Goscinny and Uderzo’s much-loved comic-book creation has produced 10 movies since the ’60s, including two so-so live-action efforts. For the plucky Gaul’s first animated outing since 1994’s Asterix In America, when he was given the guttural Mersey inflection of Craig Charles, an inspired bit of voice-casting sees Paul Giamatti vocalising the bushy-tached battler as he and lumbering buddy Obelix (Brad Garrett) take on some Norsemen.
Good old 2-D animation lends this French-Danish production a reassuringly nostalgic feel. Still, there are awkward attempts to update it, with Sean Astin’s Justforkix, the brattish nephew of their leader, who the heroic pair are assigned to teach the ways of the warrior, and Evan Rachel Wood’s Nordic nymphette, Abba. Disco-dancing Gauls and a messenger pigeon called SMS clunk loudly but, in its weary, Gallic way, it’s all good, silly fun.