Academy Award-Winning Composer Alan Menken to Create Original Songs and Score for Vicky Jenson Helmed Skydance Animation Feature Spellbound
With Lyrics by Grammy Award Winner Glenn Slater and Grammy Award Winner Chris Montan as Executive Music Producer
SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Skydance Animation, led by John Lasseter and Holly Edwards, today announced that legendary composer Alan Menken, known for his award-winning work on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Little Shop of Horrors, Pocahontas, Newsies, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Enchanted and Tangled, will compose original music and score for the upcoming musical fantasy Spellbound (working title). Menken is joined by celebrated lyricist and frequent collaborator Glenn Slater (Tangled) and lauded music producer Chris Montan (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen). Menken, Slater and Montan are the latest award-winning talent to join the studio’s expanding creative roster as it continues to build its ambitious production slate. Skydance Animation recently announced a global expansion with the formation of Skydance Animation Madrid.
The animated feature is led by acclaimed director Vicky Jenson (Shrek, Shark Tale) and written by Lauren Hynek & Elizabeth Martin (Mulan) and Linda Woolverton (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King). Spellbound (working title) is set in a world of magic where a young girl must break the spell that has split her kingdom in two.
“Alan Menken’s music defines a generation and is loved by audiences around the world,” said Jenson. “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 and Chris 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,” said Menken. “Spellbound promises to be quite unique and inspiring.”
Alan Menken’s career has spanned over four decades and has earned him eight Academy Awards—more than any living person—and is the recipient of numerous other awards including Golden Globes, Grammys, Drama Desk Awards and a Tony. He is best known for composing the score and writing songs for a number of Disney animated films including The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules and Tangled. His work also includes the onstage musicals Little Shop of Horrors, A Christmas Carol, A Bronx Tale and Sister Act as well as adaptations of his film work including Newsies.
Glenn Slater is a Grammy-winning lyricist best known for his work in musicals for both the stage and screen. He has collaborated with Alan Menken on a number of projects including the animated films Tangled and Home on the Range; Broadway’s Sister Act, The Little Mermaid and A Bronx Tale; as well as songs for the television series Galavant. He has also partnered with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Love Never Dies and School of Rock. In addition to his Grammy, Slater has also been nominated for three Tony Awards, two Emmys, an Oscar and a Golden Globe.
Chris Montan is a Grammy-winning music producer with over 30 years in the business. He is best known for his time as President of Walt Disney Music where he was responsible for all Disney and Pixar animated features, all Disney Theatrical stage productions and music for the Walt Disney Theme Parks and Resorts worldwide. In 1997, Variety named him “musical supervisor of the decade.” Under his supervision, soundtracks for ten of the studio’s theatrical releases have been certified multi-platinum and he garnered the studio 42 Academy Award nominations for music with 16 wins.
With more than 350 creatives across two continents, in addition to Spellbound (working title), 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 (working title), written and directed by Nathan Greno (Tangled). In addition, Skydance Animation has a slate of soon-to-be-announced high-end television series in various stages of development.
About Skydance Media
Skydance is the diversified media company founded by David Ellison in 2010 to create high-quality, event-level entertainment for global audiences. The Company brings to life stories with immersive worlds across its feature film, television, interactive and animation divisions. Skydance’s upcoming feature films include the highly anticipated Top Gun: Maverick, The Old Guard, Without Remorse, Snake Eyes, The Tomorrow War and the upcoming seventh and eighth installments of the Mission: Impossible film series. Skydance Television was launched in 2013, and its diverse slate includes Grace and Frankie, Altered Carbon, Condor, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Foundation and Jack Reacher across a range of platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV+. Skydance Interactive launched in 2016 to create and publish original and IP-based virtual reality video games; its library includes the survival- horror game The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners and the mech-shooter Archangel: Hellfire. Skydance Animation was formed in 2017 to develop and produce a slate of high-end feature films and television series and in 2020 formed Skydance Animation Madrid and established a presence across two continents. The first slated movie is Luck.