On this day in 1929, Disney’s first Silly Symphony cartoon short The Skeleton Dance was released. Voted #18 of the 50 Greatest Cartoons (in 1994) the short features four human skeletons dancing and making music around an eerie graveyard.
Composer Carl W. Stalling (a pioneer and Disney’s first musical director) supplied the music and actually first suggested the idea for a series of musical one-shot cartoons to Walt at a gag meeting in 1929. The Skeleton Dance is notable for being the first animated cartoon to use non-post-sync sound.
Although Ub Iwerks is given credit as the short’s animator – he was assisted by Wilfred Jackson and a very young Les Clark (who would go on to become one of Walt’s “Nine Old Men”).
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