A still from "The Skeleton Dance." Watch the full short in the YouTube video below.
Sean Braswell of OZY writes in USA Today about a disturbing encounter that the young Walt Disney had with an owl, and how it may have marked his later life and work. Following is an excerpt from the article:
"There is a persistent, and unsubstantiated, rumor that Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen body resides in a vault, waiting to be restored to life when summer returns to Arendelle and modern science triumps over death. It's easy to see how the rumor may have been started since, from the beginning of Disney's career, as chronicled by professor Gary Laderman of Emory University, the American icon had a curious obsesson with death. As early as 1929, on the heels of his first big splash with Mickey Mouse as Steamboat Willie, Disney offered a biazrre follow-up entitled The Skeleton Dance, which opens, not surprisingly, with a terrified owl perched in a tree. ...
"The graveyard romp turned out to be a macabre hit, and over the next decades, as America faced economic hardship, war, nuclear annihilation and drastic social change, Disney's films helped the nation navigate good and evil, vice and virtue. And for most of his early tales, Laderman observes, 'death, or the threat of death, is the motor, the driving force that enlivens each narrative.'"
Read the whole article in USA Today.