A Town Called Panic (film)

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A Town Called Panic
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stéphane Aubier
Vincent Patar
Produced by Adriana Piasek-Wanski
Written by Stéphane Aubier
Vincent Patar
Based on A Town Called Panic
Starring Stéphane Aubier
Vincent Patar
Jeanne Balibar
Nicolas Buysse
Véronique Dumont
Music by Fabien Pochet
Cinematography Jan Vandenbussche
Edited by Peter Bernaers
La Parti Productions
Distributed by Gébéka Films
Zeitgeist Films
Release date
  • 21 May 2009 (2009-05-21) (Cannes)
  • 28 October 2009 (2009-10-28) (France)
Running time
75 minutes
Country Belgium
Language French

A Town Called Panic (French: Panique au village) is a 2009 internationally co-produced stop-motion animated adventure fantasy comedy family film, starring Stéphane Aubier, Jeanne Balibar, Nicolas Buysse, François De Brigode, Véronique Dumont, Bruce Ellison, Christine Grulois, Frédéric Jannin, Bouli Lanners, Christelle Mahy, Éric Muller, François Neyken, Vincent Patar, Pipou, Franco Piscopo, Benoît Poelvoorde, David Ricci, Ben Tesseur and Alexandre von Sivers, co-produced in Belgium, Luxembourg and France, produced by Adriana Piasek-Wanski, Philippe Kauffmann, Xavier Diskeuve, Stéphan Roelants, Arlette Zylberberg and Vincent Tavier and distributed by Gébéka Films. It was written and directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar and is based on the TV series of the same name.[1]

It premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival and was the first stop-motion film to be screened at the festival.[2] The film was released theatrically on 28 October 2009 by Gébéka Films and Zeitgeist Films. The film received generally positive reviews with the film-critics.


Three plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian and Horse share a house in a rural town. Cowboy and Indian plan to surprise Horse with a homemade barbecue for his birthday. However, they accidentally order 50 million bricks instead of the 50 they actually require. This sets off a chain of events as the trio travel to the center of the earth, trek across frozen tundra and discover a parallel underwater universe of pointy-headed (and dishonest) creatures.


  • Stéphane Aubier as (Cowboy, Max Briquenet, Mr Ernotte)
  • Jeanne Balibar as (Madame Jacqueline Longrée; spelled "Longray" in some English subtitles)
  • Nicolas Buysse as (Sheep, Jean-Paul)
  • François De Brigode as (Sportscaster)
  • Véronique Dumont as (Janine)
  • Bruce Ellison as (Indian)
  • Christine Grulois as (Cow, Student)
  • Frédéric Jannin as (Policeman, Gérard, Brick Delivery Man)
  • Bouli Lanners as (Postman, Simon, Cow)
  • Christelle Mahy as (Chicken)
  • Éric Muller as (Rocky Gaufres, Music Student 1)
  • François Neyken as (Pig)
  • Vincent Patar as (Horse, Mother Atlante)
  • Pipou as (Michel's laugh)
  • Franco Piscopo as (Bear)
  • Benoît Poelvoorde as (Steven)
  • David Ricci as (Donkey, Michel)
  • Ben Tesseur as (Scientist 1)
  • Alexandre von Sivers as (Scientist 2)


The film was made over the course of 260 days in a studio on the outskirts of Brussels. 1500 plastic toy figures were used during filming.[3]


The film premiered at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival on 21 May 2009 and was released theatrically on 28 October 2009 by Gébéka Films and Zeitgeist Films. It was also released on DVD on 1 April 2010 by Madman Entertainment.

Critical response[edit]

Benoît Poelvoorde was praised by critics for his performance in the film.

The film received generally positive reviews, with the film-critics aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reporting 87% positive reviews based on 47 critics, with an average rating of 7.6/10. Little White Lies awarded the film 4 out of 5 for enjoyment stating "wide-eyed, broad smile" although in retrospect they scored the film 3 out of 5 suggesting that "like all toys. It will have a shelf life".[4] Empire magazine were very positive awarding the film 4 stars, summing it up as "Toy Story on absinthe"[5] and stating the film was "One of the year's true originals." Hollywood Reporter were positive also summarizing that "There's really very little to say about this film beyond that it's absolutely brilliant". Roger Ebert enjoyed the film, rating it 3.5/4 and stating that "Because the plot is just one doggoned thing after another without the slightest logic, there's no need to watch it all the way through at one sitting. If you watch it a chapter or two at a time, it should hold up nicely."[6] Ebert later placed the film on his list of the best animated films of 2010.

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (7 October 2010). "A Town Called Panic - review". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Punter, Jennie (19 February 2010). "A Town Called Panic". theglobeandmail.com. Toronto. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (8 April 2010). "'A Town Called Panic' induces wild, whimsical fun". post-gazette.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Seymour, Tom. "A Town Called Panic review". post-littlewhitelies.com. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Official UK Trailer & Poster For A Town Called Panic". post-thepeoplesmovies.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "A Town Called Panic". post-rogerebert.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Festival de Cannes: A Town Called Panic". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 17 May 2009. 
  8. ^ "indieWIRE: Fantastic Fest Thrills Up Prize Winners". indiewire.com. Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Nominees". lesmagritteducinema. Retrieved 14 January 2011. 

External links[edit]