A Town Called Panic (PG)
Friday 08 October 2010
Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar may be the funniest Belgian surrealists since René Magritte. Their stop-motion animation invokes a head-in-the-clouds papier-mâché otherworld that keeps shattering into pieces and then cleverly reconstituting itself. It centres upon a hilltop house where plastic figurines Cowboy, Indian and Horse all live in chaotic harmony; their bathroom routine is enough to make you giggle by itself.
Trouble starts when Cowboy and Indian decide to build a barbecue for Horse's birthday and order 50 bricks for the purpose on the internet – the order, by accident, turns into 50 million bricks. What follows has so much bizarre invention and wit (it's a little redolent of Wallace and Gromit's domestic misadventures) that after a while you feel like crying "Enough". It becomes literally too much of a good thing, even when you notice marvellous corner-of-the-eye details like a pig playing double bass in a full farmyard orchestra. At half its length this demented lyric comedy would be just right.
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