Alan Menken on The Little Mermaid, New Songs and Revised Lyrics
The composer talked revisiting The Little Mermaid after nearly 35 years and the similarities between working with Howard Ashman and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Alan Menken composed the musical versions of Little Shop of Horrors and A Bronx Tale, but he is at peace with being known as a Disney composer.
One of the areas where it got to me you go to the Alan Menken Pandora station, and its all these little Disney tunes, and I go, What is that? Menken said. Listeners could probably answer him: after all, hes best known for the scores for beloved Disney animated films like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and of course The Little Mermaid.
Menken was speaking by video on a recent morning from his sunlit studio at his home in North Salem, N.Y. At 73, he is an EGOT winner with eight Oscars, 11 Grammys, an Emmy and a Tony prominently displayed in a glass case behind him. It was a few weeks before the release of the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid and as with Disneys other live-action and stage adaptations of the classic animated films he scored with the lyricist Howard Ashman, he collaborated with a new partner in this case the Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to add a few more numbers to his original Oscar-winning tunes.