Behind The Scenes

First Look at Howard, a Documentary About One of Disney’s Most Famous Lyricists

Have you ever had a song from a Disney classic playing over and over again in your head? Well, you might have Howard Ashman to thank for it!

The brilliant mind who penned enchanting hits like ‘Beauty and the Beast’, The Little Mermaid‘s ‘Under the Sea’ and Aladdin‘s ‘Friend Like Me’, is at the center of a new documentary helmed by producer/director Don Hahn. An homage to the Academy Award-winning artist who abruptly died in 1991 at just 39 years old, Howard is set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

To give a glimpse of how fascinating the documentary promises to be, here’s an exclusive clip shared by Deadline showing Ashman at work with Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), Jerry Orbach (Lumiere) and composer Alan Menken during the recording of the catchy ‘Be Our Guest’ from Beauty and the Beast in 1991.


Along with showing Orbach’s putting his magnificent French accent into practice, the video shares an incredible, rarely-seen look at the true live performance that was the recording of the movie’s soundtrack. “We created the soundtrack of Beauty and the Beast like a Broadway cast album,” says Kirk Wise, director of the timeless animated film, in the clip. Citing that the legendary song writer “never gave vague direction,” the filmmaker also points out Ashman’s very precise approach at work, which we can undeniably witness in the short preview.

Covering the unique life and career of Howard Ashman, Howard will debut at the NYC-based festival on April 22. “There’s no better home for the world premiere of Howard’s story than the Tribeca Film Festival, which celebrates everything he loved about film and music and New York,” said its director Don Hahn. “We’ve been honored to share this legend’s story and showcase his enormous legacy, a privilege second only to having known and worked this special man whose life touched so many. This clip is just one of those special moments we can’t wait for audiences to discover in our film.”

You can watch the film’s official trailer, below.