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Alan Irwin Menken is an American film and musical theater composer and pianist.

For Disney, he composed music for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Home on the Range, Enchanted, and Tangled. He has worked with lyricists Howard Ashman, Sir Tim Rice, Stephen Schwartz, David Zippel, and Glenn Slater.

In 2001, he and his musical partner, Howard Ashman were named Disney Legends, and their plaques are presented together on the same post at the Team—Disney Michael D. Eisner Building at the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California.

He is currently the only living person with the highest number of Academy Awards (four each for Best Original Score and Best Original Song). He has the third most Oscars of all time. Only Alfred Newman (9 wins) and Walt Disney (22 wins) have received more than him. He is tied with late costume designer Edith Head for the third most Oscar wins.

He has written songs outside of Disney, his most notable work being the 1982 musical Little Shop of Horrors, which was adapted into a film by Frank Oz in 1986. The song "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space" earned him and Ashman their first Oscar nomination.

On July 26, 2020, Menken became the 16th person to achieve EGOT status, winning the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Original Song (Children's/Young Adult/Animation) for the song "Waiting in the Wings" from Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure.

Menken even shares the same exact first name as fellow composer Alan Silvestri who is also a frequent collaborator of Disney and Disney-related scores, as both artists have been born and raised in New York.

Filmography[]

Feature films[]

Year Film Position Subsidiary
1989 The Little Mermaid Songs/Original Score Walt Disney Animation Studios
1991 Beauty and the Beast
1992 Newsies Original Songs: Music Walt Disney Pictures
Aladdin Original Score/Songs Walt Disney Animation Studios
1995 Pocahontas Songs: Music/Original Score
1996 The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Aladdin and the King of Thieves Song: "Arabian Nights"
1997 Hercules Original Score/Songs
2004 Home on the Range Original Score Composed/Original Songs: Music
2006 The Shaggy Dog Music Walt Disney Pictures
2007 Enchanted Songs/Score
2010 Tangled Original Score Composed/Original Songs: Music Walt Disney Animation Studios
2011 Captain America: The First Avenger Song: "Star Spangled Man" Marvel Studios
2017 Beauty and the Beast Songs: Music/Score Walt Disney Pictures
Tangled: Before Ever After Song: "Wind in My Hair" Disney Television Animation
2018 Ralph Breaks the Internet Song: "A Place Called Slaughter Race" Walt Disney Animation Studios
2019 Aladdin Songs: Music/Score Walt Disney Pictures
2022 Disenchanted Songs: Music/Score
2023 The Little Mermaid Songs: Music/Score

Television[]

Year Series Position Subsidiary
2015-2016 Galavant Songs: Music/Score; Executive producer ABC Studios
2017-2020 Tangled: The Series Songs: Music/Score; co-wrote with Kevin Kliesch Disney Television Animation

Early Years[]

Alan Menken was born on July 22, 1949 in New Rochelle, New York. From his early years, his parents described Alan as a "Lover of Music". He even used to fake conduct to recordings of Beethoven's 5th Symphony, etc. When the time came for him to attend college, he attended New York University, studying pre-med, but later changing his focus to music. His first professional work, with Howard Ashman, was 1979 WPA theatre of God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Three years later, he received huge success with the 1982 off-Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors, again with Ashman, in which he received a Drama Desk nomination. Little Shop of Horrors was made into a motion picture and received a Broadway run. Alan Menken also received his first Oscar nomination with "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space".

Alan Menken is arguably best known for his work with Walt Disney Pictures since the late 1980s. During his time with the company, he received 18 Academy Award nominations and 16 Golden Globe nominations. He is seen as one of the key players in the Disney Renaissance, and is one of the two people to receive three musical nominations in the same year (Academy Awards). Doing so once for Enchanted, and once for Beauty and the Beast.

