Alan Menken on Writing the New Songs in ‘Beauty and the Beast’

     March 19, 2017

Beauty and the Beast is currently on top of the box office, denying the mighty Kong: Skull Island its second frame in the number one spot. Before its release, I sat down with composer Alan Menken for an exclusive video interview. He talked about how he found out about the live-action version, working with Bill Condon and the goals for the film, the 3 new songs, and more. In addition, towards the end of the interview, you can watch him play a bit of “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast” and talk about working with the late lyricist of the original film, Howard Ashman.


Image via Disney

Beauty and the Beast was scripted by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos with music by Disney veterans Alan Menken and Tim Rice. The film stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as Beast, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Luke Evans as Gaston, Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Kevin Kline as Maurice, and Tony Award winner Audra McDonald as Garderobe.

Check out what Alan Menken had to say in the video above, and below is exactly what we talked about followed by the official synopsis and some recent links.

Alan Menken:

  • How early on did he know about the live-action version and being involved in the production?
  • Talks about working with Bill Condon and the goals for the film.
  • Talks about the 3 new songs and where they came from.
  • Is he asked to play music at every dinner party he attends?
  • When he wrote the music which was the easiest to compose and which was the hardest?

Image via Disney

Here’s the official synopsis for Beauty and the Beast:

“Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

Check out more of the footage we’ve seen from the film so far in the links below.

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