What do the vocal gymnastics of a Jamaican crab, a china teapot, a street rat and a Native American princess all have in common? Well, aside from singing the soundtrack to my youth, each of these #Disney powerhouses also bagged composer Alan Menken an Academy Award for Best Original Song, belting out tunes such as 'Under the Sea', 'Beauty and the Beast', 'A Whole New World' and 'Colors of the Wind' respectively.
However, despite Menken's extremely impressive credentials — which include a further 11 Oscar nominations and four more wins for Best Score — it's been over a decade since Alan actually won an Academy Award for his work with Disney. Truly embarrassing, we know.
Fortunately for Menken though, if the buzz about his latest project is anything to go by, there may something there that wasn't there before. That's right ladies and gentle-beasts. Not only is a live-action adaptation of #BeautyAndTheBeast waiting in the west wings, but it just so happens that Alan Menken has crafted three new songs for the upcoming release — one of which could even attain an #Oscars nomination once again.
Check out a sneak peek behind the scenes of Disney's next live action adaptation in the clip below:
In an interview with EW, Menken revealed the inspiration behind each of the three new additions to the soundtrack, discussing exactly how they'd fit into the adaptation.
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"Our Song Lives On"
While Belle's father didn't sing in the original Disney film, it would be a shame to waste the talents of celebrated actor Kevin Kline, so Menken's crafted one of his new songs around Maurice.
“The first time [‘Our Song Lives On’ is] sung, it’s Belle’s father singing as he’s completing a music box, and basically it’s [about], ‘How does a moment live forever? How do you hang on to precious moments?"
Staying true to the song's title, Menken's latest addition to Beauty & The Beast is sang twice more after Maurice's initial rendition.
"...It’s reprised by Belle, and then it’s the song that’s actually over the end credits at the end of the movie. Disney hasn’t announced it yet, but there’s going to be some wonderful singer on the end credits song."
Tales old as time, songs that live on forever... it seems as though Menken is keen to keep his legacy strong 25 years after Disney first tackled Beauty & The Beast. Let's just keep our fingers crossed for Angela Lanbsury's return as the secret end-credits singer.
One of the most emotional scenes from the original Disney story was the moment when the Beast decided to let Belle return to her father, even though allowing her to do so would break his heart. Looking back, it's kind of strange that Disney didn't break out a tune at this point, but don't worry guys. Menken's on the case.
"'For Evermore’ is this moment where the Beast now loves Belle, and he realizes that she misses her father, and he acknowledges she’s no longer a prisoner, and when she sees her father’s in trouble, he says, ‘Go to him, go.’ And he voluntarily lets her go. He’s basically singing about how he now knows what love is, as he watches her leave, and he’s climbing up the turret of the castle as she recedes into the distance, just watching her go further and further away."
"Days In The Sun"
In Disney's original Beauty & The Beast, a song called 'Human Again' was unfortunately cut. However, it looks like Menken will return to similar themes with the new addition 'Days In The Sun', which focuses on the castle's rather large supporting cast.
"‘Days in the Sun’ is a moment when all of the objects in the castle —and Belle — are going to sleep. Basically, everybody in the castle is having memories of what it used to be when they had their days in the sun. It’s sort of a combination of a lullaby and a remembrance of happier days for everybody.”
Even if the rest of this live-action adaptation somehow turns out to be terrible, we'd pay our weight in gold to see the wardrobe from Disney's original animation return, belting out some ear-shattering notes as she leaps out of the window once again.
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It won't be easy for Alan Menken to craft new songs that match the sheer artistry of Beauty & The Beast's original soundtrack, but the film's lead composer has continued to impress since the animation was first released, writing classic Disney songs such as Enchanted's 'Happy Working Song' and Tangled's 'I See The Light'.
Re-watch the Oscar-nominated song Belle from the original Beauty & The Beast in the clip below:
Only time will tell if 'Our Song Lives On', 'For Evermore' and 'Days In The Sun' enjoy the same success as the original songbook, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Menken's name engraved on a gold statue roughly a year after Beauty & The Beast finally hits cinemas on March 17, 2018.
Do you think the three new songs will fit in well with the original soundtrack?
Source — EW