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1001 Animations: The Electric Piper by Regulas314 1001 Animations: The Electric Piper by Regulas314
Show: TV Movie
Episode: N/A
Year: 2003 (Produced 2000)

Writer(s): Bill Burnett
Director(s): Raymie Muzquiz


This might be the rarest thing ever aired on Nickelodeon! A lot of the best stuff Nick has ever had was either lost or abandoned due to negligence, stupidity or even maliciousness. And The Electric Piper is one of the most valuable treasures ever hunted for by Nickelodeon fans of all eras. It was a TV movie of similar qualities to what Class of 3000 would be years later. It was originally produced in the year 2000, but was held back for 3 years for whatever reason. And it only ever aired twice before it fell into obscurity for over 13 years.

 

To put it simply, this TV Movie accomplishes pretty much what Disney's Chicken Little failed to do: modernize a beloved and classic fairy tale and utilize the stupidity and cruelty of parents the right way. For those who don't know, The Pied Piper was the tale of a minstrel whose magical flue playing skills rid the town of Hamelin of a rat infestation. Because the town wouldn't pay the price he asked, he used his flute to kidnap their children and lead them to a mountain to live with him, or kill them by drowning; it differs from version to version. It basically teaches the lesson that you should always keep your promises, or lose that which you value most.

 

The Electric Piper updates the tale by making it musical cartoon with colorful graphics and a a 1970’s aesthetic. Even after 16 years, this thing still looks beautiful, and the comparison to Class of 3000 becomes even more apt. The adults of Hamlin, USA, have become consumed by business, and as such begin to care little for their own children, becoming overprotective and not listening to what they say. They aren't even aware that the town even HAS a rat problem! To the naked eye, it comes off a lot like one of those rock n roll stories where the child has talent that the parents don't appreciate, as is the case for brother Mick Dixon whose father, Nick, doesn't like his music and is also the mayor, and sister Janet whose mom, Patricia, wants her to be a housewife.

 

The children are sick of this bullshit and want the talking rats lead King Rat-A-Tat-Tat (voiced by Rodney Dangerfield; I'm not kidding) out of town. And out of the blue comes the long lost brother of Jimi Hendrix! I kid, but seriously, we meet the Electric Piper himself, Sly (voiced by the wonderful Wayne Brady of Whose Line Is It Anyway?). I love Sly and consider him one of the coolest adult characters in animation. He's got the fashion sense and musical styling of Hendrix himself, but is wise as can be. Like a psychotropic Dr. Seuss character, he speaks in rhyme and can use music like real magic! He is a true friend to all children and is one of the chilliest dudes around. When he isn't a magical pest controller, he rides the wind looking for wherever it'll take him.

 

He'll get rid of the rats with his mad skills of harmonica and guitar, but at a price: the mayor's sweet motorcycle named Marilyn! And no surprise, in his younger years, the mayor was a bit of a wild guy too; that's how he met his wife on that motorcycle. I can understand why he wouldn't want to get rid of it, but he hasn't used it in years despite the sentimental value of the bike. What matters is the memories had by it, not the bike itself, especially since the town's in the midst a hostile takeover. In the original tale, the Piper's music leads the rats in the river for them to drown, but because PETA was a serious thing back then, Sly instead has the rats SWIM away from the town by going Sgt. Pepper and his Lonely Hearts Club with a dash of Hendrix funk! You really need to see this thing for yourself; it's a sight to behold!

 

Like in the original tale, Sly doesn't get his payment from the mayor due to his attachments to "Marilyn"; the only difference is he doesn't take the children of Hamlin by force and hypnosis as collateral. Instead, the children see how dishonest their parents are, and with some encouragement from Sly, Mick and the others lead onward to his mountain hideaway. A lot of people can relate to Mick, Janet and Sly in a big way; a lot of people have been belittled by their parents and just had their dreams and talents go unappreciated even when they really were talented, told they'd never amount to anything with what they can do, and many fell into depressions forgoing what made them happy. This movie is one of those things that give the message of anything being possible, but it does so in a way that really makes you feel for the protagonists on a realistic level. 

