SKELETON FROLIC - Ub Iwerks - "A Color Rhapsody" (1937)
As we ease closer to that fateful day, the undead become friskier! Tonight's Columbia short from 1937 features dancing skeletons and skeleton musicians, and it's rightfully called, "Skeleton Frolic!"
Where else could a tale like this begin than in a creepy olde graveyard?
What fantastic imagery from the legendary Ub Iwerks!
How's that for an iconically classic Halloween black cat?
The sun has gone down and The Skeleton Orchestra is all ready to play!
This cartoon is all about the skeletons, but there was a brief appearance by some bats just to soup it up a bit!
This part actually looks kind of scary!
The trumpet and the bass player get into a bit of a tussle over whose skull is whose!
Then the dance number starts in earnest. Those clouds give you just a feel for how talented Ub really was!! He probably did that in like five minutes!
The frolicking skeletons go through a bunch of different moves somewhat like what's going to be happening to me in the next couple of hours!!
We used to call this The Shimmy, now they call it "Wobble Baby!"
Five A.M starts coming around, and the morning sun just barely starts showing it's light!
When the rooster crows, all the skeletons know they have to head to lower ground! The technicolor in this cartoon is pretty amazing for 1937 in my humble opinion! Wouldn't this make a cool painting?
The party's over until next Wednesday!
Just like nothing ever happened!!
Frolicking skeletons isn't something that just started happening in 1937, there's a long and varied history of these kinds of activities that people have devoted entire books to on the subject! Just as a couple of extra added reference points, here's Michael Wolgemut's "Orchestra Of The Dead (Liber Chronicarum)" from 1493!
And of course, our friends from South of the border have a long tradition and fascination with the Day of the Dead like in this print by Mexican National Hero Jose Guadalupe Posada who lived from 1852 to 1913 entitled "Jarabe Tapatio Dance!"
If you want to see the whole cartoon, there are many postings of it on YouTube and here's a link to just one of them! SKELETON FROLIC (1937)
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