American song composers Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn created the songs for Pete’s Dragon (1977). In their autobiography Reaching the Morning After (1986), they wrote:

For five years we had had meetings with [Disney] story editor Frank Paris. Frank had repeatedly told us: “Disney will do a musical, but
only if it’s a classic.”

We were finally given the go-ahead on a project, an original called Pete’s Dragon, conceived in the [1950s] by Walt Disney himself. My  dream of a full movie musical had come true. We were told to write twelve songs for the picture, which would combine live action and animation.

The sense of cheerful unreality was heightened by our surroundings: Mickey Avenue, Dopey Drive. Our little office had posters of Donald Duck, the Love Bug, and Snow White. Everyone on the lot was friendly; it was a tiny world of Doris Day smiles and spontaneous handshakes. A world that said, “You can have problems, but don’t bring them to the studio.”

Our old friend Irwin Kostal did the arrangements, and the casting of The Poseidon Adventure friends Red Buttons and Shelley Winters made for a family-type atmosphere.


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