Director: Wilfred Jackson
Release Date: September 16, 1933
‘The Pied Piper’ is a vivid re-telling of the original fairy tale in operetta fashion.
Thus ‘The Pied Pier’, together with ‘King Neptune‘ (1932) and ‘Father Noah’s Ark‘ (1933), belongs to the operetta- like Silly Symphonies. Its human designs, however, are way more detailed and anatomically correct than in these two films, making King Neptune and Father Noah looking old-fashioned, already.
Unfortunately, at the same time, a sugary approach is unleashed, as well. No doubt due to the Hays code, the rats are not drown, but caught in an imaginary cheese. Likewise, the children do not just disappear, but they’re lured into ‘Joyland’, where even the crippled get cured. So, in the end, practically no harm is done to anyone.
And so, like the contemporary ‘Lullaby Land‘, ‘The Pied Piper’ is a strange mixture of ever advancing animation and rather infantile material. A great deal of the remaining Silly Symphonies would share this mixture, and even Disney’s first features, like ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ (1937) and ‘Bambi‘ (1942) are not immune to it.
The children designs used here would pop up in numerous sugary cartoons from the thirties, including those from other studios. And, unfortunately, there would be a lot of them…
Watch ‘The Pied Piper’ yourself and tell me what you think:
This is Silly Symphony No. 39
To the previous Silly Symphony: Lullaby Land
To the next Silly Symphony: The Night before Christmas