Disney Legends Series – Alan Menken

If you are 30 or under the name Disney will also carry with it not only an animated legacy  but a musical one too. Many great artists have come and gone but none during this time as big as @alanmenken. His legacy continues today. A once in a generation talent with nobody close in the Disney business to touch his run.

Alan came from a musical background writing and composing. Most notably the musical film Little Shop of Horrors. This got he and his musical partner Howard Ashman on Disney’s radar and they were set as composers and song writers for The Little Mermaid. At a time where Disneys animation team were fighting for survival the film was an unprecedented success. Winning Oscars for the songwriting. Menken also wrote a song for a Roger Rabbit prequel which never got used.

The pair would follow up with Beauty and the Beast again winning Oscars for their music. Sadly Ashman would see neither his award nor the finished film as he sadly passed away. They had been working on songs for Aladdin and was aided by Tim Rice to complete.

In the 90’s he produced songs and lyrics for Pocahontas, Hercules and Hunchback of Notra Dame for which he was even due to sing two songs on the film, but they were dropped.

Menken would go on to work on Enchanted and Tangled, producing the entire score for Tangled. He is also due to compose for the upcoming sequel to Enchanted, Disenchanted. During this time he even wrote for Captain American – the First Avenger. Writing the jingle for Cap.

His final animated songs to date came in Ralph Wrecks the Internet. Since then he has worked with Disney in live action composing and song writing for the remakes of Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. He will also be working on upcoming remakes of other films he worked on, The Little Mermaid and Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Menken has always stayed close to his musical routes producing among others Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid and Aladdin all on Broadway.

As you would imagine Menken has also composed for Disney Parks including. Aladdin Musical Spectacular, Ariels Undersea Adventure at Disneyland California Adventure Park. Beauty and the Beast Live and Hunchback of Notre Dame at Disney World Hollywood Studios. Sinbads Storybook Voyage at Tokyo DisneySea and Tangled The Musical for Disney Cruiseline.

Alan Menken is not only an incredible talent but well awarded with Grammys, a Tony and is ranked 3rd in all time Oscar wins.

We admire his work and can regularly be found writing articles while his music plays or one of his one man shows plays on Youtube. There are many great Disney song writers, but arguably none better than Menken

Which is your favourite of Menken’s creations/songs? Let us know in the comments.

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