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Panique au village (A Town Called Panic) (2009)


Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 68
Fresh: 56
Rotten: 12

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 21
Fresh: 18
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 3,979


Movie Info

This unusual feature (a French-Belgian-Luxembourgian co-production) stylistically recalls the work of Art Clokey (Gumby, Davey and Goliath), with its lead cast consisting entirely of stop motion-animated children's toys. The premise concerns two such toys -- Cowboy (Stéphane Aubier) and Indian (Bruce Ellison) -- who plan to buy a birthday gift for their friend Horse (the voice of Vincent Patar) but accidentally destroy his house. A series of wacky, often hallucinatory adventures ensues that … More

Action & Adventure , Animation , Kids & Family , Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By:
Stéphane Aubier , Vincent Patar , Guillaume Malandrin , Vincent Tavier
In Theaters:
Jul 20, 2010
Box Office:
Zeitgeist Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Panique au village (A Town Called Panic)

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (12) | DVD (4)

If someone laced Wallace and Gromit's stockpile of West Country cheeses with hallucinogens, they might start to show some of the free-associative abandon of the characters in this trippy debut feature...

Full Review… | October 6, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Directors Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar (who also provide voices) display a pleasantly warped sensibility without going for adult humor.

Full Review… | June 18, 2010
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

There's really very little to say about this film beyond that it's absolutely brilliant.

March 26, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

If a precocious 9-year-old with attention deficit issues made a stop-motion animated movie, he might produce a triumph of supreme silliness like A Town Called Panic.

Full Review… | March 12, 2010
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

If you've ever seen anything like A Town Called Panic, you either made it yourself or you dreamed it.

Full Review… | March 11, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

All the silliness unfolds in a complex social structure, where good manners are expected, bad behaviour is punished and birthdays are not to be forgotten.

Full Review… | February 19, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The frenetic scenarios should play fairly well as energizing for kids and ridiculous for adults.

Full Review… | September 24, 2014
Film Comment Magazine

Stop-motion comedy adventure with subtitles, a few curses.

Full Review… | June 7, 2012
Common Sense Media

Anyone who has spent anytime around kids will know exactly what Aubier and Patar are trying to achieve.

Full Review… | April 20, 2011
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review… | April 14, 2011
Movies for the Masses

Charming and highly original but a little of it goes a long way.

Full Review… | October 11, 2010
Daily Express

Though it probably works best in short bursts on DVD, it might just be wacky and strange enough to appeal to kids who'll simply accept it for what it is.

Full Review… | October 11, 2010

Chaotic, warped and impervious to logic ? a total treasure just waiting to be discovered.

Full Review… | October 11, 2010
SFX Magazine

A very small amount of this would be funny. But here, there's 77 minutes of it. And that's about 76 minutes and 30 seconds too much to stomach in one sitting.

Full Review… | October 10, 2010
News of the World

Bounces around with a hyperactive dementia that somehow never flags.

Full Review… | October 8, 2010
Daily Telegraph

Studded with surreal and unexpectedly tender touches (kamikaze cows, an elegantly lovestruck horse), this is plastic and fantastic.

Full Review… | October 7, 2010
Total Film

Like a very lo-fi Toy Story with the vibe of a live-action Terry Gilliam cartoon and the addled craziness of SpongeBob SquarePants; it's funny for adults and children alike in a refreshing, barking mad sort of way.

Full Review… | October 7, 2010

A heady and utterly unapologetic roller-coaster ride into a hyper-vivid, hyperactive world created from cheap children's toys.

October 7, 2010
Little White Lies

One of the year's originals -- frantic, unpredictable and very, very funny. Remove brain. See loud.

Full Review… | October 6, 2010
Empire Magazine

The action sometimes overrides the subtitles, but children of all ages could well be mesmerised just trying to keep up with the accident-prone story of Cowboy, Indian and Horse.

Full Review… | October 6, 2010
Birmingham Post

a truly postmodern concoction, where, along with the village's properties, narrative norms are deconstructed brick by brick, as free associations and visual gags come thick and fast, offering a surreal jaunt through toy town.

Full Review… | October 5, 2010
Eye for Film

This is just silly fun, a bunch of plastic people that seem at times, shockingly, to have quite a bit of character depth and nuance. Mostly, however, it's gag after gag, and does run out of steam towards the end.

Full Review… | September 2, 2010

The world of stop-motion animation is full of creative humor but I've never seen anything as whimsically absurd and hilariously ridiculous (this) animated toybox comedy...

Full Review… | August 11, 2010

Loopy, chaotic and often very funny, though even at a mere 75 minutes it feels a mite overlong.

Full Review… | June 29, 2010
One Guy's Opinion

Audience Reviews for Panique au village (A Town Called Panic)


Well this is the first French, cartoon, comedy film i've seen and its very good.
Its basically a feature length version of the Cravendale adverts, if you like them then you'll love this movie.
It is simply the most random movie to watch though, one minute your on land, then in the artic, and then somehow swimming the depths of the ocean, so a very random but highly amusing french animation!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

From out of seemingly nowhere comes the bare bones stop-motion animation extravaganza Panic Au Village (The Town Called Panic). I fell in love with this on one viewing. It's like watching a kid play with their toys as the logic of the plot is really based around that. One minute you're in a small village, the next you're in snow and followed by being under water. It's all so magical and fun. Seeing it high definition is really where it's at too. The high quality really brings out the richness of the animation and the world. It's just an all-around terrific little film. Funny, charming and just flat-out maniacally adorable.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


Stop-motion animation still has a place in film today despite the computer generated brilliance of Pixar and Dreamwork etc. "Wallace and Gromit" are still a success and with the arrival of this inventive adventure, it shows that there's still some mileage left in the old stop-motion style yet.
Papier mache toys Cowboy and Indian's plan to surprise Horse with a homemade birthday gift backfires when they accidently destroy his house. No sooner have they built a new home only for it to be stolen from beneath their noses by a stealthy and cunning assailant. Strange adventures ensue as the trio travel to the centre of the earth, trek across frozen tundra and discover a parrallel underwater universe where dishonest subaquatic creatures live.
As long as there's still imagination and creativity in the world, there will still be works of art produced regardless of being at a disadvantage. This little animation is proof that millions of money isn't necessary to produce something that works. Stop-motion animation is probably the most difficult and painstaking of techniques, making you wonder why they even bother in the first place. Fortunately they do bother and we are treated to this fantastic little gem. It's basic in it's setup and characters, with second rate little toys brought to life, injected with hilarity, detail and crammed full of creativity and imagination that it's hard to resist. An absolutely wonderful little treat and very unlike most animation today. Yes, "Wallace and Gromit" are famous stop-motion characters but they are still miles from this surreal Belgian adventure from Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar.
It's a pure joy that will shamefully be overlooked by many and deserves a wider audience for it's originality alone. Added to which, it unashamedly boasts..."shown in glorious 2D."

Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

Very strange...but interestingly done at the same time. Truly one of the strangest things I have seen in a long, long time. The story is bizarre, and the animation is childlike. Its worth the time, I guess, if only to see something completely out of the ordinary...but there doesn't' seem to be a real storyline anywhere. Just plain off the wall silliness...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Panique au village (A Town Called Panic) Quotes

Excellent cafe!
– Submitted by Mary W (2 years ago)

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