An animated re-release/recycling of a hit Danish animated film, “The Trouble with Terkel” was released in 2004, and rather than remake the original animated movie, this new version is re-released with a new title, and a hastily recorded American dub was slapped on to the film. There’s no update to the animation, no re-editing, or anything of the sort. 2004 feels like a whole other century ago, so it’s not surprising “The Trouble with Terkel” watches like a painfully outdated mess. It also doesn’t help that the producers kept all of the country’s background signs and whatnot. So when our characters are in the candy store buying “Sukkerfryd Slik” with “Fedt Nuder!” it’s impossible to not get pulled out of the paper thin narrative.
The titular Terkel is an awkward boy in a dysfunctional family who is friends with a violent kid who carries a pipe—for some reason. When he accidentally rises to popularity in school, his life becomes worse than ever, and there’s a psycho on the loose—for some reason. “The Trouble with Terkel” assumes that it can just shove a bunch of crude, violent and random humor, see what sticks to the wall, and hopefully bring all the “South Park” fans flocking. Push in a lot of offensive humor, and audiences will gasp and faint, but so many other people have beaten them to the punch by now. The height of offensiveness is that Terkel’s teacher is named Dick Balsac (Ballsack). Get it? He’s also constantly hit on by three underage girls in his class. Shield your eyes!
One of the things I hate about the rise in popularity of “South Park” (despite loving the show) is that everyone assumed that since the animation looked cheap, and the humor was crude, that anyone and everyone can copy its success and formula. “South Park” is crude, violent, and disgusting, but it also manages to be hilarious, and sneak in a lot of very relevant humor about social themes, political themes, and taboos that no one talks about or are too scared to confront. This is why “South Park” is still on and discussed in the media, while “Beavis and Butt Head” isn’t. Eventually the audience will outgrow poop humor and want more. Most of them, anyway. Even in 2004, “The Trouble with Terkel” would have been outright dismissed by folks that appreciate adult animation. It’s a miserable, long, abomination and a contender for the worst movie of 2017.