DIFF 2010 - Reesa Vacations In A Town Called Panic

In a little French village lives Horse with Cowboy and Indian. It’s the Horse’s birthday and the cowboy and Indian forgot. Instead of a hat that they give him every year, they decide to build him a barbeque. When they order the bricks online, a coffee cup leans on the enter key and instead of getting 50 bricks, it ends up tallying 5 million.

They lure Horse out of the house by getting their neighbor Steve to call and ask him to pick up his animals at music school. Horse is enamored with the teacher Madame Longree. The beautiful female horse talks him into signing up for piano lessons. When coming home, they get stuck in traffic due to the many trucks delivering bricks. Cowboy and Indian freak out and try to hide the bricks but manage to still make the barbeque. Horse crashes his car into it before they celebrate his birthday drinking and dancing with the neighbors and the policeman. Unfortunately, Cowboy and Indian stashed the brinks on top of the house. After they all go to bed, the house begins to crush from the weight. Horse and his friend’s escape, but the house is ruined in a mountainous pile of bricks. He makes the mischievous Cowboy and Indian rebuild his house. The next morning, they find the structure gone. They do it again and once more it’s disappeared. They set up a trap and chase the thieves underground. There, they encounter mad scientists with super strength who have a large mechanical penguin / sled that scoops up snow so they can take snowball shots at random people all over the world. After escaping from these guys, they discover the creatures that stole their walls used them to make their own house. The creatures trick the trio by getting them chased by barracudas. They managed to find a way up into their neighbor’s pond, but the creatures followed them.

The stop-motion animated clay characters are from a 2000 series produced in Belgium by Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier. The crude figures are made to look like cheap toy figurines with the base bottoms. Cowboy and Indian are like troublesome kids and Horse is their steady and forgiving friend. The story is not a fixed plotline and each of their adventures is like individual episodes which all come out to make sense at the end. Like The Fantastic Mr. Fox, it’s cleverly animated with humor that should please older teens and kids. Smaller ones may have problems with the French dialogue and reading the subtitles. It’s funny, incredible, and slightly manic. You never know what to expect next. (Review by Reesa Cruz Hawkins of Dallas Movie Screenings)