Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / Gladiators of Rome

Go To
A very unlikely hero...

Gladiators of Rome is an Italian All-CGI Cartoon movie made by Rainbow SpA, an animation studio jointly owned by Iginio Straffi and Viacom at the time. It was Rainbow's first original film, and Viacom released it through their subsidiary Paramount Pictures. The movie is a comedy about a lazy and thick-headed Roman named Timo who decides to turn his life around and become a gladiator. It premiered in Italy on October 18, 2012.

To write the script, Iginio Straffi enlisted the help of Michael J. Wilson (the American creator of the Ice Age franchise). It took over five years for the film to be completed, since it used up a lot of the Rainbow studio's resources. By the end of development, Straffi was so confident in the film that he floated the idea of a Gladiators TV Spinoff in this interview.

The movie is notorious among Rainbow fans for bombing at the box office: it only made back $10 million (€9 million in euros) worldwide...against an investment of $80 million (€70 million in euros). The financial loss spilled over into everything else that Rainbow was working on at the time. Most notable was the seventh season of Winx Club, which was hit with budget cuts halfway through production. note  It's safe to say that the Gladiators spin-off won't be happening anytime soon.

Gladiators of Rome provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Advertising by Association: Some trailers and DVD covers highlighted the film's connections to Winx Club, also created by Iginio Straffi. The Russian release cover is one example.
  • Action Girl: Diana, the gladiator trainer.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of serious gladiator movies.
  • Ancient Rome: Set in this time period, specifically during the reign of Emperor Domitian.
  • Anachronism Stew: Despite being placed in Ancient Rome, it has Lucilla's father saying tweet although that Twitter didn't exist then, Cassio mentioning Goldilocks, Timo singing If You're Happy and You Know it, Timo going to balcony of Lucilla's home like Romeo from Romeo and Juliet, Diana saying cowboy and the one of the gladiator babies chewing bubblegum and blowing a bubble that makes him fly mid-air (Bubblegum wasn't invented in the late 19th and early 20th century and babies are too young to chew bubblegum.)
  • Balcony Wooing Scene: Timo does this when he goes up to the balcony at Lucilla's home.
  • Butt-Monkey: Timo is treated like a useless idiot for most of the movie, nobody respects him, and gets a lot of Amusing Injuries even during his training with Diana.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Timo's main goal is winning the heart of Lucilla, his childhood friend.
  • Fat and Skinny: Timo's two friends, Mauritius and Ciccius. Ciccius is the fat one with a Meaningful Name ("ciccio" is an informal word for "chubby") and Mauritius is the thin one.
  • Gladiator Games: Who would've guessed?
  • Hero Academy: Chiron's Gladiator Academy.
  • Historical Domain Character: Domitian was a real-life emperor of Rome.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Lucilla, in contrast to the seductive and snarky Diana.
  • Lazy Bum: Timo is an unmotivated slacker one for most of his early life. He decides to change to win Lucilla's heart.
  • Light Feminine and Dark Feminine: Lucilla is demure and innocently beautiful (Light), Diana is a tough, mysterious Ms. Fanservice who wears skimpy clothes (Dark).
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Lucilla's pet bunny, Grubbo.
  • Screen Shake: Used several times in the movie, In the beginning of the movie, The screen shakes when the volcano is about erupts and the screen shakes rapidly when the volcano is ready to erupt.
  • Trophy Wife: Why Cassio wants to marry Lucilla.