Legendary Composer Alan Menken Joins John Lasseter and Skydance Animation for “Spellbound”

If you had to make a list of some of the most successful (not to mention prolific) film composers over the last several decades, Alan Menken would undoubtedly be right at the top. Anybody who grew up during the Disney animation golden era of the late 1980s and early 1990s is familiar with his work. He had a hand in “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” and “Pocahontas,” just to name a few. He also composed the scores and songs for such hit films as “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Newsies,” and “Enchanted.”

So, when an animation fan hears that Alan Menken and his musical skills will be joining a new project, it’s time to start paying attention. Such is the case with “Spellbound,” a new feature film that will be coming from John Lasseter and the team at Skydance Animation in 2024.

Alan Menken and Spellbound: The Story So Far

Directed by Vicky Jenson, “Spellbound” tells the story of a young girl named Ellian. She lives in a magical world known only as Lumbria that has been split in two. She’s the only one who can break the spell and reunite her kingdom once and for all.

Even though there has been a lot of secrecy surrounding the film, it is already making waves thanks to the talents of its voice cast. It stars Rachel Zegler, who people first encountered in Steven Spielberg’s remake of “West Side Story,” as well as Nicole Kidman, Javier Bardem, John Lithgow, Jenifer Lewis, and Nathan Lane, among others.

“Spellbound” will be released at some point in 2024, likely on the Apple TV streaming service, as was the case with “Luck” in 2022. In addition to overseeing the project as part of his duties as Skydance Animation’s Head of Animation, John Lasseter is also credited as a producer.

Another notable piece of trivia about Alan Menken is that he is one of only 18 people to have achieved EGOT status, which means that he has not only an Oscar award but also a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy as well. He’s also the second most-honored person at the Academy Awards in any music category, with eight wins. Only one person – Alfred Newman – has more musical awards, with nine.

About John Lasseter and Skydance Animation

Skydance Animation was founded in 2017 as a division of Skydance Media. That particular company has had its hand in many major Hollywood hits over the years including “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Terminator Genisys,” “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” and “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” just to name a few.

Skydance Animation quickly made major headlines when it brought legend John Lasseter in to act as its Head of Animation. John Lasseter and his team at Pixar would go on not only to change the way that people thought about animation with “Toy Story” in 1995 but to reinvent its formula for success again and again throughout the next 15 years.

Films like “Toy Story 2,” “The Incredibles,” “Cars,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E,” and “Tangled” are among the highest-grossing in the genre. Taken together, Pixar had one of the most successful runs of any studio in the history of Hollywood, and John Lasseter has been a big part of that.

Upon his arrival at Skydance Animation, John Lasseter was involved in the film “Luck.” Directed by Peggy Holmes and Javier Abad, it was released on Apple TV in August 2022. “Spellbound” will be their second collaboration in what is sure to be another long and storied legacy.