Disney legendary songwriters Alan Menken and Richard Sherman will play a special concert of their favorite songs from the Disney Songbook on Saturday evening for guest at the D23 Expo.
Sherman along with his brother Robert composed some of the most beloved songs in the Disney canon. The Disney Legends won two OscarsÂ® for their work on Mary Poppins, and during their decadesâ€“long association with Disney they wrote more than 200 songs for 27 films and two dozen television productions. They made unforgettable contributions to such Disney films as The Parent Trap, The Jungle Book, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, and the entire Winnie the Pooh series, as well as the family classic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They also penned beloved songs for Disney Parks including the theme songs for Walt Disneyâ€™s Enchanted Tiki Room, itâ€™s a small world, and Carousel of Progress. Richard wrote the song â€œMake Way for Tomorrow Todayâ€ for the blockbuster film Iron Man 2.
Would Bob have been enthusiastic about being apart of this and playing with you in this concert format? Sherman replied, â€œBob was never much of a performer, he was on the shy side but he would have ran on stage to sing a couple choruses.â€ He added. â€œUnfortunately, Bob isnâ€™t here and I am representing the both of us.â€
When asked if there is one song or movie that fans talk about more than the other Sherman replied, â€œEverybody loves Mary Poppins, one of the non-Disney picture that everyone thinks is a Disney picture that they love is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It is not a Disney picture but Walt (Disney) gave us permission.â€ Sherman added, â€œMy favorite is Mary Poppins and my favorite song is Feed the Birds. Walt loved that song.â€
Menken has received more Oscars than any living person. He has written songs and scores for some of the worldâ€™s most beloved films:Â Tangled,Â Enchanted, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the BeastÂ , Aladdin, Pocahontas, Hercules, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Little Shop of Horrors, Home on the RangeÂ andÂ Newsies. His song â€œStar Spangled Man,â€ was the patriotic anthem of the 2011 hit film Captain America: The First Avenger. Menkenâ€™s Broadway successes include his 2012 Tony AwardÂ® for Newsies, plus The Little Mermaid,Â Beauty and the Beast, Little Shop of Horrors,Â andÂ Sister ActÂ .Â His other stage productions includeÂ King David, God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, The Hunchback of Notre DameÂ and his latest stage production Aladdin: The New Musical, opening next year.
â€œThe great thing about Disney songs they all live in a context. The movies I grew up with are the ones that most stick with me, I love Pinocchio â€œI got no Stringâ€ and Dumbo â€œYour Mother and Mineâ€ it is hard to differentiate them,â€ said Menken.
Menken mentioned about his views on the Disney Songbook, â€œTo me it is because the are so tied into the movies, Each song encapsulates the experience of a different movie and era of the listeners life that make it really special.â€ MenkenÂ added, â€œIt is a really heartfelt and genuine storytelling in these songs.â€
As for the two performing together each enjoyed the songs that each of them have written throughout their careers to highlight for this concert. Menken said, â€œIt is always a challenge to pick out the right material and we did have request from our host at least I did, and the way it was structured which made it easy.Â The challenge is which of the unknown songs I wanted to put in for the audience.â€
Sherman mentioned, â€œWe have so many songs to choose from and to try to select, what we try to do is a potpourri and not complete run down but a sampling over the years. It was kind of a fun thing of which one of my children we will take along for the outing.â€Â
Menken and Sherman will be performing on pianoâ€™s and going back and forth with the songs they have written and then performing some special songs together. The concert will be held on Day 2 of the D23 Expo at 6:30pm inside the D23 Expo Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center. Tickets for Saturday are sold out but are still available for today and Sunday.