Mickey seeks shelter from a storm in a house that turns out to be haunted. The skeletons command him to play the organ; they dance and play along.

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Cast

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Mickey Mouse (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Mickey seeks shelter from a storm in a house that turns out to be haunted. The skeletons command him to play the organ; they dance and play along.

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Release Date:

2 December 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Haunted House  »

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Sound Mix:

(Powers Cinephone Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Grim Reaper: Play!
Mickey: I c-c-can't play!
Grim Reaper: PLAY!
Mickey: Y-y-yes, man!
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Connections

Featured in DTV Monster Hits (1987) See more »

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Mickey's Skeleton Dance
1 December 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

On August 29, 1929, Walt Disney publicly screened the first film in his "Silly Symphonies" series, 'The Skeleton Dance (1929).' Needless to say, it was a rousing success, and ensured a further decade of similar musical short films. 'Haunted House (1929)' was released on August 1, 1929, and is similar in many ways, not least because a lot of the footage originally intended for 'The Skeleton Dance' was instead recycled into this Mickey Mouse musical horror short. Though this recycling is rather obvious in the film's second half, in which our mousy hero disappears for a while, I nonetheless enjoyed the film for its vivid imagination, and, especially in its opening minutes, eerie atmosphere. This was one example, at least, where Disney's work benefited from black-and-white animation {the studio's first outing in three-strip Technicolor was 'Flowers and Trees (1932)'}, and the creepy shadows of the haunted mansion bear the sinister atmosphere of a 1930s Universal horror, with the whistling wind providing an ominous air, at least until the music starts up.

Truth be told, 'Haunted House' is the first Mickey Mouse cartoon that I can remember watching, though a reasonable portion of my childhood would no doubt have been occupied in a similar manner. I wish that less of the film had been concerned with dancing skeletons, because Mickey's initial exploration of the dark mansion is stylistically creative and almost genuinely frightening. A lingering trace of the silent era is noticeable when the house's lighting goes out, and Mickey is illuminated only by a circular ring of light that calls to mind the camera iris favoured by so many early filmmakers. A scary Grim Reaper then enters the room, points to an organ against the wall and instructs our hero to "play." Mickey doesn't really know how to, but he nonetheless obliges, and soon the army of skeleton are tapping merrily across the room, using their bones as musical instruments. This Mickey Mouse short could have been better, but it has some good atmosphere, and is well worth watching.


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