Howard is a documentary film on the life of Howard Ashman the legendary lyricist behind Disney animation classics Aladdin, Beauty and The Beast and The Little Mermaid.
He gave a mermaid her voice. He gave a beast his soul.
Howard is a 2018 documentary movie about Howard Ashman the legendary lyricist credited for giving words to the songs of several iconic Disney characters. It landed on Disney Plus on August 7, 2020. It is written and directed by Don Hahn who worked with Howard Ashman on Beauty and The Beast and pays tribute to the gifted songwriter and Alan Menken collaborator. The Menken/Ashman was a partnership full of heart and soul; these two men gave feeling to a beast and mermaid.
The documentary shows Ashman’s road on the path to becoming the lyricist on some of the most memorable family films in Disney’s history.
I’ve been an admirer of Howard Ashman’s work for over thirty years. Watching Howard helped me appreciate him even more. The footage contained in Howard gave a closer look inside Ashman’s creativity. I liked how it incorporated childhood photos along with early adulthood pictures so we could see who Howard Ashman was and who he turned out to be. Looking at the recording sessions and hearing the people who knew and worked with him share memories offered the documentary a more personal touch. It was almost like a video journal.
Courtesy of Disney Plus Official Twitter
It’s often said true geniuses die young, such is the case of Howard Ashman who passed away at 40 from AIDS related complications. I imagine had AIDS not taken him at such a young age, Howard Ashman would probably still be creating magic. I’m saddened to think of the brilliance that was extinguished.
But Howard Ashman will never be truly gone…he leaves behind a lasting legacy for lyricists and is inspiration for aspiring lyricists.
And Howard is not only an acknowledgment of Howard Ashman’s achievements, but a thank you to Ashman. It is a film keepsake for those who knew him, those who never met him and those who want to be like him.
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Photo and Video Courtesy of Disney Plus
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