The “voice” of the little mermaid and the “soul” of Beast
Disney is one of the few companies in the world that can boast of having that ability to convey unique sensations that last forever. And not only through his films, but also in his own amusement parks and many other products that he creates. In all of them there is a common element that is one of the great secrets: music.
And that’s where it comes into play Howard Ashman, a lyricist, screenwriter and director who contributed to the success of films as important to the studio as Aladdin, The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast. But sadly Ashman passed away when he was just forty years old. However, his work will be remembered for a lifetime.
That story, that of Howard Ashman, is the one told in the documentary that has recently been released within the Disney + catalog and bears his same name: Howard. A quite mature production that not only deals with his professional work, but also the most personal part of his life and the reason led him to pass away at the young age of 40.
Howard Ashman, in full production of The Little Mermaid, was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1998. He had what was known at the time as gay cancer. A disease that ended his life, but during that extra time he had, it did not stop his desire to create something magical. Songs that today are an important part of many people and that they will always remember in a special way.
However, as many believe, It was in Beauty and the Beast where it seems that there was more of his inner self, as if he’s telling his own story through song. A story that did not have to be easy at all because of what is told in the documentary itself and because of what one can imagine knowing how homosexual people were considered in those years (and unfortunately still today by some who have not evolved mentally ).
For all this, for giving him the recognition that one of the most important figures in the studies and responsible for those pieces that many of us have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy together with our children, deserves, Howard’s documentary is a wonderful piece that we should all see.
A story where there is that Disney point, but that still does not brazenly cover something that deserves to be known. Because this is the only way to value both Howard Ashman’s work and his ability to cope with the inconveniences that were presented to him and that deprived us all of a much more important legacy than he already left.
If you have access to Disney +, spend the hour and a half it lasts to enjoy a story that gives value to all those people who make Disney possible.