Australian Council on Children and the Media

Asterix: the secret of the magic potion

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Not recommended under 8; PG to 13 (Violence and scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Asterix: the secret of the magic potion
  • a review of Asterix: the secret of the magic potion completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 June 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended
Children aged 8–13 Parental Guidance recommended
Children over the age of 13 Ok for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Asterix: the secret of the magic potion
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild fantasy themes and animated violence
Length 85 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The druid Getafix (Thomas Rau) is out collecting mistletoe one day, when he falls from a great height, breaking his foot. Now reliant on Obelisk (C. Ernst Harth) to transport him about, Getafix realises he needs to find an apprentice druid to replace him when he’s no longer able to perform his duties. Getafix is the only person in the Gallic village who knows the secret magic potion that gives the villagers the strength and height to fight off the Roman invaders. He sets off therefore, with Asterix (Christian Clavier), Obelisk and a young, feisty girl Pectine (Barbara Bandeira) in search of a young replacement.

Getafix consults the grand council of druids who give him a list of prospective candidates. Getafix and his company travel great distances interviewing each of them. Meanwhile, an evil druid called Demonix (Daniel Mesguich) is plotting to steal the recipe for the potion and trade it to the Romans in return for ownership of the Gallic village and much more. Demonix finds the young Teleferix (Alex Lutz), a potential druid, before Getafix does and tries to convince him to help him. Teleferix is somewhat persuaded but a battle ensues between the Gauls, the Romans and Demonix, and Teleferix is needed to make the magic potion, which he does, just in time to save the Gauls.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Fantasy; Good versus Evil; Magic.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a lot of violence from beginning to end in this movie including:

  • The Gauls (who look a lot like Vikings) love to fight the Romans and each other. There are constant punch-ups and characters getting thrown into trees and other objects. No one is injured.
  • A lot of the violence is displayed for laughs such as:
  • A boat is hit by a spear causing it to split in half. The occupants sink beneath the water.
  • The village children all fight each other and the women also give good punches.
  • Two of the Gauls, Fulliatomatix and Unhygienix, often fight each other verbally, which gets quite heated.
  • Obelisk ends up with his head in a hollow tree.
  • Fulliatomatix and Unhygienix make a concoction that blows up in their faces leaving their hair and beards singed.

Other violence includes:

  • Getafix falls from a great height whilst tending to a young chick, and lands on the ground, breaking his foot.
  • Demonix attacks Getafix with fire, which he conjures up in his hands.
  • Demonix has a spell which turns people into statues.
  • The Romans attack the Gauls with spears and boulders, which they hurl over the walls. The Gauls fight back and the Roman soldiers are seen defeated on the ground.
  • Demonix self-combusts and sets fire to the forest.
  • Asterix is caught and tied to a tree with chains. He has a gag in his mouth.
  • The Roman army attacks the village again when the Gauls have no magic potion left. The soldiers march into the village with swords and shields and the Gauls all scream.
  • Demonix grabs Teleferix by the throat. Pectine attacks Demonix with a potion, which makes him turn red and bubbly. Demonix then drinks all of the potion, which makes him glow red and black. He starts throwing fire everywhere.
  • War breaks out between Demonix, the Gauls and the Romans. The Romans throw spears at the Gauls, and Demonix throws fire at the Romans’ towers, which collapse. Demonix throws fire at Getafix who falls to the ground.
  • Getafix creates an army out of all the villagers, including the children, by giving them a potion. They move as one huge iron horse with spears pointing up. They attack Demonix who goes flying up into space.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are a lot of scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Several of the characters are quite scary looking, particularly Demonix, who has a long pointed nose, large eyes and an evil laugh. He wears an antelope skull on his head with huge horns.
  • A hoglet is alone in a dark forest, quite frightened and trying to hide.
  • The forest is burnt out and looks very desolate.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • The hoglet finds refuge in a run-down cottage, when a huge shadow appears with large antler horns and he hears an evil laugh.
  • Demonix can start fire instantaneously in his hands. Sometimes his arms self-combust.
  • Demonix has the power to turn people into statues. He practises what is called ‘forbidden magic’.
  • The Roman soldiers are seen lying defeated in a field.
  • Unhygeinix makes a spell which makes him float, and which he does for the rest of the movie.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • In a somewhat ironic scene, Jesus is one of the potential new druids, and he demonstrates how he can make many loaves of bread from one.
  • After Demonix has consumed the potion that turns him into a glowing black and red creature, he drinks another super growth potion that makes him appear enormous. He looks quite scary and evil. When the villagers try to attack him, he’s rock hard and seemingly unbeatable.

Sexual references

No sexual references, however there is mention of the fact that Pectine is not allowed into the sacred forest of the druids because she’s a girl. She has to disguise herself as a boy.

Use of substances

There is quite a lot of use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Magic potions are seen to give the villagers extra strength and powers. They also grow much bigger in order to defeat the enemy.
  • The druids have a gathering that includes a lot of drinking of ale.
  • Unhygeinix, who is still floating at the end of the movie, says that he’s ‘high as a kite’.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Shut it
  • Shut up
  • Blasted

Also, there's a lot of name calling such as:

  • Door nail
  • Big dope
  • Windbag
  • Lame brains
  • Ignorant fool
  • Nutcase
  • Lunatic
  • Morons

In a nutshell

Asterix: the secret of the magic potion is an animated movie based on the characters in the famous books by Renee Goscinny. It is set in ancient times and much of the humour may go over children’s heads. However, older children and teens will probably enjoy it. Due to the high level of violence, it isn’t recommended for children under 8.

The main message from this movie is that good wins over evil.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Teamwork
  • Identity and belonging to a group
  • Courage and bravery

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Why wasn’t Pectine allowed into the forest and why were girls treated differently to boys in those days.

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