Hollywood is still moving at a glacier pace now that productions have shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. One entertainment entity that’s been hit particularly hard is Disney. So far, the studio has been forced to halt production on both its film and television projects. Despite this, veteran Disney composer Alan Menken seems to have found ways to stay productive during these tough times.
Menken recently appeared on a special livestream of The Rosie O’Donnell Show. During the interview, he reiterated that Disney’s live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid has indeed been delayed, but he’s finding that he now has more than enough time to do some songwriting. He also provided brief updates on the long-awaited Enchanted sequel and a few other projects:
This has been a great time for writing. Production stopped on The Little Mermaid movie. We recorded all the songs, and I wrote four new songs with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the lyricist for Mermaid. And I’m working on Disenchanted, the sequel to Enchanted. And I have another Broadway show. Oh, and Hercules is coming to the stage, of course. We did that in Central Park last summer. Just a whole bushel of new projects.
Having production suddenly stop on one of your projects can no doubt be difficult, but Alan Menken seems to be coping just fine. And with the way he talks, it sounds like the peace and quiet could actually be improving his workflow. It seems those two tried and true components may still be the key to productivity.
Menken’s drive really shouldn’t come as a surprise given that he’s been working on films and plays for the past several decades. His work with Disney on films like the original 1989 Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin are considered to be some of his greatest career achievements.
The Little Mermaid remake has been development for the past few years and was finally set to start production in England in April before being delayed by the coronavirus. At this point, Disney has yet to announce a new start date.
Disenchanted, on the other hand, has been in “development hell” for quite some time now, and Disney has yet to formally announce it. Still, fans of the original film should be happy to hear that the sequel appears to be moving into pre-production.
With the pandemic still raging on, it’ll likely be a while before Alan Menken is actually able to get back into a recording studio or step onto a set. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before things return back to normal for him. That is, if he’s even ready for them to be normal again.
In the meantime, Disney fans can stream both the animated version of The Little Mermaid and Enchanted on Disney+ while they’re stuck in the house.