In a world that seems to be growing increasingly insane, it's wonderful to have some controlled lunacy that is Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar’s A Town Called Panic, which features that antics of toy figures Cowboy and Indian, brought to life in stop-motion animation. As part of Art House Theater Day on September 24, two new specials will be showing in select theaters along with the Panic shorts, "Lisa & Jan" and "Cow-Hulk."
In "The Christmas Log," Cowboy and Indian's horseplay on Christmas Eve ends up potentially ruining the dinner their roommate Horse has planned. Horse is so angry he calls Santa and tells him not to bring presents. To get back in Horse's good graces, they try replacing it, but bend the rules to do so. When caught, it leads to every naughty boy's fantasy as they break into Santa's workshop to steal their presents.
In "Back to School," Cowboy and Indian have to skip a trip they had planned because of the first day of school. However, they soon become interested after learning about a contest conducted by new geography teacher, Mr. Yuri, wherein the winner who finds exact number of millimeters between Earth and the Moon will get a free trip and back across that distance. When the two fail to figure out the solution, they access the mind of Pig, an animal that belongs to neighbor Steven and who is also a classmate, to steal the answer.
Although I much prefer the world of A Town Called Panic in French, these two shorts were still very entertaining as the silliness of their actions in universal. The trip through Pig's mind was as detailed and compelling as a trip through the minds of characters in a Charlie Kaufman screenplay. Hopefully, these will be accessible soon after Art House Theater Day for those unable to get out to see them as they are a great treat.