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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,


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