9 April 2002 | bob the moo
Not brilliant, but it's a faithful adaptation of the book
When an argument between Caesar and Cleopatra over Egyptian ability turns into a bet, an architect is charged to build a palace for Caesar. The architect turns to Getafix, Asterix and Obelix to help him with the construction. However with a rival architect and the Roman empire seeking to stop Caesar losing the bet Asterix et al have more on their hands than they reckoned for.
The story is yet again faithful to the book, even opening and closing on the original cartoon itself. It doesn't manage to bring all the jokes out of the book as it could have done but it is still pretty good. The animation is solid and stays close to the source in style.
The characters are quite good, however their voices sound the same at times and don't match their roles too well Obelix sounds less dopey this time but Asterix still sounds too squeaky. The downside, watching it now, is that the racist stereotypes are really crude the black characters are dark with huge rubber lips. But I suppose at the time nothing was thought of it and we should take it in the spirit it was intended.
The musical numbers are OK there aren't too many so the film isn't slowed down. The bets one is a sort of warning against anorexia with the lines `If you're off your food, you're ill' and `when you're eating well you're well'!
Overall it's not brilliant, but it's a faithful adaptation of the book and manages to bring some of the wit and charm of the characters out.