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Myths and Legends Pop Culture

Yasu Matsuoka

Serenity by Yasu Matsuoka

Yasu Matsuoka is a self-taught Japanese artist, who creates beautiful mermaid and mythology-themed art. He creates art for a variety of spaces varying from private collectors to art galleries to interior design installations.

Honored by Yasu Matsuoka

Yasu Matsuoka’s digital illustrations are so unique, because they tell a story of his own imagination. His passion for fantasy worlds, mermaids, and stories is apparent in his work.

You’re instantly drawn to the world he’s created with its vivid colors and exquisite details. The juxtaposition of his pieces are reminiscent of classical paintings.

Mermaid Transformation by Yasu Matsuoka

Yasu Matsouka also known as Yasu Art Studio on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter has gained a large following for his awe-inspiring fantasy art.

I highly recommend that you follow him. You won’t shell-gretic it!

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Myths and Legends Pop Culture

The Sultry Starbucks Siren

Starbucks is the largest coffee chain in the world, and it’s synonymous for it’s addicting coffee and siren logo.

It’s not a coincidence that since Starbucks was founded in a port city, that it’s logo and name would be inspired by the sea.

Starbucks got it’s name from Starbuck, a character in Herman Melville Moby Dick. The company’s founders added the “s” at the end, so the name could be more conversational and easier to remember.

The medieval mermaid that inspired the original Starbucks Siren logo design

Starbucks sultry, bare breasted, two-tailed logo was risqué when it opened it’s doors in Seattle, Washington in 1971. It’s founder’s found a Nordic 15th century woodcut of a bare breasted, twin-tailed siren and they thought she was perfect! The mermaid exemplified the seductive and alluring nature of the sea.

It has also been speculated that Starbucks Siren could’ve also been inspired by a very famous medieval two-tailed mermaid…Melusine.

The medieval siren, holding up her twin-tails revealing her genitalia signifies the power of femininity and fertility.

As the years progressed, the Starbucks logo became less risqué and more refined. Overtime, the designers decided to cover the siren’s bare breasts with her long, luscious hair, another notable feature of a siren. Sirens were known to comb their luscious locks of hair to lure sailors to their untimely death.

 

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Myths and Legends Pop Culture

The Water-Nymph by Alexander Pushkin

Rhinemaidens, from The Rhinegold & The Valkyrie illustration by Arthur Rackham (1910)

Alexander Pushkin was a famous Russian poet and is the considered the founder of modern Russian literature. He lived from 1799-1837.

The Water-Nymph

In lakeside leafy groves, a friar
Escaped all worries; there he passed
His summer days in constant prayer,
Deep studies and eternal fast.
Already with a humble shovel
The elder dug himself a grave –
As, calling saints to bless his hovel,
Death – nothing other – did he crave.

So once, upon a falling night, he
Was bowing by his wilted shack
With meekest prayer to the Almighty.
The grove was turning slowly black;
Above the lake a mist was lifting;
Through milky clouds across the sky
The ruddy moon was softly drifting,
When water drew the friar’s eye…

He’s looking puzzled, full of trouble,
Of fear he cannot quite explain,
He sees the waves begin to bubble
And suddenly grow calm again.
Then – white as first snow in the highlands,
Light-footed as nocturnal shade,
There comes ashore, and sits in silence
Upon the bank, a naked maid.

She eyes the monk and brushes gently
Her hair, and water off her arms.
He shakes with fear and looks intently
At her, and at her lovely charms.
With eager hand she waves and beckons,
Nods quickly, smiles as from afar
And shoots, within two flashing seconds,
Into still water like a star.

The glum old man slept not an instant;
All day, not even once he prayed:
Before his eyes still hung and glistened
The wondrous, the relentless shade…
The grove puts on its gown of nightfall;
The moon walks on the cloudy floor;
And there’s the maiden – pale, delightful,
Reclining on the spellbound shore.

She looks at him, her hair she brushes,
Blows airy kisses, gestures wild,
Plays with the waves – caresses, splashes –
Now laughs, now whimpers like a child,
Moans tenderly, calls louder, louder…
‘Come, monk, come, monk! To me, to me!..’
Then – disappears in limpid water,
And all is silent instantly…

On the third day the zealous hermit
Was sitting by the shore, in love,
Awaiting the delightful mermaid,
As shade was covering the grove…
Dark ceded to the sun’s emergence;
Our monk had wholly disappeared –
Before a crowd of local urchins,
While fishing, found his hoary beard.

