27 user 10 critic

The Skeleton Dance (1929)

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.


Walt Disney




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:

1920s | undead | cat | skeleton | belfry | See All (49) »


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 »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


At the time, Walt Disney distributed his films through a company run by Pat Powers. But Powers couldn't sell it to distributors (who found the dancing skeletons odd and even gruesome). Undeterred, Disney was able to have the film screened at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles, where it was a rousing success. See more »

Alternate Versions

Whereas the 1983 VHS release of this short has the title card without music (and thus is silent), the DVD release of this short's title card features an audio snippet from _Mad Doctor, The (1933)_. See more »


Featured in Look Who's Talking (1989) See more »


March of the Dwarfs
By Edvard Grieg
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User Reviews

Classic Fun
30 October 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Skeleton Dance, The (1929)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

A Disney Silly Symphony short has four skeletons getting out of their graves to dance, which scares the fur off two black cats. This is a very imaginative short that features some wonderful animation. Disney is credited with the direction duties but having seen a few shorts by Iwerks it really seems that he is directing it. The movie runs at an extremely fast pace as there's never a dry moment or a moment where something isn't going on. The highlight is without a doubt the scene where the cats loose their hair after seeing the skeleton. From what I've read it appears people in 1929 thought this was too ghoulish for children and I guess they were somewhat right for their time.

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Release Date:

29 August 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Skeleton Dance See more »


Box Office


$5,386 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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