A Town Called Panic

At a time when computer animation has made it possible to make incredibly beautiful and detailed cartoons, there seems to have developed in opposition to this an aesthetic of crude animation. South Park is a good example of this. As a member of a generation that grew up on the cartoons of Hanna & Barbera, not to mention Rocky & Bullwinkle, I know how potent cheap animation can be. A Town Called Panic carries on this proud tradition of cartoon slumming.

The characters in this film all look like cheap plastic figurines (the kind you can purchase in a bag in a toy store); some even have little oval stands underneath their feet. (According to Wikipedia, 1500 plastic toys were used in the making of this film. Truly, a cast of hundreds!) They all move in awkward jerky motions, as if they were being moved around by children. The three main characters are Cowboy, Indian, and Horse. Their names describe them exactly. It would be impossible to summarize the story of this film. Suffice it to say, it involves some strange aquatic creatures that keep stealing the heroes’ house, as well as a giant robotic penguin that throws enormous snowballs. This film is 75 minutes of pure, unadulterated silliness with no redeeming social value whatsoever. Highly recommended.

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