Panique au village (A Town Called Panic) (2009)
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 finds the trio journeying to the center of the earth, wandering across icy tundra and discovering a strange aquatic world inhabited by oddball beings with pointed heads. Benoît Poelvoorde (Man Bites Dog) provides one of the voices. … More
- Action & Adventure , Animation , Kids & Family , Art House & International
- Directed By:
- Stéphane Aubier , Vincent Patar
- Written By:
- Stéphane Aubier , Vincent Patar , Guillaume Malandrin , Vincent Tavier
- In Theaters:
- Dec 16, 2009 Wide
- On DVD:
- Jul 20, 2010
- Box Office:
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Critic Reviews for Panique au village (A Town Called Panic)
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...
Directors Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar (who also provide voices) display a pleasantly warped sensibility without going for adult humor.
There's really very little to say about this film beyond that it's absolutely brilliant.
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.
If you've ever seen anything like A Town Called Panic, you either made it yourself or you dreamed it.
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.
The frenetic scenarios should play fairly well as energizing for kids and ridiculous for adults.
Anyone who has spent anytime around kids will know exactly what Aubier and Patar are trying to achieve.
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.
Chaotic, warped and impervious to logic ? a total treasure just waiting to be discovered.
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.
Studded with surreal and unexpectedly tender touches (kamikaze cows, an elegantly lovestruck horse), this is plastic and fantastic.
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.
A heady and utterly unapologetic roller-coaster ride into a hyper-vivid, hyperactive world created from cheap children's toys.
One of the year's originals -- frantic, unpredictable and very, very funny. Remove brain. See loud.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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!
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.More
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."
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...More
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