Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are cleaning a large clock. Among the complications: Mickey fights a sleeping stork that doesn't want to leave, Donald gets tangled up in the main-spring, and Goofy is inside the bell when the clock strikes four.
Goofy's in the driver's seat, Mickey's in the kitchen, and Donald's in bed in Mickey's high-tech house trailer. When Goofy comes back to eat breakfast, leaving the car on autopilot, it ... 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 »
Mickey is selling hot dogs at a carnival next to the tent for Minnie the Shimmy Dancer. He gets into an argument with the barker. Minnie beckons him over to her trailer; he shows off the ... 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 »
This short film was the first of the Silly Symphony series, which ran under the Disney banner from a decade from 1929 and proved to be an excellent training ground for animation techniques which would become the springboard into Snow White and the later features.
Even though the distributor at the time dismissed 'The Skeleton Dance' with the terse telegram 'More Mice' (a reference to the Mickey cartoons which had just started a few months before), this film is inventive, extremely funny, marries action and sound perfectly (and remember, this was when talkies were still very much in their infancy), and is an absolute hoot even after all these years.
So what's it about? Well, it is about skeletons dancing. And that's about it. But you can see the influence this film had on later animators (there is a sequence in Monty Python for example which references this film quite closely) and there is no doubt that it is a lot of fun.
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