Vic the Viking and the Magic Sword
This handsomely animated Viking adventure is a fun movie for young kids with gentle humor, a charming squirrel character to add some cuteness, and an easy introduction to the idea of plot twists. Vic the Viking and the Magic Sword also has some serious scale to some of its scenes. Particularly one which sees the Viking crew negotiating three giant waves on their way to find Asgard. On the surface, it's got a good heart. It delivers a well-meaning message of a father coming to love and respect his son who isn't what he expected -- the burly dad Halvar thinks Vic is just too small to be a decent Viking. So when Vic wows him by saving the day a few times with his quick wits, Halvar comes around to accepting his son.
While potentially heartwarming, scratching below the surface it suggests that if Vic wasn't a heroic genius, he'd still be unworthy or at least unnoticed. Paired with the fact that the three female characters are in the background and resemble negative stereotypes, a lack of consideration for its messaging and representation starts to come through. That said, there's nothing overtly negative, it's just not as thoughtful as it first appears. But for a fun adventure with a touch of magical mythology, Vic the Viking and the Magic Sword is a fun trip on the Nordic Seas.
Vicky the Viking
Animated television series
Not to be confused with Vic the Viking.
Vicky the Viking, known as Wickie und die starken Männer (help·info) in Germany and Austria and Chiisana Viking Bikke (小さなバイキング ビッケ) in Japan, is a German-Austrian-Japanese animated television series which tells the adventures of Vicky, a young Viking boy who uses his wits to help his Viking fellows. It is based on the novel Vicke Viking (1963) written by the Swedish authorRuner Jonsson. It premiered on the German TV channel ZDF on 31 January 1974 and aired in various countries. In 2013–2014, the series also existed in 3D animation produced by Studio 100.
The series' main character is Vicky, son of Halvar, chief of the Viking village of Flake. Unlike his village fellows - including most of the other boys of his age - Vicky is blessed with a sharp and imaginative mind which helps his fellow Vikings out of many tight situations, including rival Viking lord Sven the Terrible. Certain results of his intellectual approach shown in the series and the film adaptation include building a makeshift catapult to beat his father in a stone-ferrying contest, fitting their longship with kites to make it glide through the air, and using a small sawfish to cut an escape hole through a wooden door.
- Vicky, the series' title character, a boy of about 9 years of age. He is physically frail, timid and has a special fear of wolves, but his brains eventually help him solve any problem with which he is confronted.
- Halvar, Vicky's father and chief of Flake. A rather braggish warrior, who prefers to solve problems with brawns, but who has since learned to listen to and value Vicky's ideas.
- Tjure and Snorre, two Vikings in Halvar's crew who constantly quarrel about something.
- Urobe, the village druid and oldest Viking in Halvar's crew. While he is rather old and not as imaginative as Vicky, he is quite knowledgeable in sagas and legend lore, and he is respected as a fair judge and mediator.
- Faxe is the biggest and strongest, but also the slowest, of Flake's Vikings who enjoys a close big-brother relationship with Vicky.
- Gorm, a rather over-excited fellow among the Flake Vikings who occupies the position of the lookout on Halvar's ship.
- Ulme, the village bard, a rather neat person and poetic soul, who carries a harp to play on joyous occasions, alas invariably wasted on his Nordic barbarian audience.
- Ylva, Vicky's mother, who is far more supportive of her son's intelligence than his father is.
- Gilby, the strongest boy in Flake and Vicky's ambitious prime rival in his age, though a terrible rascal and intellectually clearly Vicky's inferior.
- Sven the Terrible, a vicious Viking pirate captain, who does not hesitate robbing even his fellow Vikings of their hard-earned plunder.
- Ylvie (a.k.a. "Ticky" in the U.K. version), a young girl in Flake who is Vicky's neighbour and most ardent supporter. In the German movie adaptation this adoration is portrayed as a childhood crush.
- Pokka, Sven's devious second-in-command.
Script and realization
The script was developed from the children's book Vicke Viking (1963) written by the Swedish authorRuner Jonsson, who won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Children's Book Award) for it in 1965. The Japanese animation studio Zuiyo Enterprise Company (later renamed to Nippon Animation) adapted the original version (1972–1974) and developed from it an 85-minute-long movie (original title: Chiisana Baikingu Bikke) as well as the series with 78 episodes, each 25 minutes long. The series' Japanese roots are clearly visible in its styling and character design - this led to the series being the first unwitting brush with Japanese animation for those who would become anime fans later in life.
