Top 50 Countdown – #49



The Skeleton Dance

Year: 1929

Director: Walt Disney




Featuring a quartet of bony hoofers showing off their terpsichorean talents during a midnight graveyard soiree, The Skeleton Dance is five minutes of lively animated hilarity which holds up beautifully after 80 years thanks to Ub Iwerks’s imaginative animation and Carl W. Stalling’s playful music and sound effects. The film’s gleefully morbid sense of humor, with its clickity-clacking skeletons dancing the Charleston and using their own skulls as drums and rib cages as xylophones, must have influenced Tim Burton who clearly references the film in the “Remains of the Day” musical number from Corpse Bride.

Watch The Skeleton Dance here:

Watch the homage from Corpse Bride here:


The Skeleton Dance was the first of Walt Disney’s Silly Symphonies shorts
• Animator Ub Iwerks was a pioneer at the Disney studios who is credited with creating none other than Mickey Mouse
• Composer Carl W. Stalling later became well known for his innovative music on Looney Tune cartoons.
• Animation historian Jerry Beck’s The 50 Greatest Cartoons: As Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals ranks The Skeleton Dance #18.

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