The Skeleton Dance

Watch The Skeleton Dance

"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"
  • G
  • 1929
  • 6 min
  • 7.6  (5,925)

The Skeleton Dance is a 1929 animated short film produced and directed by Walt Disney, with music by Carl W. Stalling. This was one of the earliest films to feature the iconic Disney character, Mickey Mouse, although he is not the main focus of the film. Instead, the film focuses on a group of skeletons who come to life and perform a lively dance in a spooky graveyard.

The film begins with an eerie scene of a full moon shining down on a graveyard. The camera slowly pans from tombstone to tombstone, until it reaches a group of skeletons lying in their graves. Suddenly, the skeletons come to life, their bones rattling as they rise up from their graves. They begin to dance and frolic about the graveyard, laughing and pulling off each other's limbs.

The animation in The Skeleton Dance is charmingly simplistic by modern standards, with the skeletons looking more like stick figures than the detailed skeletons we might see in a modern horror film. However, this simplicity adds to the charm of the film and gives it a childlike wonder that is still captivating almost a century after its release. The characters move fluidly and the music, composed by Carl W. Stalling, perfectly complements the action on screen.

As the dance continues, the skeletons engage in all sorts of hijinks. They play with each other's skulls like they are balls, and at one point, they even use their bones to create a makeshift xylophone and play a tune. The overall effect is whimsical and playful, rather than creepy or scary.

Despite its cutesy nature, The Skeleton Dance was groundbreaking in its time. It was one of the earliest examples of a cartoon set to music, and it established Walt Disney as a pioneer in the animation industry. It was also one of the first cartoons to use synchronized sound, rather than relying solely on the visual action to tell the story.

Another thing that sets The Skeleton Dance apart is its sense of humor. Unlike many horror films that take themselves very seriously, The Skeleton Dance is full of lighthearted, silly moments. For example, at one point, two of the skeletons engage in a "duel" using their own legs as swords. This type of humor is still laugh-out-loud funny today, and it is a testament to Walt Disney's skill as a storyteller.

The film is also notable for its attention to detail. While the character animations may be simple, the background art is beautiful and intricate. The graveyard is full of tiny details, from the cobwebs in the corners to the flowers growing around the tombstones. Even the moon in the background adds an extra layer of spooky atmosphere to the scene.

Overall, The Skeleton Dance is a charming and whimsical film that has stood the test of time. Its combination of music, animation, and humor make it an early masterpiece of the animation industry, and its influence can still be felt in modern cartoons and horror films today. Despite being almost a century old, the film remains captivating and delightful, and it is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of animation or horror films.

The Skeleton Dance is a 1929 horror movie with a runtime of 6 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.

The Skeleton Dance
Where to Watch The Skeleton Dance
The Skeleton Dance is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at Disney+. Some platforms allow you to rent The Skeleton Dance for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    6 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (5,925)