Responsible for the Germandubbing was Eberhard Storeck, who spoke as one of the characters (Snorre) himself. The music in the German version was composed by Christian Bruhn [de] and Karel Svoboda. The text of the title song (Hey, hey, Wickie! Hey, Wickie, hey! ...) was written by Andrea Wagner. The English dubbing was largely poor, with characters talking endlessly to fit the lip movements of the characters, not pausing for a breath or using verbal punctuation. In the years that followed this was not uncommon for some voice actors who dubbed Japanese-produced series, up to the 1990s' anime boom in the West.
The series was produced for the German TV network ZDF and Austrian TV network ORF. In the United Kingdom, it was shown on ITV.
A modern television 'remake' is entitled Vic the Viking.
German director Michael "Bully" Herbig filmed a live action adaptation of the series called Wickie The Mighty Viking (aka "Wickie und die starken Männer"). It was produced by Christian Becker of Rat Pack Filmproduktion for a 2009 release. Vicky is portrayed by Jonas Hämmerle. Günther Kaufmann portrays Sven, the antagonist of the Vikings. The Vikings of Flake are portrayed by Jörg Moukkadam (Faxe), Mike Maas (Gorm), Christian Koch (Snorre), Nic Romm (Tjure), Patrick Reichel (Ulme) and Olaf Krätke (Urobe).
The film premiered on 9 September 2009, in Munich. On its opening weekend, it grossed approximately $5,595,895. On 3 October, during a show of Wetten, dass..?, Herbig was presented with the Goldene Leinwand award for the film's viewership of three million within its first 18 weeks. The film sold nearly 5 million tickets in Germany, for a total gross revenue of approximately $40,582,384.
Following the success of the first film, a sequel, Wickie auf Großer Fahrt, was released on 29 September 2011.
A CG animated film Vic the Viking: The Magic Sword was released on December 8, 2019.
VHS release (United Kingdom)
- In the UK on 14 May 1990, Video Collection International Ltd released a single video cassette of Vicky The Viking (Cat. No. VC1177) with the first two episodes that were "The Contest" and "The Trap" and it was re-released on 22 July 1991 in Video Collection International Ltd's "Children's Club" range of kids tiles (Cat. No. KK0013).
Primary literature (German)
- Runer Jonsson: Wickie und die starken Männer. München: Herold 1964.
- Runer Jonsson: Wickie und die Blauschwerter. München: Herold. 1966.
- Runer Jonsson: Wickie und die großen Drachen. München: Herold. 1967.
- Runer Jonsson: Wickie und die Rothäute. Ravensburg: Ravensburger Buchvlg. 1984. ISBN 3-473-38776-2
- Runer Jonsson: Wickie und das hölzerne Pferd. Ravensburg: Ravensburger Buchvlg. 1984. ISBN 3-473-38791-6
- Runer Jonsson: Wickie und die Stadt der Tyrannen. Ravensburg: Ravensburger Buchvlg. 1984. ISBN 3-473-38822-X
Secondary literature (German)
- Ina Kurth/Joachim Schmaeck: Wickie und der dänische Zoll. Arbeiten mit Anteilen und Prozenten. Appelhülsen/Mülheim: Verlag "Die Schulpraxis". 1990. ISBN 3-927279-64-1
- Susanne Pauser/Wolfgang Ritschl: Wickie, Slime und Paiper. Wien: Böhlau. 1999. ISBN 3-205-98989-9
- Wickie und die starken Männer, Kinderkochbuch. Frechen: Schwager & Steinlein. 2001. ISBN 3-89600-450-6
- Wickie und die starken Männer - Pop-Up Masken Spielbuch. Frechen: Schwager & Steinlein. 2003. ISBN 3-89600-554-5
- Wickie und die starken Männer - Geschichtenbuch. Fränkisch-Crumbach: Verlag EDITION XXL. 2003. ISBN 3-89736-417-4
- Wickie - Stanzpappe Buch Fränkisch-Crumbach: Verlag EDITION XXL. 2004. ISBN 3-89736-652-5
[Top 10] Best Viking Anime and Comics
Ah yes, the Viking bug has bitten us again thanks to shows like History’s Vikings and Netflix’s Norsemen and the Last Kingdom. Images of Vikings yelling Odin from their longboats like in the 13th Warrior, running around Skyrim’s streets fighting the Imperials (or Stormcloaks), to Movies and Cartoons like Conan the Barbarian, Kull The Conqueror, and Thundar The Barbarian that hint at a Barbic and Viking lifestyle. These misunderstood underdogs of History are so much more than a fat lady singing her heart out in a horned helmet. Viking Culture is rich in history, mystery, and epic adventures. Yet rarely do we talk about the Anime and Comics inspired by the Norse. So here’s my top 10 list of the Best Viking Anime and Comics.
