HomeMusicAlan Menken on ‘The Little Mermaid’ and the Combined Blessing of Disney...

Alan Menken on ‘The Little Mermaid’ and the Combined Blessing of Disney Fame


Yeah, sort of. [Laughs] After some time, you are feeling like a workaholic.

Do you get pleasure from revisiting your older work, or do you achieve this extra out of a way of protectiveness?

A little bit of each. These are my infants — I don’t need to stroll away from them. Sometimes I’ll assume, “What extra do we now have to say within the telling of this story?” And then it will likely be incumbent upon me to get to know the director, the e-book author, and speak to them concerning the issues they need to add. That’s the place it turns into enjoyable for me.

What was it like working with Lin-Manuel Miranda on new songs for “The Little Mermaid”?

It was a number of enjoyable — I knew about him as a result of he went to the [Hunter College Elementary School] with my niece, and I might at all times hear about this little boy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the way he was obsessive about “The Little Mermaid.”

Of the three songs we did collectively, one is extra in my and Howard’s wheelhouse, “Wild Uncharted Waters.” It’s a ballad sung by Prince Eric, and it’s the roiling inside him — it’s very emotional. “For the First Time,” which Ariel sings when she will get legs about all of the issues she’s noticing for the primary time, is an actual mixture of our kinds. I had given Lin a fraction from the rating from the unique animated movie, and he mentioned, “Wait, can we put a 2 in opposition to the three?” [referring to the tempo], and so it received that actual rhythmic rub to it. And the one which was way more in Lin’s wheelhouse was “The Scuttlebutt,” which is sung by Scuttle and Sebastian [played by Awkwafina and Daveed Diggs]. I gave him a bit Caribbean tune considering he would lyricize that, and actually, he rapped over it! It was simply a type of moments the place you sense someone’s brilliance.

In 1997, David Horn, now the chief producer of PBS’s “Great Performances” collection, told The New York Times, “When there’s a Sondheim musical, everybody refers to it as a Sondheim musical. When it’s one thing Alan has performed, they check with it as a Disney musical.” Do you continue to thoughts your exhibits being referred to as Disney musicals?

I typically would have a bit resistance to easily being characterised as “Disney composer Alan Menken” as a result of I already had an enormous hit with “Little Shop of Horrors” earlier than I went to Disney. And whereas I used to be at Disney, I wrote so many different exterior initiatives — the “Christmas Carol” that was at Madison Square Garden for [nearly] 10 years with Lynn Ahrens, [stage shows] “Sister Act,” “A Bronx Tale,” “Leap of Faith,” [the series] “Galavant” — however there isn’t a musical alternative that’s on the degree of writing a musical for Disney. If you do your work proper, you’ll have an expertise that nothing else can match.

Content Source: www.nytimes.com


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