And what if the secret of the magic potion was her?
To round out our celebration of iconic characters, we’re shining a spotlight on the resourceful youngster from Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion, Pectine.
Pectine is a young Gaulish girl who follows in the footsteps of Getafix. She is the top student in her village and has a knack for inventions. She doesn’t talk much with other children, but when she does open her mouth, this chatterbox will find the solution to any problem! Brave, clever, determined and a bit temperamental, Pectine is the future of our favorite Gallic village.
Pectine is a character that did not exist in the original Asterix comic book, and was created by the directors Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy with the help of the Mikros Animation team in Paris. The challenge was great: to represent a new female figure in a male-dominated universe. Pectine is always her authentic self; sporting a messy hairdo, dirt-stained barefeet and spending hours alone working hard on her inventions.
We sat down with Mikros artists, directors and animators to ask them what they think takes a character like Pectine to icon status.
How does a character become iconic?
Stéphanie Aubriot – CG Supervisor: “A character becomes iconic when they rise to become an emblematic figure, a symbol, or an example to be followed in the real world. They represent an era, a trend, or even cross eras and become intergenerational. Above all, they can influence a part of society and play a role in its construction.”
David Dulac – VFX Supervisor: “To answer this question, I would like to go back to the etymology of the word iconic. From the Latin ‘iconicus‘, icon is a representation and means ‘that which resembles’/’that which does like’. The icon represents an idea, values, concepts and philosophies. For me, Ulysses is an icon because he has a goal at the end of a long journey: he wants to go home. Despite his rocky road, he adapts by being clever and thoughtful and learns while remaining true to his values. At the end of his journey, he is not the same: he has evolved.”
Choosing between Plankton, Pectine, Ozi and Gus, which character is the most iconic for you? And why?
Stéphanie Aubriot: “Without hesitation, Pectine is the most iconic character among them. It is the ultimate footnote to anti-sexism in all its splendor. She is a strong character who never gives up and goes where she’s not expected. She has to dress up as a boy to achieve her goal, but she manages to save the village and be the most capable of succeeding Getafix without losing any of her femininity and charm. Many young women and girls can easily identify with her personality. Developing the character of Pectine with the directors Alexandre Astier and Louis Clichy and working on Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion is one of my proudest achievements!”
David Dulac: “Pectine, like Ulysses, has a goal: she wants to help, she wants to create. She is a little girl who is forward-thinking, intelligent and knows how to achieve her goals. The vision of the little girl who is an inventor, mathematician, technical and resourceful was a desire of Louis Clichy and Alexandre Astier. Pectine heralds a brilliant and inventive future for the village of Gaul, and that’s what I like about this humble character: she marks evolution and change.”
Learn more about our work on Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion here.