August 22, 1929 – The First Silly Symphony, The Skeleton Dance, is Released to Theaters
On August 22, 1929, the first Silly Symphony, The Skeleton Dance, was released to theaters. After the success of Steamboat Willie, musical director Carl W. Stalling suggested that Walt work on a cartoon series with an accent on music, rather than character. The short was drawn mostly by Ub Iwerks.
On a dark, windy night in a graveyard, the bells toll midnight. Two cats argue as they stand perched on graves, only to be scared out of their wits when a skeleton appears. The skeleton looks around, then begins to skip merrily around the graveyard, only to be scared by the hoot of an owl. He throws his head at the bird, and it bounces back to his hiding place behind a gravestone.
More skeletons come out to join him, and the four begin to dance as a merry tune is played in the background. One skeleton uses another as a xylophone, playing eerie music on the skeleton’s vertebrae. Another uses a cat’s tail as a sort of cello. After a bit of musical celebration, the rooster crows, signaling that the party is over. The skeletons frantically look around and crash into each other as they dive back into their grave.