With “Sausage Party”, Alan Menken proves he can do more than just Disney movies
Seth Rogen’s new R-rated animated film that debuted this weekend had something familiar that Disney fans might have been able to pick up on.
Sausage Party opens with a musical number that was written by famed composer Alan Menken. Yes, the same Alan Menken that wrote many of your favorite Disney music numbers including “Part of Your World” and “A Whole New World”, just to name a few.
He added to his musical canon with “The Great Beyond” for Rogen’s film, which sets up the story of the film of how the living products in a grocery story think that they are going to a heaven-like place. Disney fans will find the familiarity in the tune, cross melodies, and lyrics that might remind them of “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast. It’s all certainly a departure from Menken’s fun-loving tunes as the movie has to do with more mature topics like food “orgies” and death.
“The idea of using Alan Menken was a funny joke,” said Menken to USA Today. “I was like a new toy (the filmmakers) wanted to play with.”
And they did. Most of the time during the year and a half Menken wrote music, along with his lyricist Glenn Slater (also from Disney working together on Tangled) was the duo sending in demos for Rogen and the writing team to assess and then ask for more things “sounding more like Hitler.”
This wasn’t the start of Menken’s more mature work, though.
He also worked writing the songs for the ABC comedy TV series Galavant that told of the journeys of a young knight through songs that included lyrics like “cojones out to there…”
Watch a clip of the song below: