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Disney Plus documentary tells the story of legendary lyricist Howard Ashman

The mastermind behind iconic Disney Renaissance songs died all too soon

Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

If you’ve ever found yourself belting “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid while in the shower, or crooning to Beauty and the Beast’s “Be Our Guest” while setting the table, then you have Howard Ashman to thank. A new documentary entitled Howard explores the life of the lyricist and the magic he brought to some of the most famous Disney melodies.

Ashman was responsible for the words behind some of the most iconic Disney Renaissance songs, from “Under the Sea” to “Beauty and the Beast.” He fought to keep “Part of Your World” in The Little Mermaid and pitched the idea of a musical adaptation of Aladdin. Ashman died of complications from AIDS in 1991, before even Beauty and the Beast came out in theaters.

The documentary gives a behind-the-scenes look at Ashman’s unfortunately short-lived time at Disney and his collaboration with composer Alan Menken. Howard is scheduled to hit Disney Plus on Aug. 7.