Howard Trailer

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know the songs from Disney’s animated classics like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid. However, you may have a harder time finding is someone who knows the name of the man who wrote those songs.

Howard Ashman is the lyricist behind such memorable tunes as “Under the Sea,” “Friend Like Me,” and “Be Our Guest,” and unfortunately, his musical genius was cut short after he was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Watch the first Howard trailer for a glimpse into the life and genius of Howard Ashman below.

Howard Trailer

Disney director, writer and producer Don Hahn, who put together this doc that first premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, said in an official press release from Disney+:

“You may not know his name, but you sure know Howard Ashman’s music. He’s one of the greatest storytellers of the twentieth century who helped to revitalize the American musical and re-energize Disney Animation. He left us a songbook that still lives on in us today, yet his personal story has never been fully told until now.”

Ashman created the most wonderful music with fellow mastermind Alan Menken, who also provides the score for the documentary. In the film, you’ll hear from some of those who brought his music to life, such as Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid, and Paige O’Hara, the voice of Belle in Beauty and the Beast. A more personal glimpse into Howard’s life also comes from his partner Bill Lauch and his sister Sarah Gillespie.

I always love these stories from behind the scenes of some of the greatest movies of all-time, especially when they focus in on someone you may not be familiar with. Howard Ashman is one of many people responsible for making the childhoods of so many children so magical and memorable, and it’s lovely that Disney+ is spreading his story for everyone to hear.

Directed by Don Hahn (“Beauty and the Beast”), “Howard” is the untold story of Howard Ashman, the brilliant lyricist behind Disney classics like “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and creator of musicals including “Little Shop of Horrors.” Featuring never-before-seen archival footage, personal films and photographs, as well as interviews with Howard’s friends and family, the film is an intimate look at the Disney Legend’s life, his creative drive, and the process behind the music. Spanning his childhood in Baltimore, to his formative years in New York, and his untimely death from AIDS, “Howard” goes in-depth to explore his journey to become the lyricist behind some of the most beloved and well-known classic family films in the world.

Howard premieres exclusively on Disney+ starting on August 7, 2020.

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