Director: Stephane Aubier
Cast: Stephane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Jeanne Balibar, Bruce Ellison
One upon a time there was a Cowboy, an Indian and a Horse. They lived together in A Town Called Panic and were all made of plastic. Then, one day along came a crazy Belgian who started moving them about and taking funny pictures. The result is one of the craziest films you've ever seen.
It's Horse's birthday. So Cowboy and Indian get him what all horses want for their birthday: bricks. Lots and lots of bricks. Intending to build him a barbeque, they instead end up destroying his house. And taking him to the centre of the Earth. Which only gets in the way of Horse's piano lessons with Madame Longree - the sexiest mare in all of Belgium.
A mental feature from Pixar's demented cousins, A Town Called Panic has none of that CGI detail or those witty pop culture references. Presented in defiantly lo-fi 2D, it's basically one of the animators' Cravendale adverts stretched out to 90 minutes. There's no real plot progression to speak of - unless you count pointy-headed water creatures (who are dishonest) and a very loud farmer who lives next door - but there is a kamikaze cow-full of laughs.
Pigs through the window, tractors down the pond, anything goes in Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar's deranged stop-motion world. Jabbering away in hyperactive French, the language barrier is never an issue, thanks to the short subtitles, basic dialogue and ridiculously simple visual gags. Even when nothing's being said, the sight of the figures' jerky movements up and down the colourful cardboard is hilariously stupid.
Those who criticise A Town Called Panic for being bland, dull or pointless have clearly lost touch with their inner Monty Python fan. The surreal and precise art of randomness is just like watching Holy Grail's Knights of the Round Table for the first time as a kid. A fantastic use of plastic animals, this is one of the most unique things you'll see all year. Unless you often watch ice skating horses. Or Giant Robotic Penguins.
A blissful parade of pure nonsense, A Town Called Panic is original, funny and most importantly, very, very silly.
- a town called panic
- bruce ellison
- jeanne balibar
- madame longree
- panique au village