A Town Called Panic (film)

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A Town Called Panic
Theatrical release poster
Directed byStéphane Aubier
Vincent Patar
Produced byPhilippe Kauffmann
Vincent Tavier
Written byStéphane Aubier
Guillaume Malandrin
Vincent Patar
Vincent Tavier
Based onA Town Called Panic
StarringStéphane Aubier
Jeanne Balibar
Nicolas Buysse
Véronique Dumont
Bruce Ellison
Frédéric Jannin
Bouli Lanners
Music byDionysos
French Cowboy
CinematographyJan Vandenbussche
Edited byAnne-Laure Guégan
La Parti Productions
Coproduction Office
Distributed byCinéart (Belgium)
Gébéka Films (France)
Release date
  • 21 May 2009 (2009-05-21) (Cannes)
  • 17 June 2009 (2009-06-17) (Belgium)
  • 28 October 2009 (2009-10-28) (France)
Running time
76 minutes

A Town Called Panic (French: Panique au village) is a 2009 internationally co-produced stop-motion animated adventure fantasy comedy family film directed by Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar and co-written by Aubier, Guillaume Malandrin, Patar, and Vincent Tavier. The film is based on the TV series of the same name and stars Aubier, Jeanne Balibar, Nicolas Buysse, Véronique Dumont, Bruce Ellison, Frédéric Jannin, Bouli Lanners, and Patar, among others.[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 in Belgium on 17 June 2009 by Cinéart and in France on 28 October 2009 by Gébéka Films. The film received generally positive reviews from 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 17 June 2009 in Belgium by Cinéart and on 28 October 2009 in France by Gébéka Films. It was also released on DVD in on 20 July 2010 by Zeitgeist Video.[4]

Critical response[edit]

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

The film received generally positive reviews, with the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reporting an 81% approval rating based on 80 critics, and an average rating of 7.1/10. The website's critical consensus states, "A Town Called Panic is a raucous, endlessly creative animated romp with a quirky, adult sense of humor."[5] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 70 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[6]

Little White Lies gave 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".[7] Empire magazine were very positive awarding the film 4 stars, summing it up as "Toy Story on absinthe"[8] and stating the film was "One of the year's true originals." Peter Brunette of The Hollywood Reporter was also positive summarizing that "There's really very little to say about this film beyond that it's absolutely brilliant."[9] Roger Ebert enjoyed the film, giving it three-and-a-half out of four stars 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."[10] Ebert later placed the film on his list of the best animated films of 2010.



  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". The Globe and Mail. Toronto: Phillip Crawley. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  3. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (8 April 2010). "'A Town Called Panic' induces wild, whimsical fun". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. John Robinson Block. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  4. ^ Gibron, Bill (25 June 2010). "A Town Called Panic : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". DVD Talk. Internet Marketing Solutions of Nevada, Inc. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  5. ^ "A Town Called Panic (Panique au village) (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  6. ^ "A Town Called Panic Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  7. ^ Seymour, Tom. "A Town Called Panic review". Little White Lies. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Official UK Trailer & Poster For A Town Called Panic". The Peoples Movies. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  9. ^ Brunette, Peter (22 May 2009). "A Town Called Panic (Panique au village) -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media, LLC. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  10. ^ "A Town Called Panic Movie Review (2010)". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Festival de Cannes: A Town Called Panic". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  12. ^ "indieWIRE: Fantastic Fest Thrills Up Prize Winners". IndieWire. Archived from the original on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2009.
  13. ^ "Nominees". lesmagritteducinema. Retrieved 14 January 2011.

External links[edit]