Disney reportedly rejected Michael Jackson’s offer to contribute to the soundtrack for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Composer Alan Menken recalled receiving a call from Jackson’s assistant in 1995 in a new interview with SlashFilm, saying the musician was looking to “change the subject” after being accused of sexual abuse and going through a divorce.
“He obviously loves Disney so much,” Menken explained. “So I mentioned Hunchback. He said he’d love to come to my studio, watch the movie, and talk about it. So we got in touch with Disney Animation. They said, ‘Meet with him! If he likes it…well, see what he says.'”
The composer went on to explain that Jackson was impressed by three songs from the score and was keen to produce and record some of them.
“We got in touch with Disney,” Menken continued. “It was like somebody dropped a hot poker into a fragile bowl with explosives. ‘Uh, we’ll get back to you about that.’
“Finally, predictably, the word came back, ‘Disney doesn’t want to do this with Michael Jackson.’ I go, ‘OK, could someone tell him this?’ You can hear a pin drop, no response, and nobody did [tell him].”
He continued: “It fell 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 would think there’s a lot of identification there.”
Meanwhile, Michael Jackson’s daughter Paris released her debut solo album, ‘Wilted’, at the end of last year.
In a three-star review, NME wrote: “As a musical introduction, it’s enthralling, inconsistent and, at times, excellent. Ultimately, this is a glimpse of the artist that Jackson could be.”