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Alan Menken Talks THE LTITLE MERMAID, Working with Lin-Manuel Miranda, and More!


Menken also shared about his experience collaborating with Pulitzer Prize-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

Alan Menken Talks THE LTITLE MERMAID, Working with Lin-Manuel Miranda, and More!

This week on Variety's "For Scores" podcast, Disney legend Alan Menken dropped some new details on the making of the live action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

Menken shared some details on the process of collaborating with Pulitzer Prize-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, with whom he composed four new songs for the film.

He said, "At first, Lin-Manuel Miranda was struggling to do Alan Menken-style songs, and he felt like, walking in Howard Ashman's shoes was a daunting prospect. Then we wrote some songs that were in Lin's wheelhouse and for me, walking in Lin-Manuel Miranda's shoes was a daunting prospect, but we had a blast."

Menken also shared that he once signed some Mermaid merch for a young Lin when the original film debuted, "I would hear about Lin-Manuel Miranda when he was a little kid because my niece went to the Hunter school and she was a classmate of Lin's. I would hear about [him] from my sister Faye, who would say, 'This boy Lin, he loves 'Little Mermaid' so much. Could you sign this poster? I remember signing a poster to Lin that said, 'To Lin, please stop kissing Jenny's feet. Alan Menken.'"

Leading the film as Ariel is singer/actor Halley Bailey. The cast of the live action Little Mermaid also includes Daveed Diggs, Javier Bardem, Jacob Tremblay, Melissa McCarthy, Awkwafina, and Jonah Hauer-King.

Noma Dumezweni ("Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" on Broadway), Jessica Alexander, Russell Balogh, Adrian Christopher, and Emily Coates will also star.

The legendary team of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman wrote all of the songs on the original soundtrack for "The Little Mermaid" in 1989, including "Part of Your World," "Under the Sea," "Poor Unfortunate Souls," "Kiss the Girl," and "Les Poissons." "Under the Sea" won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year.

Frequent musical director Rob Marshall directs "The Little Mermaid."

Marshall is a five-time Tony nominee for his choreography on "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "Damn Yankees," "She Loves Me," and "Cabaret," and for his direction on "Cabaret." He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on the Best Picture-winning film adaptation of "Chicago." Other on-screen musical credits include "Nine," "Into the Woods," and "Mary Poppins Returns."

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