Because of a rainstorm, we had Movie Time with our grandchildren on Sunday. It included big pillows on the floor, fresh popcorn, a fire in the fireplace and the Disney movie Aladdin.
A few days ago, I read a wonderful interview with Alan Menkin, the man who is said to be the musical genius of Disney productions. Besides writing the music for The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, Alan wrote the music to Aladdin.
Scott Wolf at Mouse Clubhouse asked Menkin many questions about his career as a composer. The answers allowed the readers to get to know more about the beautiful music and the composer behind it. You can read the entire article by Scott Wolf at Mouseclubhouse
One of the last questions and its answer was wonderful to read:
Question: Do you have any favorite memories from all your work with Disney?
Answer: There’s so many, but I remember when we went in and they were re-releasing “Aladdin” (on DVD) and we went in and did “Proud of Your Boy” with full orchestra. It only existed as a piano vocal demo for like fifteen years, and then Danny Troob came back to do the orchestration and Clay Aiken came in and they started playing this song. You could feel it, it felt right out of what we had done for “Aladdin,” I was emotionally blown away.
The song, Proud of Your Boy was an important song to the staff of Aladdin. It was written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menkin, the composing duo who also wrote the music for The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. The song focused on Aladdin’s relationship with his mother and Ashman said that it was his favorite song in the film.
In the middle of Aladdin’s production, Howard Ashman died of AIDS. It was a difficult time for all involved in Aladdin. It must have been even tougher for Alan when the decision was made to take the mother out of the story. The cut meant taking Proud of Your Boy out of the film that Alan had become very attached to since the death of his friend.
Clay Aiken became a part of the Disney family by singing Proud of Your Boy for the new DVD. Alan Menkin said that Clay fit the part perfectly and was very pleased that Clay was involved with the DVD. After the recording, Buena Vista Home Entertainment became the title sponsor of Clay’s first tour.
On September 30th, 2004, Clay Aiken attended the release party for the Aladdin (Disney Special Platinum Edition) DVD. His friend Amber Nix accompanied Clay to the event. He walked down the “Blue” carpet and chatted with the press. Inside the theater, Clay performed the song Proud of Your Boy.
There are four videos below. The quality is rather poor, but Clay is wonderful in all of them. The first two are professional videos provided by Disney. The last two are interviews that Clay gave during the Aladdin press junket on September 27th.