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Western Animation / Asterix in Britain

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Asterix in Britain (Astérix chez les Bretons in French) is the French-Danish 1986 animated film adaptation of the eponymous Asterix comic book, directed by Pino Van Lamsweerde. The soundtrack was composed by Vladimir Cosma and the British band Cook da Books performed the theme song.

Julius Caesar has conquered Brittania with his Roman legions, and a small village of Britons does its best to resist. They send Anticlimax across the Channel into Gaul, to seek help from another village that resists Roman rule, that of Asterix, Anticlimax's first cousin once removed. Asterix and Obelix volunteer to accompany him back to his village with a barrel full of the Super Strength-granting magic potion made by Getafix the druid.

For the tropes common to both the comic book and the film, see the comic book's page.


Tropes specific to the film include:

  • Adapted Out:
  • Anachronism Stew: In keeping with the comics' shtick.
    • The Roman fleet's friendly fire scene has sounds of machine guns, planes and bombs somehow. Similarly, the landing crafts have a bow opening like the crafts the Allies used on D-Day. And the Roman centurion who has to coordinate the fleet with hand flags produces morse code telegraph sounds.
    • The Big Ben bell sound in Londinium, over 1900 years too early.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Towards the end, the Pirate Captain takes this attitude toward his ship, and sinks it himself to keep Obelix from sinking it.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: The usual argument over the quality of the fishmonger's fish starts the usual brawl between the blacksmith and the fishmonger, with half the men of the village running to join in just because it's an excuse to fight. Obelix not joining in because of his suffering Roman withdrawal disrupts it, but then there's the following conversation:
    Unhygienix: Now, where were we?
    Fulliautomatix: Um, your fish stink?
    Unhygienix: Oh, yes. MY FISH ARE FRESH! [Everyone resumes fighting]
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  • Canon Foreigner: General Motus did not appear in the comic book, he is unique to the film.
  • Composite Character: There's a multitude of Roman authority figures in the comic book outside of Caesar. They have more or less all been Adapted Out and blended into General Motus.
  • Facepalm: Caesar puts his hand over his face with dismay when he sees the chaos caused by the hand flags centurion who tried to brush a seagull off (with his flags still in his hands) and inadvertently ordered the fleet's catapults to fire doing so.
  • Hand Signals: The Roman invasion fleet is being coordinated by a centurion using hand flags. Just then a seagull lands on his helmet. His frantic efforts to brush it off inadvertently signal the fleet's catapults to open fire on their own ships.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Vladimir Cosma reused the music he composed for the Olympic torch relay scene in Ace of Aces for the scene where Caesar's army conquers Britain during the Britons' weekend break.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few nods to The Longest Day and World War II.
    • Julius Caesar says the day of his invasion of Britannia will be "the longest day".
    • The invasion of Britannia by the Roman fleet looks a lot like D-Day (the 1944 Normandy landings) complete with sounds of machine guns, planes, bombs and landing crafts with bow opening and ramp. The Romans legionaries escalating the cliff also evokes the battle of the Pointe du Hoc, which was famously depicted in The Longest Day.
    • When Anticlimax knocks on Dipsomaniax's door, he taps out the "Beethoven's Fifth" rhythm that forms the Morse code for the letter V, used to represent "victory" during World War II. Similarly, after winning the battle, Anticlimax makes the "Victory" sign with his fingers, in reference to Winston Churchill.
  • Slippery Skid: The Running Gag of messengers sent to General Motus always arriving at his headquarters after the floors have been waxed, resulting in slips, slides and crashes into various marble statues (explaining why so many Greco-Roman era statues in museums nowadays are broken).
  • The Song Remains the Same: The opening song (with English lyrics) is the same in both the French and English dub.
  • Theme Tune: "The Look Out is Out" by Cook Da Books. The melody reuses that of the Plastic Bertrand song "Astérix est là" from the previous film, Asterix Versus Caesar.
  • Truer to the Text: The film sticks pretty close to the comic book, minus the absence of some Roman officers. It's especially noticeable when the other two 1980s Asterix films it is sandwiched between, Asterix Versus Caesar and Asterix and the Big Fight, were both Adaptation Amalgamation.


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