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Popular Singers/Songwriters and Theatrical Songwriters in Animation

edited November 2014 in Disney
After some reflection, I have come to the realization that Howard Ashman's and Alan Menken's foray into animation with THE LITTLE MERMAID, ALADDIN and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST marked the beginning of a tradition in animation film-making in which the songs (and, in some cases, scores) were written by people who had started out in live theater. Alan and Howard's theatrical background is well-known, of course, but here are some other good examples:

1. Tim Rice (librettist and lyricist of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, EVITA, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, AIDA, and KING DAVID)- ALADDIN ("A Whole New World", "One Jump Ahead" and "Prince Ali (Reprise)"), THE LION KING, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO

2. Stephen Schwartz (composer and lyricist of PIPPN, GODSPELL, CHILDREN OF EDEN, THE BAKER'S WIFE, and WICKED)- POCAHONTAS, THE PRINCE OF EGYPT, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, ENCHANTED

3. Lynn Ahrens (lyricist of RAGTIME, SEUSSICAL, A CHRISTMAS CAROL and ROCKY THE MUSICAL)- ANASTASIA (20th Century Fox, 1997)

4. David Zippel (lyricist of CITY OF ANGELS and THE GOODBYE GIRL)- THE SWAN PRINCESS, HERCULES, MULAN

5. Robert Lopez (featured composer of AVENUE Q)- WINNIE THE POOH (2011), FROZEN


However, there has also been a tradition of hiring popular singers/songwriters to write (and, in some cases, perform) for animated motion pictures. Here are the best examples:

1. Peggy Lee- LADY AND THE TRAMP

2. Elton John- THE LION KING, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO

3. Phil Collins- TARZAN, BROTHER BEAR

4. Bryan Adams- SPIRIT: STALLION OF THE CIMARRON

5. John Rzeznik (of the Goo Goo Dolls)- TREASURE PLANET

6. Sting- THE EMPEROR'S NEW GROOVE


Oh, and let's not forget three popular singers/songwriters who have written and performed just the songs heard over the end credits:

1. Ne-Yo- THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG ("Never Knew I Needed")

2. Grace Potter- TANGLED ("Something that I Want")

3. Kenny Loggins- THE TIGGER MOVIE ("Your Heart Will Lead You Home") [co-written with the Sherman Brothers]

Out of sheer curiosity, how do you think the theatrically-based animation composers and lyricists (Howard, Alan, Tim, and Stephen) would think of this insurgence of "pop" stars writing for these films? The way I see it, some of them might view it as, for lack of a better word, a threat.
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