The Skeleton Dance (1929)

Approved  |   |  Animation, Family, Short  |  29 August 1929 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 2,496 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 6 critic

The clock strikes midnight, the bats fly from the belfry, a dog howls at the full moon, and two black cats fight in the cemetery: a perfect time for four skeletons to come out and dance a bit.


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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 J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

cat | skeleton | owl | bat | dance | See All (40) »


The greatest talking picture novelty ever screened! -- A laugh riot from start to finish! A comically clever cartoon classic with music, sound, and original effects


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 August 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A csontváztánc  »

Box Office


$5,386 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first of Walt Disney's Silly Symphony series. See more »


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User Reviews

Jack Skelington's ancestors?
2 September 2013 | by (The Penumbra) – See all my reviews

What a difference it makes to actually have Disney himself direct his cartoons. The Skeleton Dance is atmospheric, surreal, and visually eccentric to the point where I believe it inspired the Nightmare Before Christmas, to some degree, and even the works of Sally Cruikshank. I imagine that kids might have actually been a bit frightened of this cartoon back in 1929.

Apparently Disney had trouble getting it into theaters based on this notion.

The short features a gloomy churchyard overtaken by skeletons at night who go about dancing to various forms of mischief. A typically thin premise for cartoons from this era, but worth it for the atmosphere.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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