A TOWN CALLED PANIC
Wacky, Winsome, and Funny
Release Date: January 22, 2010
Starring: The Voices of: Stéphane
Aubier, Vincent Patar, Bruce
Ellison, Jeanne Balibar,
Benoît Poelvoorde, and
Audience: Older children to adults
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 75 minutes
Distributor: Zeitgeist Films
Director: Stéphane Aubier and Vincent
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Philippe Kaufmann and Vincent
Writer: Stéphane Aubier and Vincent
Address Comments To:Nancy Gerstman and Emily Russo
247 Centre Street, 2d Floor
New York City, NY 10013
Phone: (212) 274-1989; Fax: (212) 274-1644
Cowboy, Indian, and Horse share a rambling house in a rural town. It’s Mr. Horse’s birthday, so Cowboy and Indian decide to build a brick barbecue for Horse. They go on the Internet to buy 50 bricks for the barbecue, but Cowboy unknowingly lays down his coffee cup on the zero key and they accidentally buy 50 million bricks!
That night, the birthday party goes late into the night. Horse is in love with Madame Longray, the horse who teaches music at the school. He promises her that he will come to her class and take piano lessons.
Horse, Cowboy, and Indian go to sleep. During the night, the remaining 49,999,950 bricks that Cowboy and Indian have stored on top of the roof start to push their house into the ground. Horse, Cowboy, and Indian barely escape with their lives.
The next day, Horse makes Cowboy and Indian start helping him rebuild their house. The next day, however, they discover someone has stolen the brick walls they built the previous day. This happens one more time before the three friends decide to lie in wait at night for whoever is stealing the walls they build and paint during the day.
They discover that a family of kleptomaniac sea people living underwater is the culprit. They chase one of the mer people to the center of the earth, onto a frozen landscape above ground, and finally underwater. As they try to get back the stolen bricks, they meet all sorts of other people, fish, and creatures who hamper their quest. Will Horse ever get to his scheduled piano lessons from Madame Longray?
A TOWN CALLED PANIC is a fun, unique, and imaginative animated movie that’s a joy to watch. The movie is simultaneously charming, wacky, funny, and surreal. Sometimes, all of the human beings and mer people have little plastic stands on which they hop around in constant motion. The movie’s surreal events are very funny. In one scene, for instance, the farmer next door eats a huge waffle with chocolate icing fixed by his wife like a buzz saw. In other places, the comedy is just charming. For example, the cows in the farmer’s barn have pillows on which to lay their heads. Also, when Madame Longray schedules the piano lessons for Horse, she tells Simon, the school clerk, to schedule 50 piano lessons for Mr. Horse. Horse sticks his head into Simon’s office and tells him to make that 100 lessons.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a message in this animated tale, beyond the positive friendship between Horse, Cowboy, Indian, and Madame Longray. In one scene, Cowboy, Horse, and Indian play a trick on the mer people to get back the house they started to build. In another scene, the mer people play a trick on them to keep the brick walls of the planned new house. Also, after everything returns to normal, Cowboy and Indian play a trick on the farmer next door in order to take a joyride on his beloved tractor. In another scene, the local policeman falsely accuses and imprisons the farmer for stealing Horse, Cowboy, and Indian’s bricks.
Regrettably, there’s some foul language in A TOWN CALLED PANIC, including a couple “s” words in French and some light profanities, such as “Good God.” In one scene, however, a positive thing happens and a character comments about it, saying, “Sweet Jesus.” Indeed.
MOVIEGUIDE® advises caution for children because of the foul language and some references to drinking beer.
A TOWN CALED PANIC is simultaneously charming, wacky, funny, and surreal. Friendship and fun adventures seem to be the movie’s main message. Regrettably, there are some obscenities and light profanities, so caution is required for children. There is, however, one positive exclamatory reference to Jesus. A TOWN CALLED PANIC is a fun, unique, and imaginative animated movie. It’s a joy to watch.