Terkel in Trouble

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Terkel in Trouble
UK DVD cover
Directed byKresten Vestbjerg Andersen
Thorbjørn Christoffersen
Stefan Fjeldmark
Ray Gillon (UK version)
Produced byTrine Heidegaard
Thomas Heinesen
Martin Pope
Michael Rose (UK version)
Screenplay byMette Heeno
Story byAnders Matthesen
StarringAnders Matthesen
Kim Mattheson
Music byBo Rasmussen
Edited byPer Risager
Mikael R. Ryelund
Martin Wichmann Andersen
Distributed byNordisk Film (Denmark)
Eureka Entertainment (United Kingdom)
Indican Pictures (United States)
Release date
  • 20 March 2004 (2004-03-20) (NatFilm Festival)
  • 2 April 2004 (2004-04-02) (Denmark)
  • 1 September 2006 (2006-09-01) (United Kingdom)
  • 3 February 2017 (2017-02-03) (United States)
Running time
77 minutes

Terkel in Trouble (UK title) or The Trouble with Terkel (US title) (Danish: Terkel i knibe) is a 2004 Danish computer animated adult-oriented musical dark comedy horror film. In the original Danish version, almost all the voices are done by stand-up comedian Anders Matthesen, who also wrote the original story – released on a CD. In the Norwegian version, all voices were performed by actor Aksel Hennie. For the UK version, multiple actors are used such as Bill Bailey and Toby Stephens.


Terkel is 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 curses about it.) His Music teacher Barry introduces himself to the audience and sings a song, (Barry King of the Cool). 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. "No, it's no biggie. They're just jeans, and they can easily be washed," Terkel says.

Terkel's teacher Yvonne 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 on Saturday and the two "bully-boys" in his class, Nigel and Saki, manipulate Terkel to steal beer for them at the party. When Terkel's short-tempered, alcoholic and violent uncle Stewart Stardust notices, he beats up Nigel (Danish: Sten) (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. Justin gives him some weak advice, to Look at Yourself, and Terkel uses this to make a rap song against the bullies, (Look at Yourself). It fails horribly.

One day the overweight girl in the class, Dumpy Doris (Danish: Fede Dorit ("Fede" means "Fat")) approaches Terkel with a love letter. When Nigel 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 "No, there's no way I love that fat cow!" Doris gets so upset that she jumps out the window on the fourth floor and dies (as the school principal says: "lucky that fat cow didn't land on anyone's head down there").

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 bird flu from wet wood) and his father only seems capable of one word: "No". Then after some more harassment, Terkel calls his Uncle Stewart for help, but he ends up singing a drunk See Shanty about a little boy who tried to get help from Stewart, but he was drunk and chased him off. Only to find out latter the boy's dad was abusive and wound up beating him to death, (The Help Song). Terkel then goes to sleep where he has a nightmare full of Zombies, chainsaw killers, and a giant evil Doris who jumps on him from the school, (Paranoia). When he awakes, Terkel finds a dead animal in his room.

One day, Justin 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, Nigel and Saki invite Terkel to sit down with them. He does so and Jason becomes angry. During the bus trip, Justin sings a song about hard life and tells the story of a boy in Thailand named Quang who swims for pearls and prostitutes himself to German people, (Quang's Song). When they get to the forest, where they are going to study the salamanders, Nigel and Saki want him to sleep in their tent – he does. Jason then goes to a girl named Johanna to apologize to her, because at the camp site, he insulted her out of anger. After some weak begging, she tells him to fuck off and die, which winds up winning Jason over and he announces his love to her, she is very reluctant, but eventually goes for him (Fuck Off and Die). Back at the camp though, Terkel gets a shock later when Saki stumbles into the tent with a black eye, telling him that Jason slapped him in the face. Terkel thinks that Jason is acting strangely aloof, and Nigel 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". Nigel 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 call him now. I'll say I've 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 Barry 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 outtakes/bloopers, such as Leon being unable to remember his lines: "No".


Danish Version[edit]

  • Anders Matthesen as Terkel, Barry, Jason, Nigel, Saki, Johanna, Uncle Stewart, Leon, Justin, Osprey, and Fiona
  • Kim Matthesen as Sheila and Johanna

English Version (UK)[edit]

  • Bill Bailey as Barry Cremone, the narrator of the film and music teacher of Terkel's school
  • Ben Bishop as Jason, Terkel's best friend, Osprey, and Nigel & Saki, the two merciless "bully-boys" at Terkel's school
  • Olivia Colman as Sheila, Terkel's mum who is a chain smoker
  • Adrian Edmondson as Terkel, the main protagonist of the film
  • Helena Roman as Fiona, Terkel's sister, and Dumpy Doris, an overweight girl in Terkel's class who has a crush on Terkel
  • Toby Stephens as Justin, Terkel's psychotic new teacher who is the main antagonist of the film
  • Johnny Vegas as Uncle Stewart, Terkel's short-tempered, alcoholic and violent uncle
  • Tim Everett as Leon, Terkel's father, and Priest
  • Melaine Cooper as "Ho", Joanna, and Sally

Director of the UK version Ray Gillion and Gail Theis, alongside Cooper and Everett, provide the voices for the students in Class 7A.

Swedish Version[edit]

  • Felix Herngren as Terkel, Barry, Jason, Nigel, Saki, Johanna, Uncle Stewart, Leon, Justin, Osprey, and Fiona
  • Kim Matthesen as Sheila and Johanna

English Version (US)[edit]

Rhune Kincaid as Jason


  • Barry King of the Cool
  • In Honor of Leon's Wedding
  • Look at Yourself
  • The Help Song
  • Paranoia
  • Quang's Song
  • Fuck off and Die

In the UK version, Fuck off and Die is Piss off and Die, and the song has some lyric changes to fit British slang.


Terkel in Trouble was nominated for several awards in 2005, winning the Audience Award, the Best Children/Family Film (despite its adult-oriented material), the Best Original Score, the Best Song and Best Sound awards at the Robert Festival, where it was also nominated for best screenplay.[1]

It won the Grand Prize at Animafest Zagreb[2] and was nominated for Best Feature at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival[citation needed] and Best Danish Film at the Bodil Awards.[1]


  1. ^ a b Terkel i knibe (2004) – Awards, imdb.com; accessed 5 April 2017.
  2. ^ AWN Headline News Archived 2006-05-12 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]