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In 2009, a bizarre animated movie from Belgium released titled A Town Called Panic. Apparently, it's the film version of a series of animated shorts that appeared on television in Europe. My first exposure to the film was running across random trailers online, but a few months later I found it had made its way to Netflix.
The film is funny, bizarre, and fast-paced, and I recommend watching it – especially if you liked The Lego Movie.
The two films share a similar aesthetic. A Town Called Panic is truly stop-animated, while The Lego Movie did a fantastic job of emulating stop-animation. Both films star toys, and characters in both films move with a certain jilted speed and finesse that make it appear as though a child is controlling them. Both films also move at a breakneck pace, and explore radically different locations over the course of the story.
Stranger than the similar aesthetics, however, is the two films have nearly identical scenes showing the protagonists brushing their teeth and taking showers, both excitedly announcing what they're doing as they do it.
The two films also feature sets that feel hand-made, and water that looks more like hard-plastic than liquid.
These images were pulled from trailers for A Town Called Panic, and The Lego Movie.
I don't want to ruin an important and funny plot point in the film, but it's also worth noting in A Town Called Panic, a large collection of bricks play an important role in the film's story. Obviously, there are a lot of bricks in The Lego Movie.
Unfortunately, A Town Called Panic is no longer streamable on Netflix, but if you can find it, you should watch it. Here's the trailer.
Commenter cutthroat_tactics points out that the whole movie is up on Hulu. You can watch it without being a plus member here, and you totally should.
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