Michael Jackson’s Offer To Produce Music For ‘The Hunchback Of Notre Dame’ Was Rejected By Disney In The 90s
Disney films have some of the most iconic music. But the King of Pop’s offer to produce for the popular movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame was declined.
Josh Spiegel of Slash Films revealed the news earlier this week through an oral lesson on the 1996 film.
The movie’s composer Alan Menken said he was introduced to Michael Jackson during his search for someone to do Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” in 1992. Menken said back then Michael Jackson was a “very unique” and “interesting” person who was “in his own world.”
He added that Michael Jackson’s assistant reached out to him “out of nowhere” when the singer was at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York.
Menken, who also did work for The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, and Beauty and the Beast recalled,
“He had to [deal with] allegations about inappropriate behavior with underage kids, and the breakup with Lisa Marie Presley. He’s looking to change the subject. And he obviously loves Disney so much. So I mentioned Hunchback. He said he’d love to come to my studio, watch the movie and talk about it. So we got in touch with Disney Animation. They said, ‘Meet with him! If he likes it…well, see what he says.’”
“We got in touch with Disney. It was like somebody dropped a hot poker into a fragile bowl with explosives. ‘Uh, we’ll get back to you about that.’”
He said the company later decided not to move forward.
“Finally, predictably, the word came back, ‘Disney doesn’t want to do this with Michael Jackson.’ I go, ‘OK, could someone tell him this?’ You can hear a pin drop, no response, and nobody did [tell him]. It fell to my late manager, Scott Shukat, to tell Michael or Michael’s attorney. In retrospect, it was the right decision. [But] Quasimodo is a character…if you look at his relationships with his family and his father, I would think there’s a lot of identification there.”
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