sunk: The pirates. Amounts to the same thing and saves them a few knocks.
- Cardboard Prison: Cleopatra's prison can't keep Obelix in or out any longer than he feels like it. (Then again, what prison could?)
- Cleopatra Nose: Cleopatra is drawn with a huge pointy nose and her fame rests on it. Throughout the book, characters (including Caesar) comment on how she has a pretty nose.
- Cut a Slice, Take the Rest: Obelix divides the poisoned cake into three pieces- two little ones for Asterix and Getafix, and one large one for himself! ("You greedy pig!" mutters Asterix.)
- Meaningful Name: Artifis' henchman is named Krukhut ("Crew cut") in the English version, and has a shaven head when we first see him. This becomes an Ironic Name when he makes a vow never to shave his head again if the Gauls escape the pyramid in which he has abandoned them... and when they do escape, he keeps his vow, and has a full, thick head of hair by the end of the book.
- Mickey Mousing: The animated movie contains lots of this, especially with the potion-empowered Egyptians effortlessly passing bricks around.
- Reclining Reigner: Caesar lies on a reclined seat and eats chicken at the beginning.
- Rapid Hair Growth: The henchman of the villain Artifis vows never to shave his head again until the pesky Gauls are killed. The rate at which his shaven skull becomes extremely hirsute then becomes a Running Gag.
- Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony: In 50 B.C, even!
- Stinger: After the traditional banquet, there's a panel that shows Vitalstatistix berating Obelix for making menhirs shaped like obelisks.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: The Special Iced Arsenic Cake takes this Up to Eleven - the cake is made almost entirely out of poison. According to the Villain Song mentioned above, it is made out of: Strychnine, Hemlock, Paraffin, Opium, a Leech in Scum, Chopped Frog's Spawn, Arsenic, Narcotic, Castor Oil, Snake's Blood, Crushed Tadpole, Glue, Rat Poison, Cobra's Venom, Orange Juice (For flavor), Mandrake Root, Moldy Fruit and Vitriol. How Artifis managed to make a cake without eggs or flour is never explained.