“Howard” To Remain on Disney+ After Fan Outcry

Originally revealed to be on the slate of content being pulled from Disney+, the documentary film, Howard, focused on the life of Howard Ashman, will now remain on the platform after a plethora of fan outcry, according to Deadline.

What’s Happening:

  • Yesterday, the news was revealed that Disney+ would be removing dozens of titles from the streaming service, and while fans took to social media for their respective favorites, it was the outcry and criticism that Disney received regarding the documentary film Howard that drew a lot of attention.
  • Directed by Disney Legend Don Hahn, who produced Beauty and the Beast and directed the documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty,  Howard is the untold story of Howard Ashman, the brilliant lyricist behind Disney classics like Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and creator of musicals including Little Shop of Horrors. 
  • Featuring never-before-seen archival footage, personal films and photographs, as well as interviews with Howard’s friends and family, the film is an intimate look at the Disney Legend’s life, his creative drive, and the process behind the music. Spanning his childhood in Baltimore, to his formative years in New York, and his untimely death from AIDS, Howard goes in-depth to explore his journey to become the lyricist behind some of the most beloved and well-known classic family films in the world.
  • Fans of the documentary and Howard Ashman himself were quick to point out the ironic and ill timing of the decision to pull the movie, a decision that has since been reversed.
  • Originally, along with the dozens of titles that are still set to be pulled, the movie would have disappeared from the platform on May 26th – the same day that the new live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid debuts in theaters. Ashman was a significant contributor to the original animated classic alongside Alan Menken, writing the songs for the film that is generally held as responsible for kickstarting Disney Animation into a box-office renaissance.
  • Others were quick to point out the timing regarding Howard, which chronicles the life of a gay man, serving as such a significant LGBTQ+ title that was being removed just days ahead of June, which is also LGBTQ+ Pride Month.
  • Disney has backpedaled on the decision, revealing that Howard will indeed stay on the platform, with a spokesperson for Disney saying that “The list of titles coming off of Hulu and Disney+ is still being finalized,” indicating that there could be additional changes coming before May 26th.
  • Though the decision to pull Howard from Disney+ has been reversed, you can see our full list of titles confirmed to be leaving Disney+ here.

Tony Betti
Originally from California where he studied a dying artform (hand-drawn animation), Tony has spent most of his adult life in the theme parks of Orlando. When he’s not writing for LP, he’s usually watching and studying something animated or arguing about “the good ole’ days” at the parks.