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Cracking the Vault

Apr 14, 2021

On this episode of Cracking the Vault, we embark on a voyage to 1989 to explore the vast wasteland that had become Disney Animation. For decades, the company had no clear direction and was quickly plummeting toward a crash and burn ending. That is, until theatrical songwriting team Alan Menken and Howard Ashman joined Disney to present their animated feature The Little Mermaid!

Hear all about the dismal shape the company had been in, the desperate move toward something completely different, and one lyricist's mission to bring subversive themes of gender, identity and patriarchy to a film that would usher in a new era in Disney Animation. 

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HUGE shout out to the multi-talented composer Tyler Griffin for the FANTASMIC opening jingle. Find out more about his musical genius at