Alan Menken

Aladdin [Original Soundtrack] [Disney] [1992]

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Review

The soundtrack to Disney's Aladdin features another first-rate score by composer Alan Menken and lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, who helped Menken complete the score when Ashman died before it was finished. The film's hit single "A Whole New World" and Robin Williams' bravura performance as the magic lamp on songs such as "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali" are justifiably credited as the album's highlights. Aladdin's score is consistently good, rivaling the best of Disney's other animated musicals from the '90s. The manic "One Jump" and "Arabian Nights" (which was later re-recorded to remove lyrics potentially offensive to Arabs) are cut from the cloth of classic Broadway show tunes, while Menken's instrumental cues range from the sweetly cartoonish "To Be Free" to the romantic "Kiss" to the ominous "Jafar's Hour" and "On a Dark Night." While it's not quite as brilliant as the music from The Little Mermaid or Beauty the Beast, Aladdin is still a fine soundtrack and an auspicious debut for Menken and Rice's collaboration. ~ Heather Phares, Rovi

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