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Animation / The Pied Piper

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Krysar ("The Pied Piper") is a 1986 Czechoslovakian animated dark fantasy film that was directed by Jiří Barta and is an adaptation of the classic fairy tale The Pied Piper of Hamelin.

The film starts off with the townspeople of Hamelin doing their daily chores, while showing the audience just how petty and greedy the people are. One day however, the people ended up wasting so much food and items, that a rat infestation takes place at night and the rats ended up taking over the town of Hamelin. It was then that the Pied Piper himself comes into town and the town leaders offered the Pied Piper 1,000 gold coins as payment if he gets rid of the rats. The Pied Piper accepts the payment and he starts playing his flute that ended up causing the rats to follow him out of town and jump into the lake at the edge of the city where they all drowned.


Meanwhile, the jeweler, who is apart of the elite group of the town's leaders, tries to seduce an innocent woman. But the innocent woman doesn't want anything to do with the jeweler and she instead falls in love with the Pied Piper himself. Afterwards, the Pied Piper goes to the town leaders to collect his payment, but the town leaders refused to pay the Pied Piper and the Pied Piper ends up leaving in anger. Things get worse from that point forward...

This film was notable for being a much Darker and Edgier adaptation of the classic fairy tale.

The full movie can be found here.



  • Adaptational Heroism: Zigzagged with the Pied Piper himself. On the one hand, his motivations for luring the townspeople to their deaths was not only because he didn't get paid, but also because he witnessed the death of an innocent woman. On the other hand, he actually committed genocide in this version by leading the townspeople to their deaths whereas in the original fairy tale, the worst he did was lure the children away to never be seen again. However, considering he spared an innocent baby and the Fisherman, who were the only pure souls left after the woman's death, it does give him some heroic points.
  • Art Shift: There are some scenes where the rats are shown in live action. This was done to show that the rats are more alive than the majority of the humans, who are always portrayed in a robotic or wooden manner.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness:
    • The young woman who falls in love with the Pied Piper is very beautiful and is one of the only characters in the film who is not corrupted by greed.
    • Downplayed with the Fisherman as he has a similar design to most of the townspeople, although his design is far more "soft" and organic-looking compared to the other townspeople. And he is one of the few innocent characters who gets spared by the Piper thanks to his niceness and is even able to have a happy ending by saving an abandoned baby and taking it to a new, better home.
  • Bittersweet Ending: While all of the corrupt and cruel townspeople were transformed into rats and fell into the lake to drown in karmic fashion, the young innocent woman was murdered without the Piper being able to save her and the Piper himself vanishes after the townspeople are drowned and Hamelin is left empty. But the benevolent Fisherman is spared by the Piper and rescues a baby that the Piper also spared, taking the child to a better place to live in.
  • Body Horror: The townspeople experienced this when they started transforming into rats. Either some of the townspeople had rat heads on a human body or some had human heads on rat bodies. The most notable example is the Jeweler who retains his human head as his body transforms into that of a rat's, right up to his death.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Fisherman shows up at the middle point of the film watching the town of Hamelin and the Piper's arrival from afar with curiosity. He returns in the last 5 minutes of the film after the Piper is finished with drowning the rat-humans, as he searches the empty town of Hamelin until he hears the cries of an abandoned baby. He then rescues the baby and takes it away with him to a better place to live in.
  • Crapsack World: The town of Hamelin is not a nice place to live in as all the townspeople are greedy and petty and the town leaders are especially corrupted. The only good people in the town are the young and innocent woman, the Fisherman and the baby who all either refuse to fall into the rabbit hole of greed and cruelty of the other townsfolk (woman and Fisherman) or simply can't do so because of their age (the baby).
  • Darker and Edgier: Even though the original fairy tale had the Pied Piper lure the children of Hamelin away to never be seen again, this version contains a bit of violence, a darker and gloomier atmosphere, a heavily implied rape and murder scene of an innocent woman and the Pied Piper transforming all of the townspeople into rats and leading them to the lake to drown. Also, the Pied Piper's appearance is much darker and more mysterious than the jester like appearance in other interpretations.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Piper might look scary and resemble a Dark Lord with his big hood, but he's ultimately one of the nicer characters in the film. He doesn't even take action against the town of Hamelin after they cheated him out of his payment. It's not until he finds the innocent woman dead after the Jeweler and two other elites assaulted and killed her, at which at that point, all bets are off and he makes the whole town pay for their cruelty and greed.
