Le squelette joyeux (1898)
Article 5637 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Louis Lumiere
What it is: The first dancing skeleton film?
A skeleton dances despite the fact that he keeps falling apart.
Here’s another fantastically-themed Lumiere short, and in some ways, it has even less in the way of special effects as FAUST: APPARITION DE MEPHISTOPHELES had; it’s a photographed puppet show. Still, it is an entertaining puppet show, and there’s a lot more energy in the presentation here, so this is a lot more satisfying. I also wonder if it’s the first dancing skeleton movie; I’ve seen many animated dancing skeleton shorts, and in some ways, they may have gotten their start here.
Addendum: I have since learned this is not the first dancing skeleton film; it’s predated the THE DANCING SKELETON (1897). Thanks to doctor kiss for the correction!