Is there an award The Little Mermaid hasn’t won? Last year, Mermaid songwriters Howard Ashman and Alan Menken received two Oscars and two Golden Globe awards. Then, on Feb. 20 of this year, the pair won two Grammys — for Best Recording for Children (the spirited movie soundtrack) and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television (”Under the Sea”).
It was a big night for Ashman and Menken — and for Walt Disney Records, which hadn’t won a children’s music Grammy since ‘74’s Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Too. ”I’m continually thrilled and amazed,” Menken says of the acclaim.
The songwriters have been collaborating since the late ’70s — their biggest pre-Mermaid success was the musical version of Little Shop of Horrors. Their next project: Beauty and the Beast, another Disney animated feature scheduled for November release. The music they are creating for that movie is ”darker” than their work for Mermaid, Menken says, ”much grander and much bigger.”