Max Hare and Toby Tortoise are having a foot race. Max has much more style, and is generally cocky. He pauses for a short nap, to chat up the bunnies outside a girl's school (and show off ... See full summary »
We see the various birds, mice, and bats that have moved into an old windmill, followed by the frogs, crickets, and fireflies making their music in an adjacent pond. Then a storm comes, ... See full summary »
The night promises to be a scary one. Lightning flashes. The wind howls. A tree branch in the shape of a hand seems to grab for a frightened owl that spins its head around like a top. The clock on the church tower strikes midnight, sending the bats flying out of the belfry. Two cats on gravestones fight by pulling and stretching each other's noses like taffy. A skeleton rises from behind a gravestone, frightening the fur off the cats. But an owl's hooting scares it, and it retaliates by throwing its skull and knocking the bird's feathers off. It's time for the skeletons to dance; and they perform as no living creatures could. Written by
Joseph Barbera tells in his autobiography "My Life in 'toons: From Flatbush to Bedrock in Under a Century", he saw "The Skeleton Dance" at the third balcony of the grand Roxy Theater in New York: "I saw it about seventy miles from the screen, but the impact on me was tremendous nevertheless. I saw these skeletons dancing in a row and in unison, and I asked myself: How do you *do* that? How do you make that happen?" See more »
I was lucky enough to see a 35mm print of this on the "big screen". For Halloween 2000, El Capitan theatre in Hollywood ran "The Skeleton Dance" as the short before 1993's "The Nightmare Before Christmas". It's really nice to see some classic Disney shorts theatrically, rather than video or 16mm. This, being the first Silly Symphony, definitely shows us what was to come from Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. At the time of its release, sync-sound was only a couple of years old, it's fun to watch (through old films) the progression of sound as the field became more explored and perfected through the years.
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