Asterix and the Great Crossing (1975)

La grande traversée

A&O go Native.


Presenting a pretentious thematic undercurrent...

Asterix in America and later Denmark. Depiction of Indians - who in common with most races visited by the heroes are held up to quite some ridicule - is less than flattering in these post Dances-with-Wolves times though are also portrayed with quite some affection. A lot of references to modern-day America (e.g. the Indians see US insignia when they are stunned) but little overt satire.

Notable Nomenclature...

Continuity, lack thereof and other gaffes…

Cleverness and Contemporaneity...

For your listening enjoyment: Some shanties...(p37)

First the Danes...

'What shall we do with the drunken Viking' (p 37).

And then the Gauls...

'Fairwell and adieu to you fair Cretan ladies' (p37).

Obelix has a tender side...

Pursued by and fights shy of the Indian chieftains daughter (p27).

Non-PC World...

Native Americans pretty much given the stereotypical 'Red-Indian' treatment. Cue Totem-poles, tribal dancing and much grunting.

Classic Pegleg...

Donec eris felix, multos numerabis amicos / Tempora si fuerint nublia, solus eris. = As long as you are lucky, you'll have many friends; / But should the times become cloudy you'll be alone. (Traditional dystich.) (p9)

Readbeard's retort...

'Why don't you stop making silly remarks and come on deck to summon the crew instead?' (p9)

Good or what?

Middling.

Entertaining story, well told with funny moments - but (strangely in a series with US cultural imperialism as a central metaphor) Goscinny and Uderzo regretably didn't take up the opportunity to lay into contemporary American society as they did, say British and Swiss. Instead this is a series of jokes about popular perceptions of American Indians with a few modern references thrown in.

Something of a wasted opportunity.