Andrea/Duck Dodgers here. I friendly welcome every fan of animation at my blog. The goal is to support the love and rediscovery of Classic Theatrical Cartoons from the Golden Age of Animation, keeping meanwhile an eye on Golden Age "Funny Animals" Comics as well as on modern animated productions! Every SUPPRESSED ethnic caricature to be sometimes presented here is just for HISTORICAL and EDUCATIONAL purpose and NOT to offend anyone. Stay Tooned and Enjoy the place !

Friday, April 14, 2006

Skeleton Frolic

After his own animation studio closed in 1936, Ub Iwerks moved to the Columbia animation department, where he became director.
One of his cartoons from the Columbia period is "Skeleton Frolic", a Color Rhapsody released in 1937. The similarities between this cartoon and another one he had worked on at Disney, the first Silly Symphony "The Skeleton Dance" (1929), are so evident that it could be said that "Skeleton Frolic" is actually a color remake of that cartoon. Let's take a look at this short.

The cartoon opens with a night view of a church in front of a graveyard. The bell starts ringing and some bats fly out of the tower, coming towards the camera. As you can see, this opening is almost identical to the one from "The Skeleton Dance".

A tree starts walking and finds three skeletons coming out of their graves.

We then see a cat meowing in front of the moon.

The three skeletons, scared by the cat, take their skulls off and throw them against him. When the cat gets hit, he breaks into many little cats. A scene similar to this one can be found in "The Skeleton Dance", where a skeleton throws his skull at an owl who loses his feathers after he's been hit.

The members of an all-skeleton band come out of their graves and start playing their creepy tune.

A double-bass-playing skeleton loses his skull, so he takes another skeleton's and puts it on his head.

The now headless skeleton takes his skull back, but the other one steals it once again, then he takes a pumpkin that he uses to replace the other skeleton's head. After he realizes that's not his skull, the trumpet-playing skeleton gets angry and crashes the pumpkin on the head of his foe and takes his skull back.

A skeleton foursome begins to dance along with the music, just like their counterparts in "The Skeleton Dance".

But "The Skeleton Dance" isn't the only cartoon that presents some similarites with "Skeleton Frolic". In the next scene, we find two dancing skeletons. As they turn around, the lower half of one of the two skeletons' body gets off and walks for itself. The same gag can be seen in a former Ub Iwerks cartoon, "Spooks", starring Flip the Frog.

It's 5 o' clock, and it's time for the happy skeletons to cease their playing and dancing.

A rooster sings, and everyone tries to get away before the sun rises.
A running skeleton collides with four skeletons. They fall to pieces, so another skeleton begins throwing all of them, forming a weird mass of bones. Finally, everyone goes back into its grave. As you can see, this whole sequence is basically the copy of what happens at the end of "The Skeleton Dance".

The cartoon closes with a view of the grave, with the sun shining behind it.

Yours Truly,



Blogger Duck Dodgers said...

Marvellous !

This is one of the greatest posts that I've ever seen on any website!

3:59 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very intresting post. It should be noted that this is one of the few Columbia cartoons availible on DVD.

7:33 pm

Blogger Chris Oliver said...

That looks great. What DVD is that available on?

7:37 pm

Blogger mmm...donuts said...

It's on the "The lost skeleton of Cadavra" DVD.

8:05 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:48 pm

Blogger Marc Deckter said...

Nice observations!

I find the "Skeletons Frolic" and "Spooks" comparison very interesting - good eye!

4:58 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jorge Garrido must be an idiot. This is brilliant stuff. I even liked the skeleton stuff in The Corpse Bride.

9:20 pm

Blogger Elwood H. Smith said...

GRRRRRRREAT stuff! Thank you for putting this together.

9:53 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great stuff!

12:28 pm

Blogger Tariq Bakhsh said...

This is my first time on this site and its cool. Come see mine

1:35 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

bbbbbbbbbbbbbboooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggggggggg i want to see movies and sound.(sticks tounge out and spits)

1:37 am

Blogger mmm...donuts said...

an anonymous wise guy said...
b[...]o[...]r[...]i[...]n[...]g[...] i want to see movies and sound.(sticks tounge out and spits)

I understand your point, but, please, next time could you express your disapproval in a slightly more constructive way? I think there's no need to be so rude (and after all, if you don't like what you see here, you are free not to visit this blog and try somewhere else). I accept constructive criticism, which is a little different from the thing you wrote.
Have a nice day.

(I apologize to everyone if I sounded a little harsh, but I felt I had to say my opinion)

--The nice fellow responsible for that boring post

7:31 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

very awsome, i have in my possesion "bugs bunny mississippi hare" 69mb and daffy duck "daffy the commando" 1943 92mb also disney "education for death the making of a nazi" 103mb also "donald duck as a nazi" 79mb supposed to have been banned cartoons more than willing to share if any1 is interested

6:56 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw this cartoon once on a UK tv with Rolf Harris called "Cartoon Time" but have had the tune of the skeleton band going through my head for the past twenty years! I find myself whistling it when I'm in a good mood. Perhaps if I watch it again this will stop?

9:05 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this cartoon!! I absolutely love Halloween, I live to experience it every year!~ I think that its great that there are old cartoons out there, especially halloween type cartoons. I am going to rush out and snag these cartoons, if they are snaggable? BTW, Great comparison to the older cartoon!

10:49 pm

Blogger AllHallowSteve said...

Wow. What a great post!

I knew of "Skeleton Dance" but thought Disney had just remade the short in color.
Thanks for setting me straight!


9:06 pm


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