[[caption-width-right:300:TheDeadCanDance--''[[RecycledInSpace IN ANIMATION!]]'']]


The first of the WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts series ''WesternAnimation/SillySymphonies'', "The Skeleton Dance", first appearing in [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation 1929]], --is certainly one of the earliest of the macabre type of toon. Did we mention it's also very catchy? It is noteworthy for being one of the earliest, if not the first, cartoon to be [[MimeAndMusicOnlyCartoon entirely musically themed and timed, with no dialogue whatsoever.]]

While many theaters refused to show it in its heyday, the short ultimately paved the way for future hits in the series, and the cartoon still holds up to this day. The animation was almost entirely done by Disney's then-right hand man Creator/UbIwerks, save for the xylophone bone bit that was done by [[Creator/DisneysNineOldMen Les Clark]], as well as the Rooster that was animated by Wilfred Jackson, with the music composed by Carl Stalling (who suggested the idea of a fully musical cartoon to Walt) who would go on to compose for Iwerks in his own studio, and later on the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes and [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]] series of shorts.

The film would be remade in color by Iwerks for Creator/ColumbiaCartoons in 1937 as "Skeleton Frolic." Though not a ShotForShotRemake, as several new gags are incorporated and the character design is made considerably less creepy (not to mention the toon's entirely new soundtrack), the general structure is the same and much of the original animation is closely imitated.

Compare to the 1930 WesternAnimation/{{Talkartoons}} short [[WesternAnimation/SwingYouSinners "Swing, You Sinners!"]], which is somewhat similar (albeit much more [[DerangedAnimation swingin' and crazy]]) in tone.
!!Tropes Used By This Short:

* AnimationBump: Early on when the first Skeleton leaps at the "camera", and during the song when the teeth chattering skeleton zooms in at the camera.
* BodyHorror: A case where this happens with just bones: in their hurry to make it back into their graves at sunrise, the skeletons collide and morph together in a bizarre multi-limbed composite thing.
* CockADoodleDawn: A rooster crowing tells the skeletons that it's time to be back underground.
* DarkIsNotEvil: These skeletons look scary but they aren't truly evil -- one of them is even frightened by an owl.
* TheDeadCanDance: It's right there in the title.
* DemBones
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: It's a short about a bunch of skeletons who dance.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In the remake, there's a scene in which one skeleton gives another double middle fingers... three or four times.
* JerkAss: [[DarkIsNotEvil They may not be evil]] but a few of them are pretty mean. One throws its head at an owl that spooked it and another captures a stray cat and plays its tail like a violin.
* JumpScare: Literally when the first skeleton jumps at the audience.
* MickeyMousing
* MimeAndMusicOnlyCartoon
* OminousOwl: One of them frightens the first skeleton... so it throws its head at the bird, knocking off all its feathers.
* OurMonstersAreWeird: At the end, the skeletons accidentally combine into a bizarre, WebAnimation/{{Cyriak}}-esque bone creature with four heads stacked on top of each other.
* PopCulturalOsmosisFailure: The short is based on the very real ''danse macabre'' in which people would dress as skeletons on a dark stage, making it seem as if actual skeletons were dancing.
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: Part of Carl Stalling's music is based on the staple ''Danse Macabre'' music cue and Edvard Grieg's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2zj9oMgFmg March of the Dwarfs]]." The rest of it, such as the part where the Skeletons dance together, is custom made music composed by Stalling himself.
* RubberHoseLimbs: Even though they're bones. RuleOfFunny and all that.
* SkeletalMusician: Using each other as instruments, even.
* XylophonesForWalkingBones: The skeletons dance to March of the Dwarfs by Edvard Grieg, which features xylophone in some parts. As seen in the trope's page image, one skeleton even uses another's vertebrae as a xylophone!