Alan Menken, the eight time Academy Award-winning composer of films such as “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid,” will compose original music and the score for Skydance Animation’s upcoming feature “Spellbound.”
The film, which is being directed by Vicky Jenson (“Shrek,” “Shark Tale”) from a script by Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin (“Mulan”) and Linda Woolverton (“Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King”), is set in a world of magic where a young girl must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two. “Spellbound” is the animated feature’s working title.
Menken’s legendary career, spanning more than four decades, includes award-winning work on “Aladdin,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Pocahontas,” “Newsies,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “Hercules,” “Enchanted” and “Tangled.” Menken has also won more Oscars than any other composer.
He will compose music alongside Grammy winner Glenn Slater, who will write lyrics. The two worked on the soundtrack for “Tangled” together. In addition to his Grammy, Slater has also been nominated for three Tony Awards, two Emmys, an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
Grammy winner Chris Montan, who’s worked as executive music producer on Disney films such as “Pocahontas;” “Hercules;” “The Princess and the Frog;” among many others, will serve as executive music producer on “Spellbound.” Under his supervision, Disney has been nominated for 42 Academy Awards for music with 16 wins.
“Alan Menken’s music defines a generation and is loved by audiences around the world,” Jenson said 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 Slater] and [Chris Montan] onboard, their combined creativity adds so much depth and complexity to the emotions of our characters and this very unique story. It is a true honor to collaborate with this team.”
“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,” Menken said in a statement. “‘Spellbound’ promises to be quite unique and inspiring.”
Menken, Slater and Montan are the latest to join the studio’s expanding creative roster as it continues to attempt to build out its production slate. Skydance Animation recently announced a global expansion with the formation of Skydance Animation Madrid.
With more than 350 creatives across two continents, in addition to “Spellbound,” Skydance Animation’s upcoming feature slate also includes “Luck,” directed by Peggy Holmes (“The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”), about 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,” written and directed by Nathan Greno (“Tangled”).