Song of the Day: Ub Iwerks, “Skeleton Dance”

Ub Iwerks, animator, cartoonist, character designer, inventor, and special effects technician who worked with Walt Disney and co-created Mickey Mouse, would be 120 years old today. Iwerks animated the first few Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies cartoons, including "Skeleton Dance," created in 1929, and produced and directed by Disney. It’s a danse macabre peformed by four human skeletons to Edvard Grieg’s "March of the Trolls," from his Lyric Suite. Carl Stallings provided the orchestration.

14 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Ub Iwerks, “Skeleton Dance”

    1. They were real adult entertainment. The Fleischer cartoons with Betty Boop, Popeye, Koko The Clown etc. were even a bit racy. Definitely not kids’ stuff, although we all watched them as kids and I think were better off for the experience. These were the cartoons that inspired R. Crumb and the other underground comix artists.

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  1. I love this one…I remember in the seventies these older ones would play on some stations in the morning before school.

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    1. The cartoons (like this) that were made for theatrical release (before the late ’40’s) were adult-oriented, and when TV came around they were showing them to kids. In the ’50’s the studios started making more “kid-friendly” cartoons, but TV stations were still showing the older ones, that at times were rather disturbing for young minds. I remember seeing the cartoon below when I was still living in Indianapolis, when I was about three…

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  2. Hi John – never seen before – but great fun … wonderful of you to put it up – thanks … Hilary

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    1. Cartoons weren’t “kid stuff” until the ’50’s when they started running them on TV. Many of them had adult themes or scenes that were considered “unsuitable for younger and more sensitive users.” Of course, they continued to show the older cartoons along with the “kid-friendly” cartoons practically side-by-side, and I consider them an integral part of my education…

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