The story of songwriter Howard Ashman who penned the lyrics for Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast before he died of AIDS at the height of the AIDS crisis in 1991.


Don Hahn


Don Hahn
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Hahn ... Self
Sarah Gillespie Sarah Gillespie ... Self
Shirley Ashman Shirley Ashman ... Self
Howard Ashman ... Self (archive footage)
Kyle Renick Kyle Renick ... Self
Nancy Parent Nancy Parent ... Self
Dennis Green Dennis Green ... Self
Alan Menken ... Self
Peter Schneider ... Self
Bill Lauch Bill Lauch ... Self
Marvin Hamlisch ... Self (archive footage)
Jodi Benson ... Self
Jeffrey Katzenberg ... Self
Randy Cartwright ... Self
Ron Clements ... Self


Howard Ashman grew up in an average Jewish family in Baltimore with an extraordinary love for musical theater. After college, he opened a theater in a derelict section of New York and struggled to put on shows, until his adaptation of Roger Corman's film LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS becomes a huge Off-Off-Broadway hit and catapults him into the limelight. Finally on Broadway, he collaborates with the Oscar- and Tony-winner Marvin Hamlisch to create the ultimately disappointing Smile. Embarrassed, Howard fled to Los Angeles and took up with a struggling gang of artists in a warehouse-Disney animators who had just been kicked off the studio lot until they could prove themselves. Along with Alan Menken, Howard writes the Oscar winning songs for THE LITTLE MERMAID. While the film becomes a global phenomenon, Howard is diagnosed with HIV-which he kept a secret in an era when AIDS is a death sentence and gay men are at the margins of society. After creating the initial songs for ALADDIN, Howard's... Written by Don Hahn

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Did You Know?


Don Hahn: We knew something very special was happening that day. But what we didn't know was that in nine months, Howard would be gone.
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References Peter Pan (1953) See more »

User Reviews

8 August 2020 | by skpc9See all my reviews

Howard Ashman, was so very talented and amazing. This is a wonderful documentary on his life and go into GREAT details!

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Release Date:

14 December 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Howard See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Stone Circle Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby Atmos

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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