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We are as gods… oh, wait, those halos aren’t meant to be there


As you can probably tell by the title of this post, the HD DVD release of Asterix and the Vikings isn’t perfect. It is, however, somewhat better than The Simpsons Movie, which is comparable in that it is one of only a very small number of digitally sourced, 2D animated titles released in high definition (the others I’ve seen being the very good-looking Les Triplettes of Belleville on HD DVD and the deeply underwhelming Paprika on Blu-ray).

The Simpsons movie was filtered, resulting in noticeable ringing around outlines, and so is Asterix, only less so. In many of the captures posted below, the ringing is difficult to miss, but it could have been a lot worse, and only results in a small reduction in the overall detail levels (I have some unfiltered 1920x1080 publicity stills to compare with the DVD captures). Compression is generally very good, despite the low bit rate, although, on a related note, there is some of the banding commonly associated with gradients in digitally-sourced animated features (see Shot 1), as well as a strange horizontal line artefact in a handful of shots (look closely at Asterix’s hair in Shot 11). I previously saw this on the Platinum Edition DVD of The Jungle Book, so I’m wondering if it’s another issue common to digitally sourced animation.

Unfortunately, both audio tracks (English and French) are out of sync, lagging slightly behind the video. It’s incredibly distracting, since, given the nature of animation timing, even knocking the sound out by three or four frames can be very noticeable.

Astérix et les Vikings
(M6 Vidéo, France, VC-1, 12.9 GB)

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Posted: Saturday, February 02, 2008 at 10:22 PM | Comments: 4
Categories: Animation | Cinema | HD DVD | Technology



do we know if the Blu-ray copy has the same problems with audio sync?

Posted by: Dom, February 5, 2008 9:09 AM


No idea, I’m afraid. I would actually have bought the Blu-ray version myself, but I’d ordered the HD DVD version ages ago and didn’t remember until I got the shipping confirmation email, so it was too late to change the order.

Posted by: Whiggles, February 5, 2008 9:11 AM


Ok. If I order it I will let you know.

Whilst the voiceover cast are impressively well known US actors, I still like the French-accented British speakers used in Asterix in Britain (as commented on in's review ( :

"Asterix in Britain did the english dubbing the best, giving the Gauls French accents (necessary of course to contrast with the very english accents of the British characters in the film)"

Posted by: Dom, February 5, 2008 9:45 AM


Yeah, I liked the dubbing for Asterix in Britain too. It was a valiant attempt, I think, to attempt to replicate some of the humour that was present in the dialogue in the French version that simply doesn’t translate into English (verb order, British characters saying things like “je dis” and “n’est il pas?”). In the French version, all the Britons are played by English actors (with the same actor who voiced Asterix’s cousin playing him in both the English and French versions). I’m just slightly confused as to why the Romans ended up with American accents, though - surely Italian would have been more appropriate?

Posted by: Whiggles, February 5, 2008 10:09 AM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:


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