Disney Legend Defects to Netflix, Brings Rachel Zegler Along

in Disney, Movies

Walt Disney Logo with Rachel Zegler

Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney Legend and iconic composer Alan Menken has taken his latest project to the House of Mouse’s biggest competitor, and Rachel Zegler is along for the ride.

menken performance tonight
Credit: The Walt Disney Family Museum/An Evening With Alan Menken

Alan Menken is one of the most significant figures in Disney history, having composed music for iconic films like The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), Enchanted (2007), Tangled (2010), and Disenchanted (2022).

The composer has won eight Academy Awards and is one of the handful of people in history to EGOT (i.e., win an Emmy, a Grammy, an Academy Award, and a Tony), and was part of a legendary musical partnership with Disney Renaissance mastermind Howard Ashman.

Related: Live-Action ‘Snow White’ Facing Major Delay Amid Rachel Zegler Drama

Menken and Ashman

Most recently, Alan Menken composed new music for the live-action Halle Bailey remake of The Little Mermaid with Lin-Manuel Miranda, expanding on the iconic music he had previously made with Howard Ashman.

Live-action 'Little Mermaid' shot
Credit: Disney

Alan Menken and Howard Ashman first came to major attention with their musical Little Shop of Horrors and soon after made their way to Disney, which they jointly helped revitalize into the massive global company it is today.

In other words, when Alan Menken moves a new musical to Netflix, Walt Disney Studios’ biggest competitor in streaming entertainment, it is a pretty big deal. That the company’s new live-action Snow White is coming with him just makes it all that much more significant.

Alan Menken’s ‘Spellbound’

Alan Menken’s newest project is a CGI animated film titled Spellbound, which will star Rachel Zegler as a princess who has to break a mysterious spell over her kingdom. The film is produced by Skydance Animation and was originally intended to be released on Apple TV+ and has now landed at Netflix (per Deadline). Menken is composing the score with frequent collaborator Glenn Slater.

Art for Spellbound
Credit: Skydance Animation

Spellbound will also feature the voices of Nicole Kidman, John Lithgow, Javier Bardem, Jenifer Lewis, Nathan Lane, André De Shields, and Titus Burgess. It is directed by Vicky Jenson and is expected to stream on Netflix sometime in 2024.

Skydance Animation has made something of a habit of picking up talent from Walt Disney Studios, so it is not that surprising that Alan Menken would be working with them and Netflix. Skydance previously hired former Disney and Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter to run the company, and Linda Woolverton, a key figure behind Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, is co-writing Spellbound.

Related: Disney’s ‘Snow White’ in Peril as Rachel Zegler Confronts Consequences

Disney and Rachel Zegler

It is also very notable that Rachel Zegler is leading the cast of the new Netflix musical, considering that Disney has gone all-in on the West Side Story (2021) actress.

Rachel Zegler as Maria
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Zegler is set to star in the live-action remake of Snow White, which has been beset by controversy since day one. Maybe the actress feels she could use a break from the world of Walt Disney and its very angry fans.

Is Alan Menken betraying Disney by working with Netflix? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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