Monday, July 27, 2015

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

I still can't get over the fact that this movie helped to birth the "Disney Renaissance" that began with The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Something so subversive paving the way for something so wholesome. Though Alan Menken certainly deserves an immense amount of credit, the real draw for me is Howard Ashman's phenomenal abilities as a lyricist. Every time I listen to his work I discover some new couplet that absolutely knocks me on my ass! His vocabulary was immense. Who else would have thought of a line like "I'm espcially good at expectorating!" for a children's film like Beauty and the Beast? And then to call back to that with a line as ludicrous as "I use antlers in all of my decorating!"? Thank God Jerry Katzenberg was able to see past all the sly murder and S&M jokes of Little Shop and recognize a prodigiously versatile duo who could do family friendly as well. It hurts my heart to think of all the great lyrical possibilities we lost when we lost Howard so young. But at least we will always have "Suddenly Seymour" and "Somewhere That's Green" and "Dentist!" and...

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