The Full Wiki

More info on The Skeleton Dance

The Skeleton Dance: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Skeleton Dance
Silly Symphonies series
Directed by Walt Disney
Produced by Walt Disney
Music by Carl W. Stalling
Edvard Grieg (The March of the Trolls)
Animation by Drawn by Ub Iwerks
Studio Disney Cartoons
Budget: $5,386
Running time 6 minutes
Country  United States
Language English

The Skeleton Dance is a 1929 Silly Symphonies animated short subject produced and directed by Walt Disney and animated by Ub Iwerks. In the film, four human skeletons dance and make music around a spooky graveyard. It is the first entry in the Silly Symphonies series. In 1994, it was voted #18 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons of all time by members of the animation field.


While many claim that the musical score was adapted from the Saint-Saëns composition Danse Macabre, Carl Stalling explained, in a 1969 interview, that it was actually a foxtrot set in a minor key. Stalling suggested the idea for a series of musical one-shot cartoons to Disney at a gag meeting in 1929. Stalling also adapts Edvard Grieg's "The March of the Trolls" for part of the skeleton dance music.

The skeletons dance in various ways and play makeshift musical instruments. In one scene, all four skeletons hold hands and dance in a circle, akin to schoolchildren dancing "Ring a Ring O'Roses". In another scene, a skeleton pulls the thigh bones off another and plays the thighless skeleton like a xylophone. A skeleton also plays a cat like a double bass, using a bow and the cat's tail as the strings. One skeleton dances part of the Charleston.

It is notable for being the first animated cartoon to use non-post-sync sound. Animation from this short was later reused in the Mickey Mouse short Haunted House, in which Mickey, having taken shelter in a haunted house, is forced to play music for the dancing skeletons.

The cartoon was created in black and white on standard 1.33:1 35mm film.

Reissues seem to have the original title card music missing, so music (and sound) from the Mickey Mouse short The Mad Doctor is used.

Contemporary references and usage

In 1982, The Skeleton Dance was featured in a colorized version during the credits of the television Halloween specials Disney's Halloween Treat and Disney's Greatest Villains

It was used in the Disney Sing-a-Long videos during the montage "Grim Grinning Ghosts".

It was used in the film Ghost Rider (2007), as a cartoon Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is watching not knowing he will become a skeleton-like supernatural being at night in the presence of evil. The Skeleton Dance was also referenced to in the episode "Hill Billy" of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, where Grim, having been turned into a silent era cartoon character, leads several other skeletons in dance, and even mimics their actions. A similar thing happens during the choreography of the music "Remains of the Day", from Tim Burton's Corpse Bride.

The skeleton dancers make cameo appearances throughout different episodes of Disney's House of Mouse.

One of the skeleton dancers was going to make a cameo appearance during the ending scene of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, but the cell featuring the character was left out of the final film; replaced by a different character.

External links

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address