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

tomatometer

86

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

No consensus yet.

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 3,967

My Rating

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

Jul 20, 2010

$0.2M

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December 17, 2009:
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All Critics (71) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (55) | 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...

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 26, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop 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.

March 12, 2010 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 11, 2010 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop 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.

February 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

June 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

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

April 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

full review at Movies for the Masses

April 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

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

October 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Express
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.

October 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Scotsman

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

October 11, 2010 Full Review Source: SFX Magazine
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.

October 10, 2010 Full Review Source: News of the World
News of the World

Bounces around with a hyperactive dementia that somehow never flags.

October 8, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

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

October 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Total Film
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.

October 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

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.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
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.

October 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Birmingham Post
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.

October 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
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.

September 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Filmfest
Filmfest

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...

August 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Seanax.com
Seanax.com

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

June 29, 2010 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Who doesn't love giant, snowball-launching robot penguin movies?

May 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland Plain Dealer

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!
March 13, 2012
FiLmCrAzY
Film Crazy

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."
Superb!
July 20, 2011
MrMarakai

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...
March 22, 2011
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

    1. Horse: Excellent cafe!
    – Submitted by Mary W (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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Foreign Titles

  • Panique au Village (DE)
  • A Town Called Panic (Panique au village) (UK)
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