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Saturday, April 23, 2016

'Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods' DVD: The Gaul of a Tribe Opposing Roman Empire


[EDITOR'S NOTE: This Region 4 DVD from Australia will not play in a standard U.S. player; watching it requires an international player that is worth buying if only to watch DVDs from Madman Entertainment.]

The deities element of the CGI-film "Asterix: The Mansions of the Gods" make Aussie DVD god Madman Entertainment the proper distributor for the DVD of this production. This company truly offers the best British and Australian DVDs of films and shows that you have heard of and that you do not yet know are awesome. It also has a good selection of American titles, such as the Unreal TV reviewed DVD sets of the 60s sitcom "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," that have not made it to DVD in the states.

"Mansions" is based on the "Asterix" French comic series that American children know through English-language books and via French-language comics in French class The titular diminutive Gallic warrior uses a magic potion by the village druid to temporarily obtain super-human speed and strength to keep the Romans at bay and for any other useful purpose. The Abbott to this Costello is the rotund and not-so-bright Obelix, who possesses permanent extraordinary strength.

The following YouTube clip of the "Mansions" trailer achieves its purpose of providing spoiler-free exposition of the concept of the film in an enticing manner. Showcasing the quality animation is an element of this.


The titular abode is an apartment complex that Roman emperor Julius Caesar is ordering built outside the Brittany village in which Asterix and his posse resides. The method behind this apparent madness is that moving a group of Roman civilians in the area will succeed where more aggressive tactics to conquer the village have failed.

The hilarity commences with  Asterix and Obelix (along with trusty canine companion Dogmatic) coming across the newly commenced construction site during a wild boar hunt that is anything but a wild bore. Early efforts by the natives to thwart the project lacking any lasting impact leads to creating an alliance with the literal slave labor. This, in turn, leads to things going hysterically awry.

A few of scad o' funny because its true moments are a sales pitch during gladiator battles, the "local yokels" gouging the "city slicker" Romans, and many of said locals embracing the spirit of the expression "when in Rome, do as the Romans do."

More general silliness involves comic bluffing, a melee seemingly for the sake of a melee, and typical small-town squabbling.

The puntastic humor regarding the Roman Empire provides the bonus of evoking thoughts of the mid-70s Hanna Barbera Saturday morning cartoon "The Roman Holidays." This largely forgotten gem directs the historic and futuristic concepts of "The Flintstones" and "The Jetsons" respectively on the era of the Roman Empire.

The bonus materials consist  trailers and "making of" features.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Mansions" is strongly encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.