Friday, 23 November 2012

Silly Skeleton Symphony

Earlier this week I was writing about Benjamin Britten's A Simple Symphony and Walt Disney's early Silly Symphonies.  So here's The Skeleton Dance from 1929 which is so good that it should be part of everyone's heritage. We should be brushing up on cartoon history with the Philip Glass opera The Perfect American coming up at the ENO next year.

UB Iwerks was the artist. He was an early friend of Disney's and co-created Mickey Mouse. Iwerks split from Disney for a while, and later returned, but did many other things besides animation. The music was by Carl W Stalling who later went on to write Loony Tunes and Merrie Melodies for Warner Brothers. The animation is innovative, and the music matches it perfectly.  Listen to the mad mazurka at 4 minutes, where a skeleton uses femurs to  play xylophone on a spine. Anyone who thinks music can't be fun is nuts.

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