The Skeleton Dance is a 1929 Disney short film and the first official entry in the Silly Symphony series.
The Skeleton Dance is about skeletons dancing and making music around a graveyard. The story is almost non-existent as in most Silly Symphonies. But it to me shares both the problems and the strengths of ‘The Old Mill’ in that it is a visually stunning and atmospheric piece of animation, but the one lacking in terms of storytelling. It is definitely entertaining to watch, but it is lacking in substance and it’s weakly paced with the musical elements tending to go for too long and some being boring.
But most of those elements are really terrific and so inventive in execution. The atmosphere is superb, creating such a spooky feel. The music is great and the sound effects are good. But it is the animation that is the standout aspect here with such a beautiful, even artistic feel to it. It is wonderfully animated with great character design, but also wonderfully depicted graveyard setting and also well put to use. The opening shot itself is marvelous to behold and so atmospheric.
The Skeleton Dance is quite good as the first Silly Symphony. It is lacking in terms of storytelling, but it is visually breathtaking with stupendous animation, good sound effects, inventive execution and spooky atmosphere.