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
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 »
The first Silly Symphony ever might also be called the first music video ever. "The Skeleton Dance" features a group of skeletons who emerge from their graves and make merry. On-screen sound was still in its relative infancy in 1929, and so you can imagine how this stuff must have looked to moviegoers back then!
My favorite scene was always the part where one skeleton uses another as a xylophone (although at the end of the scene the first skeleton turns out to be kind of a jerk). It's some pretty cool stuff, and I'm even saying that as someone who doesn't tend to think too highly of Disney's output. It's definitely a fun cartoon.
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