How Howard Ashman gave his voice to Disney’s Ariel
After previewing the scene where Ariel sings “Part of Your World” and expresses her desire to become human, Katzenberg wanted to remove the ballad from the film, fearing it was too slow to hold young viewers’ attention. .
“I said to everyone, ‘I think you should really think about removing that song from the movie,'” Katzenberg said in Howard. “And you know, Howard Ashman said, ‘Over my corpse. “”
Former Disney Music executive Chris Montan discussed Ashman’s role in the fight to keep the song in the film during an interview on the documentary. “Howard was very smart and said, ‘Look, these movies are throwing this kind of song. Each of the [Disney] the movies had a version of it, whether it was ‘When You Wish Upon A Star,’ or whatever example you want to choose from,” Montan said. “It may be temporarily difficult to make work, but overall you gotta have this song. You have to have those…moments. ‘”
In an archived interview, Ashman emphasized the importance of including a passionate song like “Part of Your World” in a musical to engage audiences in the protagonist’s story.
“In almost every musical ever written, there’s a place, it’s usually around the third song of the night, sometimes it’s the second, sometimes it’s the fourth, but it’s pretty early, and the lead actress usually sits on something…and sings what she wants in life,” Ashman said. “And the audience falls in love with her and roots for her to get it for the rest of the night.”
In the end, Ashman’s determination to defend the song’s retention prevailed, and his direction combined with Benson’s vocal skills resulted in “Leave Your World” being one of the most memorable moments of The little Mermaid.
Roy E. Disney, the former vice president of the Disney Company and nephew of Walt Disney, compared the level of respect his colleagues had for Ashman to his uncle in an interview clip from Howard. “I don’t want to compare him to Walt, but, on the other hand, he had that kind of influence on everyone. It was a remarkable influence. If Howard said it, you know, it was of the gospel,” Disney said. noted.