Tim Rice Reflects On Writing ALADDIN & Looks Ahead To Broadway; Plus, THE LION KING
Multi-award-winning lyricist Sir Tim Rice opens up about his impossibly impressive assortment of credits in a new interview done in promotion of his newest theatrical venture, the currently previewing West End page-to-stage adaptation of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, including providing some particularly fascinating insights into his process in composing the lyrics for the Disney blockbusters ALADDIN and THE LION KING in the 1990s.
Discussing how he became involved with the creative process on ALADDIN following the untimely passing of Howard Ashman, Rice opines that he actually originally became involved with the House Of Mouse in working on what eventually became THE LION KING, "When I worked for the Disney studios in the 1990s, my first assignment was an animated feature film, initially entitled King of the Jungle, about a lion cub whose wicked uncle murders his father - Hamlet with fur. I had been working on this project for only a few months when I was asked to switch my priorities to another Disney animated movie that was much further down the road - Aladdin. The brilliant lyricist for that picture was Howard Ashman, who with composer Alan Menken had played a huge part in reviving the Disney studios animation fortunes with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. They were now working together on Aladdin, which looked certain to give them and Disney a third consecutive smash hit."
Additionally, Rice adds, "But the great Howard Ashman had become desperately ill and was never able to complete the work he had started on Aladdin. Songs were still needed, in particular the central romantic ballad, and, as the bloke on their block, Disney rushed me into the lyricist's chair to work with Alan Menken. One of the songs that we wrote together, 'A Whole New World', became a massive hit, a number one in America, winning a bunch of awards, including an Oscar. The acceptance of these mementoes was bitter-sweet in that I knew perfectly well that Howard would, indeed should, have been there in my place."
Rice concludes, "Aladdin opens as a stage show on Broadway next year, with 'A Whole New World', not an Ashman-Menken showstopper, as the big magic-carpet ride number."
Check out the original article on the matter here.
Photo Credit: Christopher Jones