# 10 Hagar the Horrible:
(Hagar and his men doing what Vikings do best)
How can we forget this lovable yet stereotypical depiction of Vikings in horned helmets? Published in 1973, Hagar the Horrible has been gracing Sunday morning funny pages for nearly 50 years and has published over 6,700 comic strips. The series based around Hagar's family and longboat crew shows a comical side to life as a Viking.
# 9 Viking:
(Bringing blood brothers to a whole new level)
Viking by Ivan Brandon and distributed by Image Series is about two brothers named Eril and Finn. Revenge is their game, and getting what one wants no matter the cost is their gain. Violence and mayhem seem to follow them, ok, more like caused by the pair no matter where they go. Unlike Norhtlander, there is no redemption for these two brothers
# 8 Oglaf:
(These Vikings are definitely NSFW)
If NSFW is what you're looking for, then look no further than Oglaf. This comic web series by Trudy Cooper and Doug Bayne started as your typical gag of the week, but with its popularity booming, they began to develop more severe and more prolonged story arcs. Though still highly pornographic with a lot, and I mean many innuendoes, this comic is not safe for anyone thinking they’re just going to ready a funny fantasy comic.
# 7 The Master of Ragnarok & Blesser of Einherjar:
(Charging through to the battle on my horse with spear and saddle, going to impale you)
A mixture of Norse Mythology inspires this anime sprinkled with a little modern fantasy plus some Japanese urban legends that get rolled into one excellent package. This Viking style manga by Seiichi Takayama with an anime adaptation by Studio EMT Squad. is an action-packed harem anime sure to be a favorite of both Heathens and fanboys alike. Like most anime’s, this story involves a High School student who finds himself transported to another world. This time our hero is sent to Yggdrasil, the tree of life in Norse mythology that connects the nine realms. Hijinx and heroics is the name of the game, and our champions will save the day to ensure the nine realms stay in balance.
# 6 Erik Le Rouge:
(So much ice to break)
This French comic by Jean – Francois Di Giorgio and Laurent Sieurac is based on the history and sagas of Erik the Red and sits in my number six spot. Although there are no English translations yet, the beautifully designed artwork helps tell Erik’s story and adventures.
# 5 Head Lopper:
(I finally got the old bat to shut up)
If you love Samurai Jack but wondered what it would be like Viking style, then look no further than Head Lopper. This wonderfully gory comic by Andrew MaClean follows the main character Norgal, who travels the world with a cantankerous witch's head who is no help to him whatsoever. If you’re into small bits of comedy with bloody action, Head Lopper is a great choice.
# 4 Sword Daughter
(I need no man to protect me)
Another gripping tale by Brian Woods (creator of DMZ, The Massive, and Norhtlander) Elsbeth, the mute daughter of Dag, survives a raid on her village by the 40 Swords. Her father was left catatonic for ten years after the attack. During that time, Elsbeth had to forge and take care of Dag. Once her father could break out of his catatonic state, the duo seeks out to find the Forty Swords to exact their revenge.
# 3 Gods of Asgard:
(Loki stop transforming every five seconds. We're trying to take a serious picture here)
Indie comic writer Erik Evensen is the 2007 Xeric award winner for his graphic novel God of Asgard, which dives into the Norse Gods’ myths and folklore. Masterfully illustrated with great storytelling and dialog, this Viking comic is sure to be a page-turner that you won’t put down.
# 2 Northlanders:
(I'm only posing like this to show that I need to see a dentist)
If you love a good redemption and revenge story, then Northlanders is it. In this comic by Brian Wood, Published by DC Comics under their Vertigo Imprint label, Sven is an exiled Viking prince. He leaves his village to travel the world only to return home to find his late father’s brother, Sven’s villainous uncle, taken over the small kingdom he was supposed to rule. Together with a loyal group of friends, Sven fights to take back what is rightfully his and free his people from his uncle’s tyranny.
# 1 Vinland Saga:
This action-adventure manga turned anime is based on 11th-century stories and sagas about the war between the English and the Danes. Both the Anime (distributed by Wit Studio) and the Manga (by Makoto Yukimura) follow Canute the Great and explorer Thorfinn’s story. This anime and the manga also features many well known Vikings of the time such as Lief Erikson, King Harold, while touches on prominent Viking Sagas like The Saga of the Greenlanders, Flateyjarbok, and The Saga of Erik the Red. The characters portrayed are well-rounded, while the story sucks you into the world of Norse settlers. The fight sequences are amazingly realistic and captivate the imagination—the number one choice for anyone who loves Norse history and Sagas.
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