Categories
Myths and Legends Pop Culture

The Mermaid by Alfred Lord Tennyson

A Mermaid by John William Waterhouse (1900)

Alfred Lord Tennyson had written a poem titled The Mermaid that was included in his 1893 novel, The Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson. The poem below:

The Mermaid 

I. 

Who would be
A mermaid fair,
Singing alone,
Combing her hair
Under the sea,
In a golden curl
With a comb of pearl,
On a throne?

II. 

I would be a mermaid fair;
I would sing to myself the whole of the day;
With a comb of pearl I would comb my hair;
And still as I comb’d I would sing and say,
Who is it loves me? who loves not me?
I would comb my hair till my ringlets would fall
Low adown, low adown,
From under my starry sea-bud crown
Low adown and around,
And I should look like a fountain of gold
Springing alone
With a shrill inner sound,
Over the throne
In the midst of the hall;
Till that great sea-snake under the sea
From his coiled sleeps in the central deeps
Would slowly trail himself sevenfold
Round the hall where I sate, and look in at the gate
With his large calm eyes for the love of me.
And all the mermen under the sea
Would feel their immortality
Die in their hearts for the love of me.

III. 

But at night I would wander away, away,
I would fling on each side my low-flowing locks,
And lightly vault from the throne and play
With the mermen in and out of the rocks;
We would run to and fro, and hide and seek,
On the broad sea-wolds in the crimson shells,
Whose silvery spikes are nighest the sea.
But if any came near I would call, and shriek,
And adown the steep like a wave I would leap
From the diamond-ledges that jut from the dells;
For I would not be kiss’d by all who would list,
Of the bold merry mermen under the sea;
They would sue me, and woo me, and flatter me,
In the purple twilights under the sea;
But the king of them all would carry me,
Woo me, and win me, and marry me,
In the branching jaspers under the sea;
Then all the dry pied things that be
In the hueless mosses under the sea
Would curl round my silver feet silently,
All looking up for the love of me.
And if I should carol aloud, from aloft
All things that are forked, and horned, and soft
Would lean out from the hollow sphere of the sea,
All looking down for the love of me.

Categories
Myths and Legends

Grimm’s Fairy Tale of The Nixie in the Mill-Pond

Illustration by Otto Ubbelohde to the fairy tale The Nixie of the Mill-Pond

The Nixie of the Mill-Pond was written by the Brothers Grimm and is included in their collection of the Grimm’s Fairy Tales that was published in 1857.

The Nixie of the Mill-Pond tells the story of a miller and his wife, who are on the brink of losing their mill farm. One day, a beautiful nixie ascends from the water and visits the farm, calling the miller by name. The miller confides in the nixie about the state of the mill farm and how he’s going to lose his livelihood and home. The nixie strikes a deal with the miller, that he will give him wealth, if he gives her whatever is born that morning. The miller assumes that the nixie is talking about a dog or farm animal, so he agrees to the hasty deal.

When the miller returned home, his wife had given birth to healthy baby boy. It doesn’t take long, for the miller to come to the realization that the nixie knew that his wife was giving birth to his son and that he owed the nixie his son. The miller and his wife are perplexed on what to do, since they don’t want to give the nixie their child.

Years pass, the miller”s wealth grows, as does his son. Yet, the miller is still concerned about the nixie returning to collect his son.

The son became a skilled hunter and marries a girl from a nearby village. One day, the son shoots a deer and washes the blood from the deer in the mill-pond. The nixie snatches the son, taking him underwater with her.

The Nixie of the Mill-Pond illustration by H.J. Ford

When he didn’t return home, his wife becomes worried, and suspects that the nixie is behind his disappearance. She goes to the pond and calls out her husbands name and the nixie, begging for his return. She falls asleep at the waters edge and has a vivid dream, that she is climbing up a cliff and meets an old woman, inside a cottage. She wakes up the next morning, and does exactly what her dream had told her to do, so she goes up the mountain and finds a cottage with an old woman inside. The old woman, gives her a gold comb and instructs her to comb her hair at the pond’s edge on a full moon and set the comb on the water’s edge, once she’s done. Her husband rises to the surface, briefly, sorrowfully, then a wave drags him back into the water.

