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Stop Motion Bliss – A TOWN CALLED PANIC

A TOWN CALLED PANIC is madness, plain and simple.

Told from the assured heart of a child, 2009’s A Town Called Panic explodes across the screen with a purity of imagination and creativity that’s rarely seen. Hard to pin down (nor should one try), the film contains a kaleidoscope of genres within its bag of tricks – action, adventure, comedy, mystery, and love story – lending the whole affair a truly rubber-band-like quality. This film eats glass, man. Watch out. Big words for a stop-motion animated feature about a horse, a Cowboy, and an Indian – aptly named Horse, Cowboy, and Indian – and a plot just as simple: You see, it’s Horses’ birthday, so Cowboy and Indian decide to build him a brick barbecue pit. But only requiring a scant fifty bricks to complete the task, the bumbling duo order fifty million bricks by mistake. Realizing their mistake and seized with panic (sorry), Cowboy and Indian decide to hide the bricks, but choose the worst spot imaginable, practically razing the entire town. In so doing they set in motion the weirdest, most imaginative series of events ever to befall their neighbors. Co-directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, who bring so much detail to what at first seems simple, A Town Called Panic began as a French television show, gaining a cult following and allowing the creators time to cut their teeth and master their style – which truly shows in the full-length feature. The creators are so in control of the absurdity that they can warp and bend their animated space and time like the worst road on a rainy day – yet by the time we arrive at our destination, we’ve fallen head over heels in love with not only our animated trio but also the creators who breathed life into them – for they represent the child in all of us.

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