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
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.
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