The wife is unsatisfied with having only seen a glimpse of her husband, so she returns to the old lady in the cottage. The old woman hands the wife a golden flute. She instructs her to play it on a full moon at the pond’s edge, just as before. She does as she’s instructed and places the flute on the sand.  Her husband partially ascends from the depths of the pond and is once again, dragged down from a wave.

The wife visits the old woman at the cottage for a third time. She is desperate to be reunited with her husband. The old woman gives her gold spinning wheel and instructs her to spin flax under the full moon, until she had a full spool to place on the bank of the pond. The wife does as she’s instructed, and this time, her husband breaks free from the water, enraging the nixie. The nixie conjures a large wave to pull the couple into the water, but they escape.

The couple goes to the old woman for help and she transforms the couple into frogs. A flood transports the couple to the pond, where they are transformed back into their human forms, but are separated from each other. The couple become shepherds as a way to support themselves and are lonely and depressed without one another.

Many years pass, and the couple are reunited tending to their flocks, but do not recognize each other. One night, the man plays on the same flute, the very same song that she had played years ago at the pond. The woman begins to cry, overwhelmed with emotion and tells him the story of how she lost her husband.

Moments pass, and they finally recognize each other. They kiss and lived happily ever after.

Categories
Myths and Legends Pop Culture

The Mermaid of Zennor

St. Senara Church in Zennor

A popular Cornish folklore is the Mermaid of Zennor. The mermaid is beautiful, but there is one detail about this legend that is distinct from other mermaid legends. The human is the one with the enthralling singing voice, not the mermaid. 

The small town of Zennor in St. Ives, is known for two things: The Mermaid of Zennor and the Mermaid chair (located inside St. Senara’s Church). 

The legend is about a beautiful, young woman, dressed in fine clothes, who attended mass occasionally at St. Senara’s Church, located in the small coastal village of Zennor. The mermaid named Morveren never aged, which baffled the parishioners, who had seen her attend mass for years, and would watch her from Tregarthen Hill. Morveren was the daughter of the sea king Llyr and resided in Pendour Cove, which wasn’t that far from St. Senara’s Church.

After many years, Morveren became smitten with Matthew Trewella, who was “the best singer in the parish”. Matthew was known for having the most beautiful singing voice and was incredibly handsome. She was so infatuated with him, that she only attended mass to see him sing.

The Mermaid of Zennor, by John Reinhard Weguelin (1900)

Matthew, eventually figured out that the beautiful woman, was a mermaid disguised as a human. It didn’t take long for Matthew and Morveren to fall in the love. Yet, one thing ached Morveren. She desperately wanted to tell Matthew, that she was a mermaid, since she couldn’t be with him on land, knowng that she had to return to the sea.

When Morveren told Matthew that she had to leave, he told her that he couldn’t live without her in his life. So, Matthew followed Morveren to Pendour Cove, where she jumped into the water and he did the same. It is said, that they lived happily in the sea.

Locals wondered what had happened to the happy couple, since they had simply disappeared.

Years later, when a mermaid appeared to sailors, asking for the anchor to be raised, since she couldn’t reach her children. The sailors kindly obliged and raised the anchor for her. It’s speculated that the mermaid they had seen was none other than Morveren, the mermaid who had lured Matthew to live with her in the sea.

Pendour Cove locals say on calm nights, Matthew’s sweet voice can be heard over the waves. That if his voice is high, the waters will be calm, but if it his voice is low, it will be rough waters. Even in the ocean’s depths, Matthew still sings his love and devotion to the Mermaid of Zennor, Morveren.

The Mermaid Chair and Alter at St. Senara’s Church in Zennor

But our story, doesn’t end there.

Inside, St. Senara’s Church at Zennor, there is a 15th century, medieval seat carved with a mermaid. The Mermaid Chair as it’s called, depicts a mermaid holding a mirror and comb. It is said, that the mermaid in the carving is the Mermaid of Zennor and that this was the very seat, that she would listen to Matthew sing at the parish.

 

 

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Pop Culture

Briar Rose Winery

Briar Rose Winery is located in the picturesque  Temecula, California. Temecula Valley is the heart of Southern California  Wine Country, where there are immaculate wineries, that grow and produce Premium World Class Estate Wines. There are over 40 wineries in Temecula Valley, each with their own distinct blends and wine techniques. These wines are not widely distributed, so the only way to taste and savor the wines, is to visit the wineries themselves.

So, you might be asking yourself, what does Briar Rose (Sleeping Beauty) have to do with mermaids?