  • Deranged Animation: Since the designs of the city and the characters were based on German Expressionism and medieval German art, the movie tends to evoke this. Like for instance, there were a couple of scenes where the rats are shown to be much larger in scale than the buildings and the people themselves. It all helps us see how corrupt and cruel the town of Hamelin is in its entirety.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: For all the trouble that the rats had caused, the film portrays the rodents in a sympathetic light by showing that they merely follow their nature and care about each other's well-being by being willing to share resources and food with each other. The rats are also portrayed in a soft and "alive" way with realistic designs and movements and even including Stock Footage of live rats to enforce this. Meanwhile, the humans of Hamelin are either stupid, ruthless, corrupt, selfish, greedy, perverted, or gluttonous while portrayed in a deranged mechanical manner. Averted with the Fisherman, the innocent woman and the baby who were the only good people in the town of Hamelin.
  • Jabba Table Manners: The town leaders themselves. Whenever a scene of them eating occurs, they are shown greedily shoving food down their throats accompanied with loud smacking. They also throw food everywhere, which is what caused the rats to invade the town of Hamelin.
  • Karmic Death: Most of Hamelin's inhabitants meet their ends when the Piper transforms them into rats and uses his flute to lure them all to their deaths via drowning, as he did to the rats that the citizens had hired him to get rid of. Special mention goes to the Jeweler, who was responsible for the innocent woman's death and is the last one to die, as he turns around and vainly begs for mercy before the Piper intensifies his melody and sends the Jeweler plummeting to his watery grave. Another mention is the butcher who was shown happily slaughtering animals before the rats' invasion and he ends up being killed by a rat trap as he tries following the rat horde.
  • Kill 'Em All: What happened to the townspeople at the end of the film after they were transformed into rats and force to go into the lake to drown. The only survivors were the Fisherman and the baby, who were innocent characters and the innocent woman was killed before the townspeople were transformed into rats.
  • Kill the Cutie: The young and innocent woman who falls in love with the Pied Piper ends up being raped and murdered by the Jeweler and his companions later on in the film.
  • Mind-Control Music: Per tradition, the Piper's flute allows him to mind-control the horde of rats to lead them to their dooms. It can also mind-control an entire town of humans (and only those who the Piper wants to) in addition to transforming them into what the Piper wants (in this case, rats).
  • No Name Given: Other than the Piper himself via the title, no one in the film is given a name.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: The rats are ultimately this as they're destructive disease-ridden vermin to the town of Hamelin, but are ultimately animals following their instincts to survive. Also, they're willing to share resources and keep each other safe. This is in contrast to the very malicious and evil humans of Hamelin.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Even though the film ends with the now deserted Hamelin being abandoned, the Fisherman, who was one of the few people left alive, was able to rescue an abandoned baby and he ends up taking the baby to a better place to live in signifying some hope for the remaining survivors of Hamelin.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Pied Piper towards the end of the film when he transforms the townspeople into rats and then leads them to the lake to drown after he was denied payment and saw the innocent woman dead in her house.
  • Swarm of Rats: Like in the original fairy tale, the rats end up overtaking the town of Hamelin which prompts the town to request the Piper's help to get rid of. At the end the townsfolk all become one when the Piper decides to pay their "kindness" back.
  • Transformation Trauma: When the Pied Piper transforms the townspeople into rats you can see the townspeople panicking as this is taking place right before they fall under the thrall of the flute and mindlessly follow the Piper to their watery graves.
  • What You Are in the Dark: The Fisherman proves that he truly was worthy of being spared the grisly fate of the other townsfolk when he takes an abandoned baby with him to a better home away from the now deserted Hamelin, rather than any treasure or resources left behind by the people.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Surprisingly inverted, it's the rats who are portrayed the most "alive" in comparison to the sin-filled inhabitants of Hamelin, with the rodents merely doing things following their nature and being rather selfless even when they don't need to. In addition to not being portrayed as any uglier or prettier than real rats.

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