Alan Menken

Alan Menken Headshot

Composer • Pianist • Record Producer

Birth Date: July 22, 1949

Age: 74 years old

Birth Place: New Rochelle, New York

American composer Alan Menken was responsible for some of the best known film and stage musicals of the late 20th Century. Born in New York City, he originally set out to become a recording artist. In the mid-'70s, he began gravitating towards musical theater, contributing songs to a number of revues and workshops. His early attempts to write a full musical, though, went unproduced.

His luck changed when he began a long partnership with playwright and lyricist Howard Ashman. They worked together on a musical adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" that ran Off-Broadway. Their next collaboration, however, earned them a place in musical theater history. Based on a little seen 1960 film, "Little Shop of Horrors" opened in 1982 and went on to become the highest grossing Off-Broadway production of all time.

The play was adapted to film in 1986, and Menken and Ashman's original composition "Mean Green Mother From Outer Space" earned the duo an Oscar nomination. The pair were hired by Disney as the company was attempting to reinvigorate its animated film division. They wrote the music for "The Little Mermaid" (1989), winning Oscars for Best Original Song ("Under the Sea") and Best Score. That kicked off one of the most successful runs in film history. They partnered again on "Beauty and the Beast" (1991), and added another two Academy Awards.

As work began on Disney's next animated offering, "Aladdin" (1992), Ashman died from complications related to AIDS. Famed lyricist Tim Rice stepped in and worked with Menken to complete the music for "Aladdin," and again, the film won Oscars for Best Original Song ("A Whole New World") and Best Score. Menken also worked with Jack Feldman on Disney's live-action musical, "Newsies" (1992).

While the film was considered a flop, the property went on to find new life as a successful Broadway show. Menken returned to working with Disney animation, working with Stephen Schwartz on "Pocahontas" (1995) and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" (1996), as well as with David Zippel for "Hercules" (1997). He also contributed the score to a number of other films, including "Life With Mikey" (1993), "Home On the Range" (2004) and "Tangled" (2010).

Menken and Schwartz reunited to provide the music for Disney's hit "Enchanted" (2007). He also worked with the studio to adapt both "Beauty and the Beast" and "Aladdin" into Tony-winning Broadway shows. He had additional success adapting the films "Sister Act" and "A Bronx Tale" into Broadway musicals.

Menken's Disney partnership continued as well. He worked with the studio on its live-action film adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast" (2017), before partnering with the Oscar and Tony-winning team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul on a live-action version of "Aladdin" (2019). He went on to work with Broadway superstar Lin-Manuel Miranda on a similar update of "The Little Mermaid" and re-teamed with Schwartz on the "Enchanted" sequel, "Disenchanted."

Credits

Disney 100: A Century of DreamsStream

Self
Movie
2023

The Little MermaidStream

Original Music
Movie
2023
67%

DisenchantedStream

Original Music
Movie
2022
38%

The Disney Family Singalong

Music Performer
Special
2020

AladdinStream

Original Music
Movie
2019
57%

HowardStream

Original Music
Movie
2018
94%

Alan Menken: Overture (From Beauty and the Beast/Audio Only)

Music Performer
Show
2017

Beauty and the BeastStream

Original Music
Movie
2017
71%

미녀와 야수 OST 특별판

Original Music
Movie
2017

Show People

Actor
Show
2016

Sausage PartyStream

Original Music
Movie
2016
82%

Sausage Party - Es geht um die Wurst

Original Music
Movie
2016

Sausage Party

Original Music
Movie
2016

Behind the Magic: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Guest
Show
2015

GalavantStream

Executive Producer
Series
2015
89%

Aria for a Cow

Original Music
Movie
2015

Adam Jacobs & Alan Menken: Proud of Your Boy (Aladdin Version)

Music Performer
Show
2014

Hollywood in Vienna

Composer
Show
2013

Mirror MirrorStream

Original Music
Movie
2012
49%

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards

Music Performer
Show
2011

Rapunzel - Neu verföhnt 3D

Original Music
Movie
2010

Kaksin karkuteillä

Original Music
Movie
2010

Tangled 3D

Original Music
Movie
2010

Rapunzel

Original Music
Movie
2010

Trassel - sv.tal

Original Music
Movie
2010

Raiponce

Original Music
Movie
2010

TangledStream

Original Music
Movie
2010
89%

The Project

Guest
Show
2009

Enchanted

Original Music
Movie
2007

EnchantedStream

Original Music
Movie
2007
93%

Il était une fois

Original Music
Movie
2007

Verwünscht

Original Music
Movie
2007

The Shaggy DogStream

Composer
Movie
2006
26%

Die Kühe sind los

Original Music
Movie
2004

La ferme se rebelle

Original Music
Movie
2004

Home on the Range

Original Music
Movie
2004

Home on the RangeStream

Original Music
Movie
2004
52%

Noel

Original Music
Movie
2004

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

Hércules

Original Music
Movie
1997

Hercules

Original Music
Movie
1997

HerculesStream

Original Music
Movie
1997
82%

Theater Talk

Guest
Show
1996

El jorobado de Notre Dame

Original Music
Movie
1996

Der Glöckner von Notre Dame

Original Music
Movie
1996

The Hunchback of Notre DameStream

Original Music
Movie
1996
71%

Le Bossu de Notre-Dame

Original Music
Movie
1996

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Original Music
Movie
1996

Pocahontas

Original Music
Movie
1995

Pocahontas - sv. tal

Original Music
Movie
1995

Pocahontas

Original Music
Movie
1995

PocahontasStream

Original Music
Movie
1995
54%

Pocahontas : Une légende indienne

Original Music
Movie
1995

Pocahontas

Original Music
Movie
1995

Pocahontas

Original Music
Movie
1995

Life with MikeyStream

Original Music
Movie
1993
25%

Aladdin

Original Music
Movie
1992

Aladdin

Original Music
Movie
1992

Aladdin

Original Music
Movie
1992

NewsiesStream

Original Music
Movie
1992
39%

AladdinStream

Original Music
Movie
1992
95%

Home Alone 2: Lost in New YorkStream

Original Music
Movie
1992
35%

Aladdin

Original Music
Movie
1992

Aladdin

Original Music
Movie
1992

Aladdin

Original Music
Movie
1992

Aladdin

Original Music
Movie
1992

Skönheten och odjuret - sv.tal

Original Music
Movie
1991

Die Schöne und das Biest

Original Music
Movie
1991

Beauty and the BeastStream

Original Music
Movie
1991
93%

Skjønnheten og udyret

Original Music
Movie
1991

Skønheden og udyret

Original Music
Movie
1991

La Belle et la bête

Original Music
Movie
1991

미녀와 야수

Original Music
Movie
1991

Rocky VStream

Original Concept
Movie
1990
31%

Arielle, die Meerjungfrau

Original Music
Movie
1989

Arielle, die Meerjungfrau

Original Music
Movie
1989

The Little MermaidStream

Original Music
Movie
1989
91%

Den lille havfruen

Original Music
Movie
1989

La petite sirène

Original Music
Movie
1989

Den lilla Sjöjungfrun - sv. tal

Original Music
Movie
1989

The Little Mermaid

Original Music
Movie
1989

인어공주

Original Music
Movie
1989

Little Shop of HorrorsStream

Original Music
Movie
1986
91%

CBS News Sunday MorningStream

Guest
News
1979

News aboutAlan Menken