Friday, 30 October 2015

Wot a Skeleton Dance

A skeleton playing the piano? It could have happened in any number of cartoon studios in the early 1930s, but the one that seemed the most enamoured with human bones was Van Beuren. Skeletons or skeleton gags appear in a number of its cartoons, including the Tom and Jerry favourite Wot a Night (1931).

In one scene, a skeleton takes a bucket of paint and creates a piano on a ledge against a wall, as well as a piano stool.

The skeleton tries to roll the stool up to its boney butt. The stool just laughs at him. So the skeleton rolls its spinal bone down to the level of the stool and begins to play.

That means it’s dance time for the skeleton population, who perform a minuet before the camera cuts to a scene of a gypsy skeleton with a tambourine.

There’s lots of fun weirdness in this one, though parts of it are really poorly drawn. John Foster and George Stallings get the screen credits, along with musical director Gene Rodemich.

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