The answer is simple.

Briar Rose Winery was inspired by the classic Disney fairy tales, so it makes sense, that the blog would be invited for a special fairy tale themed wine tasting.

Briar Rose Winery, located in the beautiful wine county of Temecula, California.  Photo taken by Ciska Roos

The entrance to Briar Rose Winery is something out of a fairy tale with it’s fern arches, rose bushes, and adorable cats roaming the grounds. The rose garden is the center of the winery, with a statue of Cinderella in the center and Snow White’s Cottage as the backdrop.

Upon arrival, to the quaint estate, you’re greeted by the cheerful Briar Rose Winery staff,  who are as passionate about their wines, as they are their guests. The staff, lets you choose your table and encourages you to relax, enjoy the scenery, and savor the delicious Premium World Class Estate Wines.

Briar Rose Winery photo taken by Ciska Roos

The centerpieces for each table is either a wine bottle used as a vase or an Eiffel Towel vase. We brought our favorite Lolita Wine Glasses to celebrate the day’s festivities.

You’re given a menu of the three very different and distinct wine tasting offerings: Reds, Whites, and Mixed.

During the wine tasting experience, your server tells you the story behind every wine served from how it’s made and the key notes of the wine. The rain of the season that wine was harvested and so much more.

View of the vineyards from Briar Rose Winery, located in the beautiful wine country of Temecula, California. Photo taken by Ciska Roos

After an hour or so of tasting the delicious wines that Briar Rose Winery has to offer, you’re encouraged to explore the grounds. Briar Rose Winery is filled with wonderful nooks and crannies to take photos, including a large wooden swing near the entrance.

It’s very easy to spend hours at Briar Rose Winery. The staff go above and beyond to make sure you’re experience with them is something straight out of a fairy tale!

So, the next time you’re in Temecula, California, I highly recommend that you check out Briar Rose Winery! You’ll feel like a modern-day princess…or mermaid!

Categories
Myths and Legends Pop Culture

Aquamarine (2006)

Official Aquamarine Theatrical Poster. The film starred Sara Paxton as Aquamarine, Emma Roberts as Claire, and JoJo as Hailey.

Aquamarine is a fun, light-hearted, warm, romantic, spirited comedy for all ages. Aquamarine is based on the Young Adult best-selling novel written by Alice Hoffman.

The screenplay for Aquamarine was written by  John Quaintance and Jessica Bendinger. The film was was  directed by Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum (credited as Elizabeth Allen).

Aquamarine is about two pre-teens girls named Claire (Emma Roberts) and Hailey (JoJo) whose friendship is put to the test, when Hailey is making the final preparations for her move to Australia with her marine biologist mother. 

Claire (Emma Roberts), Aquamarine (Sara Paxton), and Hailey (JoJo) in the 20th Century Fox film Aquamarine

They have a slumber party and pray to the sea god that Hailey’s mom will change her mind about the move. Seconds later, a violent storm erupts and the girls think nothing of it. The next morning, the girls go to the beach club pool, where they see the destruction from the storm. Hailey, falls into the pool and sees a mysterious blue hair and silver tail in the water. They decide to explore later that night and astonished to discover a mermaid in the beach club pool.

The mermaid, introduces herself as Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and she becomes fast friends with Hailey and Claire. Aquamarine conveys to the girls that she must prove to her father that love exists or she’ll be forced to marry a merman that she’s never met.Aquamarine seamlessly transforms into a human girl during the day and can remain that way, as long as she doesn’t get wet. At night, she reverts back to her mermaid form.

When Aquamarine meets Raymond (Jake McDorman), he rejects her advances. Hailey and Claire see how devastated Aquamarine is and makes it their mission for Raymond to fall in love with her. But their plans are thwarted by mean girl Cecilia (Arielle Kebbel), who also has a crush on Raymond and is constantly standing in the girl’s way.

At the street fair, Raymond spends some time with Aquamarine and asks her to go to The Last Splash party with him. Aquamarine is flattered, but leaves abruptly, not giving him an answer because it’s almost sunset and her legs will transform into a tail. Claire and Hailey find a water tower for Aquamarine to spend the night in, excited for Aquamarine’s date with Raymond the following night.

Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and Raymond (Jake McDorman) in the film Aquamarine

But Cecilia has other plans. She goes to Raymond and tells him, that Aquamarine has a boyfriend in another town and invites Cecilia to the party instead. Hailey and Claire find Raymond and tell him that Cecilia is lying about Aquamarine, so he gets back together with Aquamarine.

