The Little Mermaid: Lin-Manuel Miranda Talks Working With Alan Menken For Live-Action Remake

Lin-Manuel Miranda is one busy guy. Not only did he write music for Disney's newest animated feature, Encanto, but he also just made his directorial feature debut with Tick, Tick... Boom!. Both movies are being met with praise with Encanto earning a 93% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 94% audience score. Tick, Tick... Boom! is currently up on the site with an 88% and a 95%. Encanto is far from Miranda's only Disney project. He previously wrote music for Moana, and he's currently working on the live-action reboot of The Little Mermaid, which is expected to feature new music by Disney Legend Alan Menken, who worked on the animated classic. During a recent interview with Collider, Miranda spoke about working with Menken. 

"Yeah, Alan is the reason I'm in this business," Miranda shared. "I'm here because The Little Mermaid blew my mind. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken shaped my childhood. It took us a while to get started because I think we were both nervous to go first, to present lyrics or to present music ... I learned is that Alan is maybe our greatest melodist since Richard Rogers. His doodles are better than any melody I will write in my life. But what he loves is to bounce off of something. As soon as I started writing lyrics, it wrote really fast because he's so quick, in terms of, once he's got his head around the style a song is, he's got it and he's got 50 melodies to pick and choose from. It's like anything else, you talk until the moment is right and you understand the musical moment you're dramatizing, and then it's a matter of keeping up with Alan Menken because he's fast."

Miranda added, "So much of my work on The Little Mermaid was that wish fulfillment. I actually didn't write any new songs for Sebastian the Crab because I love his songs so much. I was like, 'I can't. Nope, not me. I can't do it.' I did get to write for some of the other characters in that movie. Every song you love in The Little Mermaid is still in The Little Mermaid, we just found some new moments to musicalize. That's really tricky. 

When asked if he could choose any Disney character to create new songs for, Miranda replied, "I can tell you one of the ones that I didn't watch so much growing up, that my kid loves is The Sword in the Stone. There's something so incredible about when that wolf first shows up to menace Wart, I saw my kid get really scared for the first time. And then, immediately the wolf light falls down a cliff and falls on his face, and the laugh my kid let out when that happened was so delicious. It was such a lesson in tension and release and relief. So, there's probably something fun in The Sword in the Stone to be mined. I don't know. I'm spit-balling."

Encanto is currently playing in theaters. The Little Mermaid swims into theaters on May 26, 2023.