September 24th was National Art House Theater Day and, to celebrate, my neighborhood theater had a treat for us animation buffs – the package film A Town Called Panic: Double Fun. If you are unfamiliar with the series, A Town Called Panic is a French stop-motion absurdist series from directors Stephane Aubier and Vincent Patar. Previously they had a feature film in 2009 called A Town Called Panic, which is absolutely hilarious. While Double Fun wasn’t as funny, it still was a joyous film to watch.
We all know comedy is by far the most subjective of all movie genres, so I am well aware some people will find A Town Called Panic more stupid than funny. I get that, but it really made me laugh. The series focuses on a Horse, an Indian, and a Cowboy (those are their names in the series: Horse, Indian, and Cowboy) and their insane adventures.
In the first main short, “Christmas Panic,” Horse calls Santa and tells him not to deliver any presents for Cowboy and Indian because they ruined his Christmas log cake. Cowboy and Indian follow Santa trying to get their presents and then try to steal the neighbor’s log cake. It’s all very silly, but it makes me laugh.
Then, in “Back to School Panic,” Cowboy and Indian go back to school and find out they can win a trip to the moon if they figure out the distance there in millimeters. Let’s just say it involves an Inside Out type adventure in the brain of a pig that is very funny and inventive.
Absurdist humor like A Town Called Panic: Double Fun is not going to be for everyone, but I think most views can appreciate the brilliance that goes into the seemingly simple stop-motion. None of these shorts last that long, so I think viewers will at least enjoy the shorts on an artistic level.
But take a look at the trailer and see if it seems like your type of humor:
I recommend checking out both the feature film A Town Called Panic and A Town Called Panic: Double Fun. If you are an Amazon prime member, you can currently watch the feature film for free. It gave me some of the biggest laughs I have had in years. Double Fun is slightly less memorable, but is still definitely worth checking out.
Have any of you seen A Town Called Panic? What is your favorite animated comedy? Put it in the comments below!
Rachel is a rottentomatoes approved film critic that has loved animation since she was a little girl belting out songs from 'The Little Mermaid'. She reviews as many films as she can each year and loves interviewing actors, directors, and anyone with an interesting story to tell. Rachel is the founder of the popular Hallmarkies Podcast, and the Rachel's Reviews podcast/youtube channel, which covers all things animated including a monthly Talking Disney and Obscure Animation show.