Classic Film Review: A Town Called Panic (2009)

So I just finished watching a French animated film entitled A Town Called Panic…

A Town Called Panic tells the story of two young men named Cowboy and Indian. Unprepared for their room mate’s (?), a horse named…Horse, birthday, they try to order a set of bricks in order to build a barbecue for him, but end up ordering way too many bricks. Building the barbecue, and hiding the excess bricks on top of their house, things go swimmingly for them. That is, until the house is caved in by the weight of the bricks and Cowboy, Indian, and Horse must rebuild the house. However, a pair of sea creatures are stealing portions of the house once they are built, and the gang must get these house portions back, which leads them on a whacky adventure across the world.

What an adorable little movie. A funny, imaginative animated romp.

Decent script, good characters and performances, amazing animation, funny, etc.

This film made me feel like a child again. It has so much vibrancy and energy and it doesn’t let up. The film just throws all these crazy set pieces and gags at you all at once, and it clips along at a very brisk pace. It’s relentless. It’s like I’m 7 years old again playing with action figures and making up my own stories.

However, that energy and unrelenting pace kind of bites the film in the ass, because once the house gets demolished, the story goes off the rails. It wasn’t as focused as the first half hour or so, and the script got a tad sloppy with contrived conflicts, and a story beat (the scientists in the penguin mech launching snow balls) that just seemed to come out of thin air and ended up being a needless time sink.

Overall though, this is a fun time. Flawed, but energetic and well made. If you’re looking for a fun movie for your child that can also double as a bit of a reading test for them (foreign cinema can be beneficial in more ways than one), throw this on. Recommended for family movie night.

7 out of 10

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