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Documentary on Late, Oscar-Winning Lyricist Howard Ashman in the Works

In a recent interview with Laughingplace.com, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST producer Don Hahn revealed that he is currently working on a documentary about the late, Oscar-winning lyricist Howard Ashman.

Hahn tells the site, "I haven't talked about this a lot, but I'm working right now on a documentary about Howard... he's one of the great songwriters of our generation and of the 20th century, and his life was cut short" He adds, "To be able to pay tribute through a documentary or through a film like BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is terrific, and most of the audience will know Howard or his name, but to you and me he means a lot and he means so much of a huge part of the kind of Disney legacy that's what our generation grew up with as filmmakers or as audience members."

Ashman, who pased away in 1991 at the age of 40, collaborated with Alan Menken on many works, most notably several animated feature films for Disney, for which Ashman wrote the lyrics and Menken composed the music. Ashman and Menken began their collaboration with the musical God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1979), for which Ashman directed and wrote both book and lyrics. Their next musical, Little Shop of Horrors (1982) for which Ashman again directed and wrote both book and lyrics, became a long-running success and led to a 1986 feature film. The partnership's first Disney film was The Little Mermaid (1989), followed by BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1991). After his death, some of Ashman's songs were included in Disney's 1992 film, Aladdin.

Below, watch an excerpt from the DVD Bonus Features of the Disney Documentary "Waking Sleeping Beauty," featuring Howard Ashman.


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