Terkel in Trouble
|Terkel in Trouble|
UK DVD cover
|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 (Denmark)
Eureka Entertainment (United Kingdom)
Indican Pictures (United States)
Terkel in Trouble (Danish: Terkel i knibe; a.k.a. The Trouble with Terkel) is a 2004 Danish adult 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. In the Norwegian version, all voices were performed by actor Aksel Hennie. For the English 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. 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, Nigel 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 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.
One day the overweight girl in the class, 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 from the fourth floor and dies (as the school principal says: "let's hope 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 SARS from wet wood) and his father only seems capable of one word: "No".
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. 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. 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 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 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".
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.