Alan Menken — the legendary composer behind such Disney classics as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas and Tangled — will compose original songs and the score for Skydance Animation’s upcoming animated feature Spellbound (working title).
He will be joined by lyricist and frequent collaborator Glenn Slater (Tangled) and music producer Chris Montan (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen).
Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale) is helming Spellbound, which is written by Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin (Mulan) and Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King). The story is set in a world of magic where a young girl must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.
“Alan Menken’s music defines a generation and is loved by audiences around the world,” Jenson said Wednesday in a statement. “From day one, we knew this magical world would be full of music, and we knew only Alan could bring it to life. With Glenn and Chris onboard, their combined creativity adds so much depth and complexity to the emotions of our characters and this very unique story.”
“I’m thrilled to be united with so many talented collaborators and very much look forward to working with Vicky Jenson, Lauren Hynek and Elizabeth Martin,” said eight-time Academy Award winner Menken, whose additional credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Enchanted and Tangled. “Spellbound promises to be quite unique and inspiring.”
Slater is a Grammy-winning lyricist who has collaborated with Menken on projects including the animated films Tangled and Home on the Range and Broadway’s Sister Act, The Little Mermaid and A Bronx Tale. He also has partnered with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Love Never Dies and School of Rock.
Montan is a Grammy-winning music producer who also served as president of Walt Disney Music, where he was responsible for all Disney and Pixar animated features, Disney Theatrical stage productions and music for the Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts worldwide.
Los Angeles-headquartered Skydance Animation, led by animation head John Lasseter and president Holly Edwards, expanded last month when David Ellison’s Skydance Media acquired the animation unit of Madrid-based Ilion Studios, which was renamed Skydance Animation Madrid.
The studio’s upcoming features includes Luck, directed by Peggy Holmes (The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning), which is described as the story of the unluckiest girl alive who stumbles upon the never-before-seen world of good and bad luck and must join together with magical creatures to uncover a force more powerful than even luck itself; and Pookoo (working title), written and directed by Nathan Greno (Tangled). Skydance also has a slate of TV series in various stages of development.