Asterix the Gaul: the film was made behind Uderzo and Goscinny’s back

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Find out how René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo were left out of the animated film “Asterix the Gaul”, the first animated adaptation of the adventures of the little Gaul and his comrade Obelix.

Dargaud / Belvision

Released in 1961 (and from October 1959 in the magazine Pilot), Asterix the gallic is the first album of what will become a saga of incredible longevity in French comics. Created by Albert Uderzo and René Goscinny, this little Gaul and his friend Obelix also had adventures in the cinema, the first animated opus of which was also Asterix the Gaul.

In 1967, ten albums were released, the Gaul with mustache is already a great success across the world and the publisher Georges Dargaud, decides to try the adventure of animation with this hero carrier. At the time, he advanced a lot of money in the development of this project.

RTS archives

René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo in 1968

Dargaud allies for this with the Belgian studio Belvision, already known for a feature film starring the Marsupilami by Franquin and Tintin with all his friends in Objective moon from Hergé. Except that he is launching this project without Uderzo or Goscinny having been informed! Both the adaptation and the animation are therefore carried out without the approval of the two original authors.

Belvision

Extract from “Astérix le Gaulois” (1967)

It is during a private screening organized before the release that the creators of Asterix are invited to discover the film … finished! And as if that weren’t enough, at the same time, they learn that a second feature film, Asterix and the golden billhook, is already almost complete!

Uderzo and Goscinny are quite perplexed by this Asterix the gallic that they did not supervise. They do not, however, oppose its release out of consideration for their publisher, who has advanced a lot of money. On the other hand, the duo are horrified when they see the extracts from The Golden Serpe, them too prepared by Belvision and request the destruction of the coils. Here is this incredible story, told to our microphone by Uderzo himself:

CoilsAsterix and the Golden Serpe will therefore be destroyed, and the next project, which was the adaptation of the Chiefs fight, is canceled before starting.

Hand drawn and animated, Asterix the gallic was initially planned for television but finally released on December 20, 1967 in theaters, totaling 2.4 million admissions. Building on this success, Dargaud, Uderzo and Goscinny, this time allies, will adapt together another successful album: Asterix and Cleopatra, which will attract 1.95 million curious people.

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