July 24, 2021

The day Disney said no to Michael Jackson

After being accused of sexual abuse of minors, Michael Jackson looked for a change of profile and was interested in collaborating on the soundtrack of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, but Disney lowered his thumb to his participation.

Twelve years after the death of the iconic artist, this revelation arises from the statements of the composer Alan Menken, winner of eight Oscars for his work on Disney movie soundtracks.

Interviewed by the specialized medium SlashFilm, the musician recalled receiving a call from a Jackson assistant in 1995, in which he informed him that the King of Pop was looking to “change the subject” after being accused of sexual abuse and having gone through a contentious divorce.

How was the matter

Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame, in the Disney version.

“Obviously, he loved Disney so much,” Menken explained. “So I mentioned the Hunchback. He said that he would love to come into my studio, see the movie and talk about it. So we got in touch with Disney Animation. They said: ‘Meet him! If he likes it… Well, look what it says. ‘

The composer recalled that Jackson was impressed by three songs on the score, and was eager to produce and record some of them. “We got in touch with Disney,” Menken continued. “It was as if someone had dropped a hot poker into a fragile container of explosives: ‘Uh, we will communicate with you to talk about it. ‘”

“Finally, unsurprisingly, the word came back: ‘Disney doesn’t want to do this with Michael Jackson.’ I said, ‘Okay, could someone tell him?’ There was a silence in which you could hear a pin drop. There was no response, and no one told him. “

Composer Alan Menken, winner of eight Oscars.  AP Photo

Composer Alan Menken, winner of eight Oscars. AP Photo

He continued: “It was up 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 think there is a lot of identification with Michael Jackson there. “

Menken and Stephen Schwartz, authors of the soundtrack to The Hunchback of Notre Dame, they were nominated for an Oscar in 1997, but finally they did not take the statuette, which was at the hands of Rachel Portman for Emma.

The death of Michael Jackson

The king of pop Michael Jackson with his little daughter Paris.

The king of pop Michael Jackson with his little daughter Paris.

The June 25, 2009 passed away, at 50, The King of Pop. It was after suffering a cardiac arrest in his mansion in Los Angeles, California.

Jackson arrived breathless at the University of California (UCLA) hospital, after being assisted by a team of fire brigade paramedics.

In 1995 he was admitted to a hospital in New York, after fainting in a theater rehearsal. He had undergone surgery to undergo numerous aesthetic operations, which notably modified his face.

However, it was always stated that the whitish color of his skin was due to vitiligo, a disease that causes depigmentation.

Michael Jackson in Tokyo in 2006. AP Photo

Michael Jackson in Tokyo in 2006. AP Photo

The singer at that time was in full rehearsal period, facing a new return to the stage. In this regard, his fans had already sold out tickets for a series of concerts to be held in London.

With its battered finances after the scandals over allegations of sexual abuse of minors, the King of Pop sought to return to the foregrounds like this of the music. The truth is that the singer had a delicate health for much of his life, with numerous episodes in which he required health care. Four of them occurred in 2005, in full trial for child abuse.

Jackson, after a grueling trial, was acquitted. However, he was stigmatized by a large part of his followers. Years later it was released Leaving Neverland, an HBO documentary, where he was accused of abuser and pedophile.