Welcome back, friends, to a new Toon In offering! This week we are going to be taking a look at 1933’s The Pied Piper which is a classic Silly Symphony animated short. Produced by Walt Disney and released by United Artists on September 16, 1933 – this wonderful theatrical short obviously is an adaptation of the The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Being a Disney cartoon however you can be sure that most of the more disturbing elements of the folk tale have been taken out.
There is a reason why Stephen King was originally going to include a character’s demise at the jaws of hundreds of rats in Salem’s Lot after all. The Pied Piper at least shows a more humorous look at the pests that are plaguing the village of Hamelin. Although they still have need for someone to come and rescue them before it is too late – which is why the Mayor offers up a bulging sack of gold coins to anyone who can get rid of the rats. Which is of course the perfect time for the Pied Piper to make his appearance, right?
Unlike the original folk tale, which I listened to occasionally on LP in my youth, the Piper has a more novel approach of getting rid of all those rats. Furthermore this animated version of the Pied Piper has far more powers at his nimble fingers than you might be familiar with. Nonetheless the story remains basically the same – with our hero getting cheated out of his rightful pay. Not just by the Mayor mind you but it is evident the citizens of Hamelin think stiffing the traveling musician is a good idea too.
What is the Pied Piper to do but take pity on Hamelin, obviously not the adults, they are already set in their petty ways. No, the Piper decides to punish the citizens of Hamelin and make sure the children never grow up to be so shallow, so he leads them off to what the sign looks to read as playpenland. A fate which unlike the original folk tale doesn’t seem so horrifying to me!
Okay, grab your favorite snack and beverage and join us on Toon In with The Pied Piper!
[Via] Ichi3 Ruki3