Alan Menken, composer of the original The Little Mermaid, talks about returning to mark the new live-action film and adding new songs to the score.
Alan Menken, composer of Disney’s upcoming live-action The little Mermaid remake has confirmed that the film will feature four entirely new songs. Menken, who was the original composer of the 1989 animation Little Mermaid movie, has long been a Disney devotee who has also lent his talents to everything from The beauty and the Beast and Aladdin To delighted and Tangled. Throughout his illustrious career, Menken has won an impressive number of eight Oscars, eleven Grammys and seven Golden Globes.
Crossed out by Mary Poppins Returns and In the woods director Rob Marshall, The little Mermaid is the latest in a series of live-action adaptations of classic Disney animated feature films. Starring Halle Bailey as Ariel, Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric and Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, the film also features the voices of Daveed Diggs as Sebastian the Crab and Shang-Chi and the legend of the ten rings’ Awkwafina as Scuttle. Early in development, it was announced that Menken would return to mark the film, with producer Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Most recently, Menken spoke to Disney’s For sheet music podcast (via Variety) and confirmed that the film will contain four new songs. He also recalled that Miranda was âintimidatedâFrom the prospect of following in the footsteps of the late Howard Ashman, the lyricist who worked with Menken to write the award-winning songs for the original film. Check out his comments below:
At first, Lin-Manuel Miranda struggled to make Alan Menken-style songs, and he felt like stepping in Howard Ashman’s shoes was an intimidating prospect. Then we wrote songs that were in Lin’s wheelhouse and for me walking in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s shoes was an intimidating prospect, but we had a blast.
The idea of ââthe new live-action adaptation with original music probably won’t surprise Disney fans. In recent years, the studio’s previous adaptations of their animated properties have often deviated from the original films in many ways, some more successful than others. While 2017 The beauty and the Beast and 2019 Aladdin also featured original songs, the 2020s Mulan disappointed some fans by completely forgoing the musical aspect of the original film.
However, with the original Little Mermaid being the film responsible for launching the much-loved âDisney Renaissanceâ throughout the 1990s, fans should be doubly critical of any perceived mistreatment of the animated classic. Fortunately, from a musical point of view, the live-action The little Mermaid has the extraordinary advantage of being able to not only tap into the knowledge and experience of the film’s original composer, but he also has Miranda’s incredible talents to draw upon. Only time will tell if these new additions to the score will have the same impact on audiences as songs like “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl”.
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