Aquamarine and Raymond dance at the party and they become incredibly close. Unfortunately, Aquamarine can’t stay for long, since it’s almost sunset and she’ll transform back into a mermaid. She flees the party, leaving Raymond baffled about her abrupt departures.

Cecilia follows Aquamarine to the water tower and discovers that she’s a mermaid. Cecilia seeks out the press to expose Aquamarine and her secret to the world. Aquamarine, however, is one step ahead of her, the handyman Leonard helps Aquamarine and she grants him a wish.

Aquamarine (Sara Paxton) and Raymond (Jake McDorman) in Aquamarine

Cecilia is humiliated when she takes the press to the water tower and Aquamarine isn’t there. She swears that Aquamarine is a mermaid and will prove it.

The following day, Aquamarine asks Raymond if he loves her. He tells her that he likes her, but he doesn’t her. She’s devastated by his answer, and as luck would have it, Cecilia is nearby. She pushes Aquamarine into the sea and she turns into a mermaid. It doesn’t take long, for Aquamarine’s father to call her home with a great big storm. Hailey and Claire jump into the water, not wanting Aquamarine to leave. They find her on a  buoy, clearly defying her father’s orders to return home. Aquamarine tells Claire and Hailey that she had learned that love exists from their friendship and that she’s learned so much from them. This answer, is enough to prove to Aquamarine’s father, that love in fact exists.

As a form of gratitude, Aquamarine hands Hailey and Claire a starfish, so they could make a wish. Hailey changes her mind about using her wish to not move to Australia, knowing how hard her mother worked to get the new job. So instead, Claire, Hailey, and Aquamarine promise to always visit each other and to love one another forever. Aquamarine swims up to Raymond, in her mermaid form and he asks her when she’ll surface again. She tells him that she has to talk to her father about a few things and then she’ll return to him.

And finally, Aquamarine and Raymond share their happily ever after with a tender kiss.

Categories
Myths and Legends Pop Culture

Kaysha Siemens: Fine Artist and Illustrator

WaveWatcher painting by Kaysha Siemens

Kaysha Siemens was born and raised in Canada, and currently resides in the state of North Carolina, USA. She is a very talented artist and illustrator, whose main mediums are graphite and oil.

Her style is unique and full of exquisite detail. Kaysha’s figures are flowing and fluid, while her backgrounds are linear and structured. This style gives Kaysha’s art balance and pulls you into her work!

Kaysha’s main source of inspiration is Greek Mythology. Her MNEMOSYNE collection is a compilation of all of her works inspired by the Greek Mythologies. MNEMOSYNE is the Greek Goddess of memory and the Mother of the Greek Muses. The Greek Muses were connected to the arts and to knowledge. 

Kaysha’s art and illustrations showcases an array of monsters, gods, goddess, NEREIDS (mermaids), and TRITONS (mermen).

According to Greek Mythology, the water nymphs were subcategorized into three kinds of species. The OCEANIDS resided in the sea, NEREIDS lived in freshwater and seawater, and the NAIADS lived in springs, lakes, and rivers.

Commissioned Mermaid Illustration by Kaysha Siemens

Kaysha’s mermaids are straight out of a fairy tale. In fact, none of   her mermaids are identical. They’re unique and have their own personality in their own little under the sea havens. Each mermaid is full of elaborate details, such as their hair and intricate tails. Her work is as compelling as a mermaid luring a sailor out at sea, singing her euphoric song!

Kaysha Siemens is definitely an artist to follow and she’s currently open for commissions!

Categories
Myths and Legends Pop Culture

Siren on FreeForm

Eline Powell as Ryn on the FreeForm show Siren

Siren premiered on FreeForm on March 29th, 2018 to rave reviews for showcasing the first polyamorous mermaid romance on the small screen.

Siren tells the story of young mermaid, Ryn (Eline Powell) who is searching for her sister Donna (Sibongile Mlambo) in the coastal town Bristol Cove. Bristol Cove is the mermaid capital of the world for its strong connections to the mythical creature.

Upon Ryn’s arrival, she meets Ben Pownall (Alex Roe) and his girlfriend Maddie Bishop (Fola Evans-Akingbola), who are marine biologists. They find Ryn enthralling and want to help Ryn find her sister.

