Terkel in Trouble
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Danish Wikipedia. (September 2012)|
|Terkel in Trouble|
|Directed by||Kresten Vestbjerg Andersen
|Produced by||Trine Heidegaard
|Screenplay by||Mette Heeno|
|Story by||Karsten Kiilerich
|Music by||Bo Rasmussen|
|Edited by||Per Risager
Mikael R. Ryelund
Martin Wichmann Andersen
|Distributed by||Nordisk Film|
|Running time||77 minutes|
Terkel in Trouble (Danish: Terkel i knibe) is a Danish animated film. In the original language (Danish) all the voices are done by stand-up comedian Anders Matthesen, who also wrote the original story – released on a CD. The movie was also released in Norway under the name "Terkel i knipe", and all voices were done by actor Aksel Hennie.
Terkel is a normal boy who's in 6th grade at a secondary school together with his best friend Jason, who carries an iron pipe with him at all times even though he keeps on dropping it and cuss about it. Terkel and Jason are playing a Game Boy in the schoolyard of Chestnutlane one day when a strange man in a green panda sweater approaches them. The man, Justin (Danish: Gunnar Bjerre), tells Terkel that he has sat on a spider. "Nothing to worry about. They're just jeans. They can be washed." Terkel says.
Terkel's teacher gets fatally run over (much to the rejoice of the class), and the class's new teacher is the strange Justin. Terkel's parents Sheila and Leon get married and the two "bad boys" in his class, Sten and Saki, manipulate Terkel to steal beer for them at the party. When Terkel's short-tempered, alcoholic and violent uncle Stuart Stardust notices, he beats up Sten (Danish: Steen) (which also means "stone" in Norse) and Saki, for which they blame Terkel, so they begin bullying him, but no-one seems to want to help him.
One day the overweight girl in the class, Doris (Danish: Fede Dorit ("Fede" means "Fat")), approaches Terkel with a love letter. When Sten and Saki notice, they start teasing the two of them, calling them a couple. Terkel is torn: he wants to defend Doris, but instead, because he'd rather save face in front of the cool kids, he says "I'm certainly not in love with a fat cow like that!" Doris gets so upset that she jumps out the window from the fourth floor and dies (as the school principal says: "let's hope the fat cow didn't land on anybody"). After that Terkel starts receiving death threats: on his desk, painted on the ceiling of his room, on a stone which breaks his window, in his notebook... His parents aren't of any help – his chainsmoking mother tells him about all the diseases he might develop in strange ways (like getting SARS from wet wood) and his father only seems capable of one word: "No".
One day, Gunnar takes his class for a school trip where they are going to study the salamanders. Terkel doesn't want to go and begs his parents to let him stay at home. On the bus Sten and Saki invite Terkel to sit down with them, he does so and Jason becomes angry. When they get to the forest, where they are going to study the salamanders, Sten and Saki want him to sleep in their tent – he does. He gets a shock later when Saki stumbles into the tent with a black eye, telling him that Jason beat him up. Terkel thinks that Jason is acting strangely aloof, and Sten tells him that Doris was Jason's sister. Terkel is terrified, and thinks that all the death threats were from Jason, because he made his sister commit suicide. As they're going to bed, Terkel finds a dead cat in his sleeping bag and he receives a text message from Jason's phone which says "I'm coming to kill you". Sten and Saki advise Terkel to tell Justin, which he does. He wants to be safe from Jason, so Terkel insists that Justin come with him into the woods where he explains everything. Then he says "I'm gonna call Jason right now and say that I have told you everything". Justin protests but Terkel does so and to his horror, he hears ringing sounds coming from Justin's pocket. The plot unravels, and it turns out all the death threats and messages had been from Justin as a revenge for Terkel sitting on the spider when they first met. Terkel flees, and a thrilling race through the woods commences. Just as Justin has Terkel cornered, he is saved in the nick of time by Jason, who finally puts his iron bar to use. During the struggle the pipe is smashed into Justin's head presumably killing him. Terkel and Jason go away in the sunset once again friends, only to be scared by the narrator and music teacher Arne who wears a hockey mask and a chainsaw. The camera moves back and shows the audience that Justin is still alive.
The final credits include some outtake/blooper scenes, such as, Terkel's father being unable to remember his lines: "No".
The father's paper
Terkel's father Leon is always reading the same paper. Translated from Danish, it is called "Extra Hate", with the motto "Judges where others doubt", a play on the Danish lunchtime paper "Ekstra Bladet", which has the motto "Dares where others stay silent". The articles on the front page are "Cowboy sued: Has bad sense of humour and smells like cow", "Psychopath on the loose: Disguised himself as a guard dog and played dead" and "Puke yourself thin". The inside of the paper, that Leon is perpetually reading has the articles "Police chases young knifekiller" and "El Gigante fights dwarf". The back page reads "A green pin", or possibly "A green stick", as in gluestick or lipstick, depending on how one translates "stift", which can also be slang for male genitalia, but most likely it is slang for a bottle of beer, which in Denmark usually comes in a green bottle.
Terkel in Trouble was nominated for several awards in 2005, winning the Audience Award, the Best Children/Family Film, the Best Original Score, the Best Song and Best Sound awards at the Robert Festival, where it was also nominated for best screenplay. It also won the Grand Prize at Animafest Zagreb and was nominated for Best Feature at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and Best Danish Film at the Bodil Awards.