Film Review – A Town Called Panic

Town Called Panic

Cowboy, Indian and Horse all live in the same house. When Cowboy and Indian forget Horse’s birthday, their plans get him a present set off a surreal and entertaining chain of events that includes sea monsters, mechanical penguins, angry woolly mammoths and mad scientists.

A Town Called Panic was originally a series of short films, distributed by Aardman Animations and produced in Belgium by Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier. Shown on Nickelodeon in the UK, it’s style will be familiar to anyone who has watched and loved the Cravendale milk ads (which lift the concept pretty shamelessly).

The movie is an hour and 15 minutes of unashamed silliness, going from one lunatic scenario to the next. Yet there is a cohesive story here, rather than linked set pieces. While the animation on first pass appears to use shop bought toys with fixed poses, each character is actually animated to a high level of poseable detail.

There’s an engaging list of lesser characters such as Steven the overly caffeinated farmer, and Madame LongrĂ©e, the music teaching horse, whom Horse is infatuated with, along with some fantastic Heath-Robinson-esque machinery. A mixture of jokes and visual one liners means that there is always something to smile at, teamed with the occasional belly laugh. There are very few moments of calm and it does at times feel a little relentless, but what stops it from becoming wearing is that just when you think it can’t get any crazier, it does.

While not everyone’s cup of tea, this is like no toy story you’ve seen before, and I found it’s infectious good humour hard to resist.

A Town Called Panic opens in the UK on October 8th

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on September 4, 2010.

One Response to “Film Review – A Town Called Panic”

  1. […] insane yet delightful stop-motion film A Town Called Panic is released in the UK on October 8th. To celebrate it’s release, Optimum Releasing and […]

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