Producer Don Hahn (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Waking Sleeping Beauty) told Disney news site, The Laughing Place, that he is working on a brand new documentary on the legendary Howard Ashman.
"I haven't talked about this a lot, but I'm working right now on a documentary about Howard... he's one of the great songwriters of our generation and of the 20th century, and his life was cut short, and there's so much of him in this film." He told The Laughing Place. "To be able to pay tribute through a documentary or through a film like Beauty and the Beast is terrific, and most of the audience will know Howard or his name, but to you and me he means a lot and he means so much of a huge part of the kind of Disney legacy that's what our generation grew up with as filmmakers or as audience members."
Howard Ashman was the legendary producer and songwriter who wrote the lyrics for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and most of Aladdin. Howard was a tremendous influence in the revolutionary "Disney Renaissance" that led to the reawakening of the animated musical. Chances are, Howard and his composer partner Alan Menken wrote your fav Disney song (unless your fav is that flop A Whole New World). Howard and Alan won 2 academy awards together for Beauty and the Beast and Under the Sea.
Howard was openly gay and tragically passed away at just 40 during the AIDS crisis. His partner Bill, was the first partner to accept an academy award on behalf of a winner lost to AIDS. His sister Sarah, maintains a website with memories and blog posts about Howard, she posted on Facebook about Don meeting with her last week to scan pictures and show her a sneak peek.
Source: The Laughing Place