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  • Gareth Crook

A Town Called Panic (2009)

Updated: Dec 10, 2020

Well let’s just say this is bloody fantastic. I could stop there. Watch it, it’s amazing! This is another old favourite, but I knew that the years would be kind to A Town Called Panic. It’s wonderfully insane, brilliantly bonkers comedy. The kind of farcical animated comedy perhaps only the French could come up with. It’s all stop motion animation, but not slick Aardman style stuff. It’s purposely a bit rough. Cowboy and Indian are a great double act. They live with Horse, not a horse, Horse, although he is a horse. They’ve buggered up though, it’s Horse’s birthday and they’ve forgotten! They decide to build him a barbecue, but need bricks. So they enlist their neighbour Steven to help out, he provides a distraction by asking Horse to pick up his animals from music class with Madame Longray. Horse is very excited by this as he fancies Madame Longray. Indian accidentally orders 50 million bricks and Horse signs himself up for piano lessons. But what’s a birthday without a party! So it’s all back to Horse’s for beer and chocolate hay and dancing into the night. Horse even gets to slow dance with Madame Longray or, Jacqueline. Steven gets too pissed, passes out, wakes up to find Policeman dancing with his wife and goes for him with a broken bottle. The elephant in the room though (just the figure of speech, there is no elephant in this), is what the fuck happened to all those bricks!!? They only used 50 to build the barbecue. Well they’re stacked on top of the house obviously. Which then collapses under the weight, destroying the surrounding area and nearly killing Horse, Cowboy and Indian. Steven is not happy either as his tractor is written off. The barbecue survived through. The house needs rebuilding, they’ve got enough bricks, but it means Horse missing his piano lessons and Cowboy and Indian are workshy. They rebuild it, twice! and it keeps disappearing! There’s a thief in Panic. I’ve no idea how to describe what happens next and to be honest I’m loathed to spoil it, everyone needs to watch this to appreciate just how brilliant it is. Things don’t stay above ground though, the thieves aren’t local and the gang find themselves miles into the earth’s crust, meaning Horse is going to miss another piano lesson! When they eventually reach the surface, they’re not in Panic anymore, there’s bloody snow everywhere and Gerard, the thief they were chasing has scarpered. Gerard it should be said is a merman... I think. Before long they find him in a giant snowball making machine shaped like a penguin, manned by three mad scientists. By now the gang are being missed in Panic and Policeman is searching with the help of a flying pig. Meanwhile the gang now find themselves underwater having escaped in a snowball. As if this weren’t all funny enough, Horse is now wearing a snorkel! Cowboy is improvising with a TV on his head. They find their missing walls, but not before Horse misses another piano class. Madame Longray isn’t happy. She’s planning a concert and Horse is falling behind the rest of the class. They get chased by barracudas, attacked with swordfish, it’s all action! The finale is all out war, with projectile cows, Steven on his tractor and the town flooded as the two worlds collide. Horse makes it to a piano class though. One year later, the town is rebuilt, now in harmony with their underwater neighbours. Horse has nailed the piano and just in time for his birthday party. Cowboy and Indian have bought him a giant firework, what could possibly go wrong!?



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