A musical version of Ratatouille that went from TikTok pipe dream to hour-long reality has raised $1m (£732,000) for a US actors charity.
The musical’s makers revealed the money it raised for The Actors Fund following its online premiere on 1 January.
Tituss Burgess and Queen singer Adam Lambert were among the stars who signed up to appear in the show.
It was inspired by Disney Pixar’s 2007 animated film about a French rat who dreams of becoming a chef in Paris.
The idea for the show stemmed from a video New York teacher Emily Jacobson posted on TikTok in August.
In it she imagined a rousing song about the film’s rodent hero Remy, “the rat of all my dreams”.
“It was funny and catchy so I decided to make a TikTok,” she explained. “It was just meant to give people a quick laugh.”
The video caught the attention of orchestrator Daniel Mertzlufft, who gave the song a Broadway-style musical arrangement.
Other TikTok users seized on the concept, posting their own ideas for songs, dance routines, sets and costumes.
The crowd-sourced phenomenon ultimately morphed into a complete show directed by Lucy Moss, the British co-creator of hit musical Six.
Featuring 10 musical numbers performed by a full orchestra, the show even had its own Playbill programme.
The “beautiful” result, according to Glee actor Kevin McHale, was “one of the best things to come out of 2020”.
Broadway veteran Kevin Chamberlin, currently to be seen in Netflix’s The Prom, was among those intrigued enough to contribute a song to the score.
“What’s really interesting about all this is that, during this pandemic, art is pushing through because we can’t get on stages and in front of audiences,” he told the New York Times.
Disney gave its tacit approval to the so-called “Ratatousical”, declaring in a statement that “we love when our fans engage with our stories”.
The corporation has plans to open a Ratatouille-themed attraction at Walt Disney World in Florida later this year.
Directed by Brad Bird, the original Ratatouille featured the voices of Patton Oswalt, Brad Garrett and Peter O’Toole.
It went on to win an Oscar, a Bafta and a Golden Globe for that year’s best animated feature film.
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