Alan Menken is a big deal in showbiz. He’s as big as Brad Pitt – really. If you don’t recognize the name, I can tell you with 100-percent certainty you know his music. The legendary composer is the man who created scores for “Beauty and Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Hercules,” “Tangled” and yes, “The Little Mermaid.” (He’s actually composed many, many more, but I only have so much writing space.) He has also won eight Oscars and he’s been nominated 19 times! Like I said, he’s a very big deal.
At our opening ceremony for The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure on June 2 at Disney California Adventure park, Mr. Menken was invited on stage. He talked about how much he loved seeing the movie and his music come to life in a Disney Parks attraction. He also shared that the celebration was a little bittersweet, as he wished that Howard Ashman – his composing partner on “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin”- was at the opening with him. Ashman passed away in 1991.
In the video below, you’ll see Mr. Menken on stage and in his one-on-one interview with the Disney Parks Blog. He’s such a humble man whose music plays as big of a role in “The Little Mermaid” movie and attraction as the colorful characters. He gives credit to everyone, except himself. But, Mr. Menken, you deserve credit and a standing ovation for creating music that has allowed us to become a part of so many worlds.