alan is life

Okay. So.

I went to see the new Beauty and the Beast film a few days ago and I absolutely loved it. The thing I cannot get over though, is Howard Ashman.

Now I know I’m not the only one who knows who Howard Ashman is but for those of you who don’t, he was one of Disney’s magical lyricists who, along side Alan Menken, brought to life the beautiful soundtracks of films such as Oliver and Company (1988) and The Little Mermaid (1989). Eventually, Ashman revealed to colleagues that he was HIV positive, but that didn’t stop him from writing music for Aladdin (1992).

Now, while Aladdin was in production, Disney was struggling to compile this non musical mess called Beauty and the Beast (1991) and even though Ashman was dying, he started writing some songs. He passed away before the film’s premiere.

Beauty and the Beast is dedicated to him:

“To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful.”

Walking out of that theater all I could think about was Howard Ashman. Some new songs were written for the 2017 film but I thought they were wonderful and I think Ashman would have been proud. 

Mr. Ashman, Disney legend, your legacy lives on in 2017. 

“When I first learned the piano and played those wretched scales, the teacher beside me had a pencil in her hand and she hit my fingers every time I played a wrong note. [Consequently] I never learned to read music because I hesitated too long to play the note on time. Because I was always [thinking] ‘Is this pencil gonna land?’ See? And that gets built into your psyche. So, people are always—although they’re adults and nobody is screaming at them any longer—they hear the echoes of that screaming momma or that bombinating poppa in the back of their heads all their life long. And so they adopt the same attitude to their own children and the farce continues.”

Alan Watts