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Blu-ray Review: A Town Called Panic: The Collection

December 21, 2017

By John Corrado

Following the wacky adventures of plastic toys Cowboy, Indian and Horse, A Town Called Panic is a stop motion animated series from Belgium that has gained somewhat of a cult following over the years.  Now all twenty short films are available for the first time on Blu-ray in A Town Called Panic: The Collection, which also has the two 26 minute specials Christmas Panic and Back to School Panic.

In Christmas Panic, Cowboy and Indian accidentally smash the Christmas log that Horse has baked.  When Horse calls up Santa himself to tell him to cancel Cowboy and Indian’s presents, they devise a scheme to replace the Christmas log, by stealing one from their neighbours.  It’s an amusing Christmas special, that has a madcap pace and features some delightful gags and a fun storyline.

In Back to School Panic, Cowboy and Indian are given a test that carries with it the prize of going to the moon, but Pig is the only one who knows the answer, so they shrink themselves and sneak into Pig’s brain.  It’s as zany and off the wall as it sounds, providing a prime example of A Town Called Panic‘s penchant for bizarro and ridiculous humour.  This anything goes brand of comedy is also evidenced throughout the twenty original short films, which are much shorter in length than these specials at just a few minutes each.

The only thing not included in this set is the 2009 feature film of the same name.  Directed by the Belgian duo of Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar, who also made the charming Ernest & Celestine, the entire series of A Town Called Panic has a playful and offbeat energy to it, calling to mind something that kids might make with their own toys.  Although it is somewhat of an acquired taste, and a little bit of it can admittedly go a long way, A Town Called Panic: The Collection offers an amusing selection of shorts and makes a fun and unique Christmas gift for the animation lovers on your list.

The Blu-ray also includes the bonus short The Sound of the Grey, a brief bit with the same characters.

A Town Called Panic: The Collection is a Shout! Factory release.  It’s 152 minutes and unrated.

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