Gallery[]

External Links[]


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Walt Disney Animation Studios - Transparent Logo
1920s—1970s
Disney's Nine Old Men: Milt KahlFrank ThomasOllie JohnstonLes ClarkJohn LounsberyMarc DavisWard KimballEric LarsonWolfgang Reitherman

Animators: Bill TytlaArt BabbittLee BlairPreston BlairFred MooreShamus CulhaneCy YoungDon LuskNorman FergusonHal KingJack HannahDick KinneyHal AmbroKen O'BrienJudge WhitakerBill JusticeDon BluthGary GoldmanCharles A. NicholsBlaine GibsonJohn EwingWalt StanchfieldRolly CrumpFred HellmichAmby PaliwodaWilfred JacksonXavier AtencioBen SharpsteenEarl HurdDale OliverEric CleworthDavid HandFred SpencerJulius SvendsenJack BradburyKenneth MuseRudolf IsingHugh HarmanFriz FrelengWalt KellyLeo SalkinJohn DehnerRetta ScottDavid SwiftMel ShawJack CuttingGrant SimmonsArt StevensFrank TashlinWathel RogersTyrus WongJohnny CannonBernard WolfJohn W. Dunn
Visual Development, Layout, Background Artists and Character Designers: Gustaf TenggrenMary BlairMarjorie RalstonLillian BoundsJoe GrantMel ShawClaude CoatsDon DaGradiJohn HenchEyvind EarleKen O'ConnorThor PutnamAlbert HurterJohn HubleyHerbert RymanDon GriffithBasil DavidovichJack BoydPeter EllenshawRuthie TompsonEarl DuvallRetta DavidsonUb IwerksVance GerryHazel SewellJames BodreroLance NolleyGrace BaileyMaurice NobleDale BarnhartAndy EngmanEustace LycettJohn EmersonJoe HaleLeota ToombsFerdinand Horvath
Storyboard Artists and Writers: Bill PeetRalph WrightDick HuemerFloyd NormanYale GraceyTed SearsErdman PennerJoe RinaldiWinston HiblerOtto EnglanderWilliam CottrellBill BergAl BertinoT. HeeHomer BrightmanTed OsbourneLarry ClemmonsHarry ReevesJesse MarshChuck CouchWebb SmithDick Sebast
Directors: Clyde GeronimiHamilton LuskeJack KinneyTed BermanRichard RichGeorge ScribnerRiley ThomsonDick LundyJack KingBurt GillettJames AlgarBill RobertsLarry LansburghRichard Irvine
Producers: Walt DisneyRon MillerKen AndersonDon DuckwallPerce PearceMargaret J. Winkler

1980s—present
Renaissance Directors: Rob MinkoffRoger AllersGary TrousdaleKirk WiseChris SandersMark DindalJohn Musker

Story Trust Directors: Ron ClementsChris BuckByron HowardDon HallChris WilliamsRich MooreStephen J. AndersonNathan GrenoFawn Veerasunthorn
Producers: Peter Del VechoClark SpencerRoy ConliDorothy McKimDon HahnShane Morris
Chief Creative Officer: Jennifer Lee
Associated Figures: Bob IgerRoy Edward DisneyMichael EisnerJohn LasseterEd CatmullJeffrey KatzenbergBob Chapek
Signature Voice Actors: Jim CummingsAlan TudykKatie LowesJohn DiMaggioMaurice LaMarcheJodi BensonDavid Ogden StiersJesse CortiPaul BriggsRaymond S. PersiPhil JohnstonFrank WelkerBill FarmerBrian Cummings
Signature Musicians: Robert B. Sherman Richard M. Sherman Alan Menken Kristen Anderson-Lopez Robert LopezLin-Manuel MirandaHoward AshmanTim RicePhil CollinsStephen SchwartzMarc ShaimanDanny Troob
Supervising Animators: Glen KeaneAndreas DejaEric GoldbergMark HennJohn PomeroyRandy HaycockDale BaerTony BancroftTom BancroftTony FucileAnthony DeRosaRuss EdmondsRandy HaycockBruce W. SmithDuncan MarjoribanksRuben AquinoNik RanieriRon HusbandRick FarmiloeTom SitoTony AnselmoWill FinnKathy Zielinski
Visual Development & Storyboard Artists: Dean DeBloisClaire KeaneBrittney LeeJin KimShiyoon KimRyan Green

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