Friday, July 11, 2008

The Musical Dead

The Skeletal Spotlight shines this time on:
Skeletal Musicians
(Click on images to enlarge)

"Come on, toots! Loosen up! I been dyin' to dance with you."
(To read the story in this issue, visit the post on it at "The Horrors of it All" blog.)

In an earlier post I looked at Disney's "Skeleton Dance," a black and white classic cartoon. But the imagery of the dead playing music is found in popular media and spooky entertainment to a greater degree than dancing skeletons. This time we'll look at some of the various expressions in comics, film and art of the musically-inclined deceased.

The band and the dancer were really hot tonight.

Even death couldn't keep Lawrence Welk from leading the band.

Taking a break from reaping helped Death keep everything in perspective. And besides, he played a mean fiddle.

The Mad Organist was happy to play a requested tune for visitors. He got them so seldom, after all.

Almost as bad as the hellfire was the incessant, ear-splitting and nerve-grating tooting that he called music.

Even in medieval times the dead liked to strike up the band.

Tim Burton's 2005 "Corpse Bride" featured a swingin joint with a happenin' band. In the Underworld of the Living Dead, they were the living end.

1967's Rankin-Bass "Mad Monster Party" (the first feature-length stop-motion animation movie ever), which Burton lists as a strong influence, had a bony Beatles-type band at the party. They also influenced The Misfits.

A vintage Halloween decoration depicts some real-gone cats in big rubber boots as they liven up an All Hallow's Eve shindig.

In "Skeleton Frolic," the color remake/sequel to Disney's B&W"Skeleton Dance," made by Ub Iwerks several years later, this skeleton band supplies the tunes for the spook's nightly jamboree.

The drummer in particular seemed to be enjoying his work way too much.

In Disney's 1929 "Mickey Mouse in the Haunted House" short, Mickey is drafted to join the band and play while the bony tenents kick up their heels.

Image Source

Image Source

Sadly, the Three Caballeros starved to death after trying to make it as a mariachi band.

(Image Source)

Despite their lack of lungs for the wind instruments, skeletons manage to live unlife to the fullest, and break into merry music at the drop of a shroud. May that be truly said of us, and all of us!


Karswell said...

Nice post Fred, the dancing dead are indeed a fascinating topic, and one that I've done quite a few posts on myself... in fact, if anyone wants to read that Mad Mamba tale I posted it right here back in November:

Fred said...


Thanks, I am linking that title now to point to your post on it!


Corpse S. Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corpse S. Chris said...

The end of the TV show Ghoul A Go-Go features a skeleton band too. It's a great stop motion sequence that runs behind the credits.
You can see it at the end of this clip: