Jimmy Neutron” for the “South Park” set, Denmark’s first CGI feature, “Terkel in Trouble,” presents a satirically jaded view of the life of a sixth-grader with a smokaholic mother, naysayer father, gruesomely accident-prone sister and drunken, violent uncle. Pic’s homeland success was largely due to the popularity of standup comic Anders Matthesen’s familiar stock company of dysfunctional characters (all Matthesen-voiced). With no U.S. tie-in, this animated opus, not aimed at PG auds, lacks a theatrical niche even if dubbed. Nonetheless, latenight TV exposure (e.g. Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim”) could launch a cult following.
Opening with a parody of “Seven’s” creepy credit sequence, “Terkel” combines pre-pubescent angst with horror-film affects asTerkel becomes a) the butt of class bullies, b) responsible for the graphically bloody suicide of an amorous fat girl, c) the cowardly betrayer of his best friend Jason and d) the terror-crazed target of an unknown stalker. Loose, cartoony “rubber-hose” design (helmer Stefan Fjeldmark, 2-D animation veteran, frees his humanoid preteen figures from the constraints of over-literal realism) and inventive “cinematic” touches, like the narrator popping up in the unlikeliest places to provide, on-the-spot commentary, add to the general zaniness.