REVIEWED
7/20/10

STORY



LOOK



A Town Called Panic (aka Panique au village)
Directors: Stephane Aubier & Vincent Patar
Year: 2009
TRT: 1:15


This is a totally great stop-motion animated film out of Belgium (in French, guess they don't have their own language like Canada, eh?), heavily influenced with fairly simple comedy that is, well, also a little retarded. But absolutely enjoyable as you watch main characters Horse, Coboy and Indien in their continuing misadventures in a fantastical manner. The closest to compare it to in recent times is Gumby and 'Robot Chicken' for its fairly simplistic animation techniques, but it's more than a one-note joke and more a more their rambling, quirky and somewhat ludicrous shenanigans.

Horse, Coboy (who's a Cowboy) and Indien (who's an Native American Indian) are all housemates, and one day Coboy and Indien realize they haven't gotten a gift for Horse for his birthday. Ruling out a hat (which seems to be rather popular gift for a horse in such reality), they decide to build him a barbecue. A quick visit to the Internet to order bricks turns into a bit of a disaster as the ordering of 50 accidentally turns into something like 5 gazillion bricks. There's talking farm animals, miscellaneous friends, weird Water-Sleastaks and their neighbor I nickname "Yelly" because that's the only way he speaks. And most importantly, Horse's love interest in the local female music teacher, who also happens to be a horse. (No weirdness like inter-specie love going on, though toward the end there is a little segue involving a piglet and an octopus, but I'm pretty sure they were just friends and messing around like kid pigs and kid octopuses do).

This continues along amusingly for its 75 minutes without wearing out its welcome with its pretty simplistic but always entertaining antics of the three main characters and the crazy environments and situations they find themselves in. Some very clever visuals and ideas are employed, and just some crazy-ass shit that will keep you chuckling throughout. And while there may be a 'damn' or 'bastard' thrown into the dialogue (subtitles though, mind you), it makes for a decent enough 'family' flick, depending on where you stand on that matter. Good, clean trippy fun!

UNEXPECTED, PLEASANTLY AMUSED, GREAT END CREDIT SONG.

Great Scene: So simple, yet so amusing. Once Horse, Cowboy and Indian find themselves in an underwater world, seeing Cowboy's impromptu breathing apparatus after swimming out of a sunken ship.

Media Notes: Netflix Streaming. Looked great, but be warned it's subtitled. While the voice talent isn't 'recognizable,' to say the least, it's definitely hilarious to hear the voices in their native tongue to relay the somewhat, I won't say cheezy, but more goofy portrayal of the characters (particularly Coboy, he's such a tool [but a begrudgingly humorous one, at that]).