Documentary on ‘The Little Mermaid’ Lyricist Back on Disney+

Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

The late Howard Ashman remains Walt Disney Studios’ most popular and famous lyricist. During the Disney Renaissance, Ashman, along with Alan Menken worked together on the iconic songs of The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (19991), and Aladdin (1992).

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The Documentary

In 2018, Disney released a documentary on lyricist Howard Ashman, titled Howard (2018). It was available on Disney Plus and was recently included on a list of content that was to be pulled off the platform in an effort to save some money.


Credit: AP

Although there has been a lot of pushback on various shows and movies Disney Plus was pulling, the one on Howard Ashman seemed to strike a nerve with a lot of people. His work is beloved by many Gen X-ers and their children and the changes to his lyrics in the new live action The Little Mermaid (2023) has brought up conversations about his talent.

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In addition, Howard Ashman was a gay man who died at only 40 years old during the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the ’80s and ’90s. As such, the removal of the documentary upset a lot of people as Pride Month begins June 1, and he is debatably one of Disney’s most successful LGBTQ professionals.

Beauty and the Beast Village Scene Animated Movie

Credit: Disney

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Update from Disney

But according to Vulture, a representative from Disney has stated that the removal of the documentary was an error. It was never meant to be taken off the platform.

Howard Ashman won two Academy Awards (for “Under the Sea” and “Beauty and the Beast”) and was nominated for seven (for “Kiss the Girl,” “Be Our Guest,” and “Friend Like Me,” among others). In addition to his contributions to Disney animation, Ashman also worked to write the screenplay and songs for Little Shop of Horrors (1986).


Credit: Disney

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About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)