The 10 Best Documentaries About Howard Ashman

Jan 27, 2024 | Best Of, Celebrities, Music

In the early ’80s, Howard Ashman emerged as one of the most beloved musical theatre composers and lyricists. His work changed the face of Broadway and enchanted audiences around the world. With his pen, Ashman crafted unforgettable musicals like “Little Shop of Horrors”, “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast”. To understand better how he revolutionized musical theatre, we want to explore the best documentaries about Howard Ashman. Through these films, audiences can get a unique insight into his creative process and personal life. From interviews with colleagues and loved ones to rare footage of his groundbreaking works, we will take viewers on an intimate journey through the brilliant work of one of history’s most influential writers.


1. The Unique Queerness of Howard Ashman’s Songs | Dreamsounds

The late Howard Ashman is remembered for his unique and beautiful music, which has touched many lives since he first burst onto the scene in the 1980s. His queer-infused melodies were inspiring and revolutionary, breaking barriers and setting a new standard for musical excellence with every song. Of course, the many wonderful documentaries about Howard Ashman are a testament to his lasting legacy.


2. Howard Ashman; The Lyrical Genius Part 1 – Ariel

For many of us, the Disney films that we grew up with were full of delightful characters and toe-tapping tunes. But one man who helped to shape this art form was Howard Ashman and his influential work as a lyricist and composer.


3. The Life of the Legendary Howard Ashman

Howard Ashman was one of the most influential figures in the Walt Disney Company’s history. His contributions to some of Disney’s greatest films, such as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, changed the course of animation forever. In this documentary, we explore his life story from his humble beginnings to his ultimate success in Hollywood.


4. Disney’s Howard

This is a documentary about the inspiring story of Howard Ashman, an influential and passionate figure in the entertainment industry. Directed by Don Hahn, this feature-length film chronicles the life of one of Disney’s most beloved songwriters and lyricists – from his early years as a student at Goddard College to his remarkable career achievements.


5. The Magic and Music of Howard Ashman

Dive into the beloved and inspiring life of Howard Ashman – a lyricist who left an unforgettable mark in Disney’s history. His work on The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin will continue to live on forever through original documentary films now streaming on Disney+. Now is your chance to explore the man behind these iconic songs. Through this special video edition of the D23 Inside Disney podcast, you will uncover the warmth and passion that Howard brought to all they touched him, including his beautiful life-long works.



Disney fans all over the world have been buzzing with anticipation for the new documentary about Howard Ashman. DON HAHN, producer of The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast, recently discussed this upcoming project on Disney Coast to Coast.The documentary dives into the life story of Howard Ashman – his work in Disney animated films, his work as a Broadway composer, and his personal life. Hahn promises that this film will be an “unprecedented deep dive into the creative mind of Ashman.”


7. The Howard Ashman Celebration

One of the most influential figures in musical theatre and film, Howard Ashman was a composer, lyricist, playwright, and director whose work elevated classic stories to new heights. His timeless works have been lauded by fans and critics alike and continue to live on in productions around the world. To celebrate his legacy, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best documentaries about Howard Ashman.


8. Howard Ashman | Disney Trivia Night

Are you a fan of Disney movies? Are you an expert in the world of Howard Ashman, one of the most beloved and respected musicians in Disney music history? Gather your friends for a night of trivia fun with Jessica and Kyle as they take you through the incredible work that made Ashman a legend!


9. Howard Ashman’s Lost Aladdin

Take a journey back in time with Howard Ashman’s Lost Aladdin: Dreamsounds. Join us as we uncover the lost works of one of the most celebrated musical geniuses of our time. Through interviews and rare archival footage, this documentary pays homage to Ashman’s life and career-defining work on Disney’s Aladdin.


10. Queer Love & Howard Ashman | Dreamsounds

The documentary about Howard Ashman’s life and work, is a must-see for any fan of musicals. Through its thoughtful and moving portrayal, we gain insight into how this iconic composer shaped the modern musical landscape. Ashman was best known for his work in the films The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Little Shop of Horrors. But he was also an LGBTQ+ advocate during a time when being openly queer was rare. Ashman’s influence extended beyond music; he strove to make positive social change with every project he worked on.


Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B