Alan Menken, 70, is a composer who has gained eight Oscars, 11 Grammys and a Tony. He’s finest identified for his songs for “Little Store of Horrors” and for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” “Magnificence and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “Pocahontas.” He spoke with Marc Myers.
My mom used to sing a tune to me in public that went like this: “You’re a lot part of me, part of me, part of me / So deep inside the coronary heart of me, the 2 of us are one.”
We’d spring into motion at household get-togethers. She’d sing, “You’re” and I’d observe with, “A lot a” and so forth. My mother and father beloved Broadway musicals.
Rising up in New Rochelle, N.Y., I used to be obsessive about classical music, which started once I first noticed Disney’s “Fantasia” within the early ’60s. For me, Beethoven was a rock star. I beloved his Symphony No. 6, in all probability as a result of it was in “Fantasia.” Emotionally, the pastoral magnificence swept me away.