Many music stars have participated in the soundtrack of Disney animated films: Christina Aguilera performed the theme song for ‘Mulán’, Elton John composed ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ for ‘The Lion King’ and Phil Collins He did the same for ‘Tarzan’ creating tracks like ‘You’ll be in my heart’, to name just a few examples.
As the famous composer Alan Menken has now revealed, the late Michael Jackson wanted to record some songs for the film adaptation of ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ in 1996, but animation studios vetoed him unceremoniously due to controversies in his personal life, which by then had already begun to overshadow his professional career.
“I got a call out of nowhere from Michael’s assistant while he was staying at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York. At the time he was dealing with allegations of inappropriate behavior with underage children, and with the breakup with Lisa Marie Presley.“Meken recalled in a new interview with Slash Film.
“Obviously I wanted to change the narrative. And he really liked Disney. So I mentioned the ‘The Hunchback’ project to him and he said he would love to come to my studio and see the movie and talk about it so we got in touch with Disney Animation. They said, ‘Meet him! If you like it… well, we’ll see what happens ”.
At first, the king of pop showed interest in producing and recording three songs for the project, but his offer led to an uncomfortable conversation with Disney, who suddenly realized the controversy that could be unleashed if he signed the singer for a Child’s movie.
“Finally, unsurprisingly, they told me that Disney didn’t want to do something like that with Michael Jackson. I replied, ‘Okay, could anyone other than me tell you?’ Then there was silence and there was no answer. Nobody wanted to do it. The work ended up falling on my late manager, Scott Shukat, who spoke with Michael or his lawyer, “he recalled.
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