 

Also, Sly can create matter with his music, which is fucking awesome. But even with a guy like Sly around poor Mick still doesn't get the chance to show off his guitar skills, but not because Sly doesn't believe in him. It's because Mick isn't have the courage to ask him, and Sly knows this. And even with all Sly provides for the kids, Mick and Janet know none of it is real, and they eventually long for home, especially Mick since he isn't feeling like he's doing what he's really wanted.

 

It also helps that we also see the fates of the parents of Hamlin after their children run away from them to hammer in the point that while they may not have been good to them, they're still human and they really do love their kids; we feel the same pain off loss that they feel. They aren't bad people, just overbearing and take their roles as parents too seriously. In Chicken Little, Buck Cluck failed at having us sympathize with him because it wasn't enough that his son embarrassed him, he flat-out felt embarrassed to be NEAR HIM! And with the mayor especially, we can see how willing he is to own up to the mistakes he make to get his kids back. But that ain't enough as we see that the parents of Hamlin are growing older by the day due to their stubborn nature as payback for what they did to Sly and their children, or should I say years?

 

The last 20 minutes are especially good: we get to see just what kind of skill Mick can pull off when he really puts his mind to it and plays from the heart. Sure, he can't do magic as good as Sly, but it's all a matter of going with what's in your heart where the real magic is. The parents truly learn the error of their ways, and it doesn't come off as remotely halfhearted. And we see that Sly, despite his insistence the kids stay with him forever, is a fair guy, but even so hates to see the kids of Hamlin go, since he's a very lonely man only wanting a real family who can love him as much as he could love them. I legitimately haven't seen such magical musical talent since Yellow Submarine with this thing! All the fantasy in the world cannot substitute experiencing the real world. Those kids have hopes and dreams, and no lava surfing or walrus open-heart surgery or magic food from a minstrel can change that they must experience life their own way. As we see that Sly himself learns to accept this when he uses his magic to bring Mick back to life after he died trying to help his friends leave the cave. 

 

Yeah, I'll admit the ending is very optimistic with the kids going home and the parents’ youth being restored and all. It's what you'd expect from a kids movie made in the 2000’s, but it's how they come to it that really makes it work; it just feels very organic and natural. The parents never gave up hope for the day their kids would come back, and it's Mick who restores life back to Hamlin after what he learned from Sly. It's like a koala crapped a rainbow in my brain! What else is there to say? Rock on!

 

To all of you out there, don't let this wonder of the past become lost again. I don't normally do this, but here's some links to where you can find this lost gem of Nickelodeon's heyday. Do what you can to preserve The Electric Piper for generations to come, and don't let Viacom take it away from us!


archive.org/details/vimeo-1782…
youtu.be/XkGZ3Enu_7k


The Electric Piper is owned by Nickelodeon, Viacom, Frederator and Raymie Muzquiz.

1001 Animations is from :iconmrenter:

Regulas314
Add a Comment:
 
:iconecclytennysmithylove:
Ecclytennysmithylove Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Student General Artist
I fixed a few errors in your review summary, so do the same thing as always:
















This might be the rarest thing ever aired on Nickelodeon! A lot of the best stuff Nick has ever had was either lost or abandoned due to negligence, stupidity or even maliciousness. And The Electric Piper is one of the most valuable treasures ever hunted for by Nickelodeon fans of all eras. It was a TV movie of similar qualities to what Class of 3000 would be years later. It was originally produced in the year 2000, but was held back for 3 years for whatever reason. And it only ever aired twice before it fell into obscurity for over 13 years.

