7.5/10
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41 user 116 critic

A Town Called Panic (2009)

Panique au village (original title)
Trailer
1:32 | Trailer
Cowboy and Indian's only wish was to come up with a brilliant idea for Mr Horse's birthday, but when their plan ends up in utter disaster, they'll need to travel the world and back to make things right again.

Writers:

Stéphane Aubier (screenplay), Vincent Patar (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stéphane Aubier Stéphane Aubier ... Coboy / Max Briquenet / Mr. Ernotte (voice)
Jeanne Balibar ... Madame Longrée (voice)
Nicolas Buysse Nicolas Buysse ... Mouton / Jean-Paul (voice)
François De Brigode François De Brigode ... Journaliste sportif (voice)
Véronique Dumont Véronique Dumont ... Janine (voice)
Bruce Ellison Bruce Ellison ... Indien (voice)
Christine Grulois Christine Grulois ... Vache / Étudiante (voice)
Frédéric Jannin Frédéric Jannin ... Gendarme / Gérard / Livreur de briques (voice)
Bouli Lanners ... Facteur / Simon / Vache (voice)
Christelle Mahy Christelle Mahy ... Poule (voice)
Eric Muller Eric Muller ... Rocky Gaufres / Étudiant chorale 1 (voice)
François Neycken ... Cochon (voice) (as François Neyken)
Vincent Patar Vincent Patar ... Cheval / Maman atlante (voice)
Pipou Pipou ... Rire de Michel (voice)
Franco Piscopo Franco Piscopo ... Ours (voice)
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Storyline

Animated plastic toys like Cowboy, Indian and Horse have problems, too. Cowboy and Indian's plan to surprise Horse with a homemade birthday gift backfires when they destroy his house instead. Surreal adventures take over as the trio travel to the center of the earth, trek across frozen tundra and discover a parallel underwater universe where pointy-headed (and dishonest!) creatures live. With panic a permanent feature of life in this papier mâché town, will Horse and his girlfriend ever be alone? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Frantic fun and gleeful absurdity! See more »


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in 260 days. See more »

Quotes

Steven: Have you seen the state of my tractor!
Steven: Come on animals!
See more »

Connections

Followed by A Christmas Panic! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

C'est Party
Written and performed by Bernard Plouvier
See more »

User Reviews

 
Revels in simplicity and jerkiness of stop-motion
18 November 2009 | by Chris KnippSee all my reviews

(In French, 75 min.) This feature-length stop-motion animation that appeared at Cannes is based on the Belgian TV series by Stephane Auber and Vincent Patar. It's a film all made up using tiny figurines to tell the story of a journey to the center of the earth whre a parallel society of pointy-headed and dishonest creatures reigns. Voices of French actors Jeanne Balibar (The Duchess of Langeais) and Benoît Poelvoorde (of Man Bites Dog) are heard. The filmmakers revel in the jerkiness of the figures in (stop) motion.

You might not know this is the same stop-motion technique used in Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Auber and Patar have collaborated ( and voice two main characters) in a film that's not only simpler and more primitive in effect (figures even have little stands on the bottom like plaster toys) but more truly uniquely for children. Clearly this cast and crew had more modest means and objectives and motives. They didn't get glamorous superstars to voice the parts and they worked visibly from scratch, bringing to life recreations of kids' little Plasticine toys, a typically mismatched collection including a horse, an Indian, a cowboy, mechanical tractors, a piano lesson, and moving them around on surfaces that could be a village, or could be a train set or a display under a Christmas tree.

These are actually spin-offs from a TV series that Belgian, French, and maybe French Canadian kids would know. They were featured in five-minute films on the arty but widely watched French TV outlet Canal Plus and later dubbed by "Wallace and Gromit" producer Aardman Animations for export to other outlets such as Nicktoons in the U.S.; they can be found on YouTube.

The Town Called Panic effect is much more boldly artificial and crude than the stuffed but charming furry creatures in Wes Anderson's film. This is a thing of slapstick and chases, upended figures and screeches and scrambles. "An antic little joy ride," the Variety reviewer has called it, and that's about right. Shown November 13 at the San Francisco Film Society's 4th Annual Animation Festivial as one of three animated features (the others: Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox and Tarik Saleh's Metropia), it enjoyed a preview at Film Forum in New York the following week, and begins a limited US theatrical release at Film Forum December 16. The feature is not dubbed like the Aardman Animations shorts, which is better to capture the flavor of the original, of course.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Belgium | Luxembourg | France

Language:

French

Release Date:

17 June 2009 (Belgium) See more »

Also Known As:

A Town Called Panic See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,850, 20 December 2009

Gross USA:

$165,509

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$505,699
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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