Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

howard disney movie

“Howard” is a documentary film that was released on August 7, 2020, on the streaming service Disney+. The film is a touching tribute to the life and work of Howard Ashman, a talented lyricist and playwright who made significant contributions to the world of entertainment, particularly with his collaborations with Disney.

Howard Ashman is best known for his work on Disney’s animated classics “The Little Mermaid” (1989) and “Beauty and the Beast” (1991). He collaborated with composer Alan Menken to create memorable and iconic songs for these films, including “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World” from “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast” from the film of the same name. These songs not only became popular hits but also earned the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

The documentary explores Howard Ashman’s early life, his passion for storytelling and theater, and his journey to success in the entertainment industry. It delves into his creative process and his commitment to creating meaningful and emotional songs that contributed to the success of Disney’s animated renaissance.

However, behind the scenes, Howard was battling a personal struggle with AIDS, a disease that would tragically take his life at the age of 40. The film also sheds light on his health battle and how it impacted his work during the final years of his life.

“Howard” is directed by Don Hahn, who was a close friend and colleague of Ashman. The film includes interviews with Ashman’s friends, family, and collaborators, offering an intimate and heartfelt portrait of the man behind the magic of Disney’s beloved songs.

The documentary provides a touching and emotional journey through Howard Ashman’s life, showcasing not only his artistic talent but also his humanity and the impact he left on those who knew him. It serves as a tribute to his legacy and a celebration of the music and magic he brought to Disney’s animated films.

“Howard” is a must-watch for Disney fans, music lovers, and anyone who appreciates stories of creative genius and the power of music to touch hearts and leave a lasting impression on the world.

Additional Details


  • Howard Ashman: Self
  • Sarah Gillespie: Self
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg: Self
  • Bill Lauch: Self
  • Alan Menken: Self
  • Paige O’Hara: Self
  • Peter Schneider: Self


  • Director: Don Hahn
  • Writer: Don Hahn
  • Producers: Don Hahn, Lori Korngiebel and Jonathan Polenz
  • Music: Alan Menken

Movie Trailer:

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.