 

To put it simply, this TV Movie accomplishes pretty much what Disney's Chicken Little failed to do: modernize a beloved and classic fairy tale and utilize the stupidity and cruelty of parents the right way. For those who don't know, The Pied Piper was the tale of a minstrel whose magical flue playing skills rid the town of Hamelin of a rat infestation. Because the town wouldn't pay the price he asked, he used his flute to kidnap their children and lead them to a mountain to live with him, or kill them by drowning; it differs from version to version. It basically teaches the lesson that you should always keep your promises, or lose that which you value most.

 

The Electric Piper updates the tale by making it a musical cartoon with colorful graphics and a 1970’s aesthetic. Even after 16 years, this thing still looks beautiful, and the comparison to Class of 3000 becomes even more apt. The adults of Hamlin, USA, have become consumed by business, and as such begin to care little for their own children, becoming overprotective and not listening to what they say. They aren't even aware that the town even HAS a rat problem! To the naked eye, it comes off a lot like one of those rock n roll stories where the child has talent that the parents don't appreciate, as is the case for brother Mick Dixon whose father, Nick, doesn't like his music and is also the mayor, and sister Janet whose mom, Patricia, wants her to be a housewife.

 

The children are sick of this bullshit and want the talking rats lead King Rat-A-Tat-Tat (voiced by Rodney Dangerfield; I'm not kidding) out of town. And out of the blue comes the long lost brother of Jimi Hendrix! I kid, but seriously, we meet the Electric Piper himself, Sly (voiced by the wonderful Wayne Brady of Whose Line Is It Anyway?). I love Sly and consider him one of the coolest adult characters in animation. He's got the fashion sense and musical styling of Hendrix himself, but is wise as can be. Like a psychotropic Dr. Seuss character, he speaks in rhyme and can use music like real magic! He is a true friend to all children and is one of the chilliest dudes around. When he isn't a magical pest controller, he rides the wind looking for wherever it'll take him.

 

He'll get rid of the rats with his mad skills of harmonica and guitar, but at a price: the mayor's sweet motorcycle named Marilyn! And no surprise: in his younger years, the mayor was a bit of a wild guy too; that's how he met his wife on that motorcycle. I can understand why he wouldn't want to get rid of it, but he hasn't used it in years despite the sentimental value of the bike. What matters is the memories had by it, not the bike itself, especially since the town's in the midst a hostile takeover. In the original tale, the Piper's music leads the rats in the river for them to drown, but because PETA was a serious thing back then, Sly instead has the rats SWIM away from the town by going Sgt. Pepper and his Lonely Hearts Club with a dash of Hendrix funk! You really need to see this thing for yourself; it's a sight to behold!

 

Like in the original tale, Sly doesn't get his payment from the mayor due to his attachments to "Marilyn"; the only difference is he doesn't take the children of Hamlin by force and hypnosis as collateral. Instead, the children see how dishonest their parents are, and with some encouragement from Sly, Mick and the others lead onward to his mountain hideaway. A lot of people can relate to Mick, Janet and Sly in a big way: a lot of people have been belittled by their parents and just had their dreams and talents go unappreciated even when they really were talented, told they'd never amount to anything with what they can do, and many fell into depressions forgoing what made them happy. This movie is one of those things that give the message of anything being possible, but it does so in a way that really makes you feel for the protagonists on a realistic level. 

 

Also, Sly can create matter with his music, which is fucking awesome. But even with a guy like Sly around poor Mick still doesn't get the chance to show off his guitar skills, but not because Sly doesn't believe in him. It's because Mick doesn't have the courage to ask him, and Sly knows this. And even with all Sly provides for the kids, Mick and Janet know none of it is real, and they eventually long for home, especially Mick since he isn't feeling like he's doing what he's really wanted.

 

It also helps that we also see the fates of the parents of Hamlin after their children run away from them to hammer in the point that while they may not have been good to them, they're still human, and they really do love their kids; we feel the same pain off loss that they feel. They aren't bad people, just overbearing and taking their roles as parents too seriously. In Chicken Little, Buck Cluck failed at having us sympathize with him because it wasn't enough that his son embarrassed him, he flat-out felt embarrassed to be NEAR HIM! And with the mayor especially, we can see how willing he is to own up to the mistakes he make to get his kids back. But that ain't enough as we see that the parents of Hamlin are growing older by the day due to their stubborn nature as payback for what they did to Sly and their children, or should I say years.

