Alan Menken is an American composer, pianist, music director, and record producer, best known for his scores and songs for films produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. Menken's music for The Little Mermaid (1989), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), and Pocahontas (1995) has each won him two Academy Awards. He also composed the scores and songs for Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Newsies (1992), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), Hercules (1997), Home on the Range (2004), Enchanted (2007), Tangled (2010), and Disenchanted (2022), among others.
Menken was born on July 22, 1949, in New Rochelle, New York. He began taking piano lessons at a young age and started composing music shortly thereafter. After graduating from high school, Menken attended New York University, where he studied music composition. After graduating from college, Menken worked as a composer and arranger for a variety of Broadway shows and films.
In 1989, Menken released his first Disney film score, The Little Mermaid. The film was a huge success, and Menken's music was widely praised. He went on to score a number of other successful Disney films, including Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas. Menken's music for these films is known for its catchy melodies, its lush orchestrations, and its ability to capture the emotions of the characters and the story.
Menken has also composed music for a number of live-action films, including Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies, and Enchanted. He has also written music for several Broadway shows, including Little Shop of Horrors, Sister Act, and Newsies.