The Pied Piper of Basin Street (1945)
Article 5961 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Shamus Culhane
Voice cast unknown
What it is: Walter Lantz Swing Symphony
The mayor of a rat-infested city hires the Pied Piper of Basin Street to rid it of the pests. But what will happen when the mayor tries to underpay the piper?
Despite the fact that it updates the story with a modern setting and swing music, this is more or less a straightforward rendition of the tale, and therefore has the necessary qualifications for inclusion in the reviews. One thing that is outstanding in this cartoon is the excellence of the animation which I attribute to the presence of Shamus Culhane at the helm. The music (which features the work of jazz trombonist Jack Teagarden) is also excellent. The gags are fairly run of the mill, though, and I’m not quite sure why they opted to give the mayor a Lou Costello voice when he doesn’t appear to be modeled off the comedian. In general, the cartoons that came from Walter Lantz were a mixed bag, but this is one of the better ones.