 

The last 20 minutes are especially good: we get to see just what kind of skill Mick can pull off when he really puts his mind to it and plays from the heart. Sure, he can't do magic as good as Sly, but it's all a matter of going with what's in your heart where the real magic is. The parents truly learn the error of their ways, and it doesn't come off as remotely halfhearted. And we see that Sly, despite his insistence the kids stay with him forever, is a fair guy, but even so hates to see the kids of Hamlin go, since he's a very lonely man only wanting a real family who can love him as much as he could love them. I legitimately haven't seen such magical musical talent since Yellow Submarine with this thing! All the fantasy in the world cannot substitute experiencing the real world. Those kids have hopes and dreams, and no lava surfing or walrus open-heart surgery or magic food from a minstrel can change that they must experience life their own way. As we see that Sly himself learns to accept this when he uses his magic to bring Mick back to life after he died trying to help his friends leave the cave. 

 

Yeah, I'll admit the ending is very optimistic with the kids going home and the parents’ youth being restored and all. It's what you'd expect from a kids movie made in the 2000’s, but it's how they come to it that really makes it work; it just feels very organic and natural. The parents never gave up hope for the day their kids would come back, and it's Mick who restores life back to Hamlin after what he learned from Sly. It's like a koala crapped a rainbow in my brain! What else is there to say? Rock on!

 

To all of you out there, don't let this wonder of the past become lost again. I don't normally do this, but here's some links to where you can find this lost gem of Nickelodeon's heyday. Do what you can to preserve The Electric Piper for generations to come, and don't let Viacom take it away from us!

Reply
:iconkawwaiiwatermelone:
KawwaiiWatermelone Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Have you seen The movie Yet? Its AMAZING with soo many different emotions 
Reply
Hidden by Owner
:iconindigobunny99:
indigobunny99 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Did Hammerman just got funkier than usual.
Reply
:iconregulas314:
Regulas314 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2016
He got guud.
Reply
:iconsrbarker:
srbarker Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Your review of the movie got mentioned on the film's Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elec…
Reply
:iconregulas314:
Regulas314 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2016
AWESOME!
Reply
:iconecclytennysmithylove:
Ecclytennysmithylove Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2016  Student General Artist
And whoever posted it on the film's Wikipedia page didn't cite the resource
Reply
:iconwildstar27:
wildstar27 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2016
I remember this movie from back in the day
Reply
:iconflutterbunny76:
Flutterbunny76 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016
XD Nick Dixon is a spoonerism of Dick Nixon.
Reply
:iconregulas314:
Regulas314 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016
XD I just got that!
Reply
:iconsrbarker:
srbarker Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
I remember seeing part of this on TV when I was 10.
Reply
:iconregulas314:
Regulas314 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016
Lucky.
Reply
:iconsrbarker:
srbarker Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Yeah, but I completely forgot about it until I saw it listed in blameitonjorge's Top 20 Lost Kids Films video. And now that the entire movie has been found, I should probably give it a watch when I have the time.
Reply
:iconrandomdrawsstuff:
RandomDrawsStuff Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
WHEN'S FANGFACE ALREADY!!??
Reply
:iconregulas314:
Regulas314 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016
Well now you don't get the review. Thanks for that.
Reply
:iconjtcampbellakathesuit:
You should check out the short lived animated series called Napoleon Dynamite (named after the movie).
Reply
:iconregulas314:
Regulas314 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016
The thing that died sooner than Allen Gregory? And aired at the same time as Allen Gregory? No thank you!
Reply
:iconjediuser:
Jediuser Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2016
I heard it was really bad. 
Reply
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August 17, 2016
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