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The Tompa City Menace is a 2007 crime brickfilm by Jonathan Vaughan.[1][2] It follows The Man with the Top Hat from 2006, and serves as both a prequel and sequel to that film.[3] It is split into two sections, the first of which showing how the Man with the Top Hat became a criminal fifteen years before, and the second resuming after his escape from prison in the present day.[4]


Fifteen years ago, the Man with the Top Hat does not yet have his signature top hat, and he is working in a button shop. His boss is angry that he has only made one sale in the day, and tells him if he does not do better tomorrow, he will be fired. The next morning, the man leaves for work but his hat is taken away by the wind, so he goes to the nearby hat shop and picks out a top hat. He sees the new Tompa City Bank, and fantasizes about having untold riches. His boss finds him and tells him to get to work or he will be fired. Meanwhile, at a laboratory, a mad inventor activates a robot skeleton which follows his orders. A few nights later, the Man with the Top Hat enters the bank and makes off with a haul. Back at the laboratory, the stove catches fire & explodes, sending the skeleton flying into the sky & landing in front of the Man with the Top Hat.

In the present day, the Man with the Top Hat is wanted by police after he has been freed from prison by the skeleton and his henchmen. The skeleton and henchmen demand a big raise, but the Man with the Top Hat refuses and runs away. He heads to a film screening to hide in the dark theater, but here he is recognized as a wanted man, and police outside are informed. The skeleton and henchmen turn off the power to the cinema, which lures the Man with the Top Hat outside.

The skeleton and henchmen ambush their boss, and have a vehicle ready. The Man with the Top Hat manages to get to a car and flees from both his own crew and the police. He drives the car across an unfinished bridge and makes a big jump to lose his crew, but finds himself at a police roadblock. When back in prison, the skeleton arrives to announce that he has the cell key but he won't let the Man with the Top Hat out unless he gives the crew their raise.[4]


  • Jonathan Vaughan as The Man with the Top Hat, The Skeleton, Mad inventor, Mr. Marone
  • Larry E. Pillworth as Mr. Sirius Pleeb
  • Jennifer Allen as News reporter


  • Jonathan Vaughan - Writer, Director, Animator, Editor, Story, Visual effects, Sound design, Sets
  • Larry E. Pillworth - Assistant writer
  • Cedrick Salizar - Assistant writer


The Tompa City Menace was Vaughan's first film to utilize Carrara Studio for digital set extensions and other digital effects. He released a behind the scenes video featuring side-by-side comparisons of the final shots and the original footage before digital effects.

Within the film, in a theater, the Man with the Top Hat watches Picturesque, a brickfilm Vaughan had in production since 2006 and released in 2009. The footage on the screen is a previously created animation test and is not actual footage from Picturesque, which had not begun shooting at the time of The Tompa City Menace's creation.