Ben’s  friends Xander (Ian Verdum) and Calvin (Curtis Lum) tell him about how they had caught a mermaid on their fishing boat and believe that the US Government stole her from them. At first, Ben thinks their talk is gibberish and doesn’t believe their story, yet

It doesn’t take long for Ben to discover that Ryn is a mermaid and seeks the help of town historian and mermaid enthusiast Helen Hawkins (Rena Owen). Helen warns Ben that even though Ryn is very beautiful, she is also very dangerous and her instinct is to kill her prey.

Helen also takes the liberty to tell Ben that his family history in Bristol Cove is connected to mermaids and that it’s not all good. The Pownall family was responsible for a mass genocide of mermaids centuries ago and hints that she, herself, might be related to him. Ben leaves Helen’s with more questions then answers.

Ben and Maddie, soon find themselves falling for Ryn in ways that they had never imagined before.

Siren explores the dark secrets of the Pownall family and how it’s connection to mermaids. The show also pushes the envelope, when it comes to the traditional mermaid mythologies. The mermaids on Siren may look sweet, but they are dangerous, predatory creatures who are much smarter then the average human.

Siren was a compelling show that had 3 very successful seasons. The show officially marked it’s end in Spring 2020.

Categories
Myths and Legends Pop Culture

The Rusalky of the Ukraine

Rusalka by Ashly Lovett

According to the legends in the Ukraine, the Rusalky, Rusalka or mermaid was a young, attractive water nymph who adorned her long green or blonde hair with wreaths made of marsh. Perhaps, the most prominent features of a Rusalky was their almost translucent skin and their eyes that were a green fire. They also have the ability to transform into animals, whenever it pleases them.

The Rusalky were the souls of drowned girls and unbaptized children, who reside in underwater crystal palaces for majority of the year, until springtime.They would however, emerge from the water on Rusalka Easter (six or seven weeks after Christian Easter), where they would come to land to dance and play.

In early June, during Rusalka Week, is when the Rusalky is said to be at their most dangerous. It is said, that during this time of year, people avoid swimming, in fear of being pulled underwater by the water nymphs.

When a Rusalky, is on land, they appear to be beautiful, lighthearted young girls, but they aren’t. They are dangerous creatures, especially towards humans. It is said, that a Rusalky had the power to enthrall a man with her voice, and would then proceed to drown or tickle him to death. She could also kill a man with her sensual laugh.

If a man wanted to protect himself from the Rusalky, he would wear an amulet made of wormwood or lovage, or carry pieces of lucky cloth.

The Rusalky are in many ways, the classic mermaid. They’re beautiful, yet dangerous creatures.

Categories
Disney's The Little Mermaid Pop Culture

Film Review: Howard on Disney+

Howard Documentary on Disney+

Howard was released on Disney+ on August 7th, 2020. For any fan of Disney, this film is a must watch.

The film opens, in the recording studio of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with Howard Ashman and the cast recording the soundtrack. His passion for music, storytelling, and directing are evident in the footage.

From there, Sarah Ashman Gillespie (Howard’s sister) candidly talks about how some of her most fond memories of Howard, were of the world’s he created.

The film portrays Howard as a true creative at heart, who understood his purpose in life was storytelling through music. Like most creative personalities, Howard was both confident and self-conscious, seeing his vision crystal clear, yet struggling to make it happen. He was stubborn, yet passionate and in many cases, it’s that combination that innovators and visionaries are made of.

Howard founded the off-broadway company WPAwhich years later, which impressed Jeffrey Katzenburg, who years later, would beg Howard to work with him at the Walt Disney Studios. Howard eventually said yes and brought his friend and fellow composer Alan Menken on board for a little project called The Little Mermaid.

Howard Ashman Credit: Disney +

Alan Menken, Jodi Benson, Glen Keane, Ron Clements, John Musker, Roy Disney, and Jeffrey Katzenburg in the documentary talk about their experiences working with Howard on The Little Mermaid. Howard at the time of film’s production had learned that he had AIDS, yet continued to work in spite of that. He had worked on two other Walt Disney Studio films prior to his death in 1991 that included Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin.

For any fan of Disney or of The Little Mermaid, Howard is a must-watch. It explores the life, struggles, career, and untimely death of a man who changed the Walt Disney Studios and musical theatre forever.

Thank you Howard for giving a mermaid her voice and a Beast his soul. We you and will remember you for your contribution to musical theatre and Disney.