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Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical Raises Funds With Disney’s Blessing

With very little advertising, a new live musical was staged on Friday, January 1. Yes, right in the middle of the latest pandemic spike. But don’t worry, it didn’t pack any theatre halls. No, Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical was performed entirely on TikTok’s TodayTix live platform. Approximately 350,000 people bought tickets to the digital event, and all proceeds went to benefit the Actors Fund.

The Actors Fund, founded in 1882, is a human services organization targeted to support entertainers, providing emergency financial and housing assistance, health care, and career development. Never has it been more needed than now, with the entire entertainment industry derailed by rolling bans on in-person gathering.

Performed by actors, singers, musicians and TikTokers under the unusually permissive blessing of Disney Theatrics, the musical is an assemblage of dozens of short video clips based on the 2007 animated film under a fan-sung score and the performances of the Broadway Sinfonietta orchestra.

“When Greg Nobile first approached us with the idea to produce a benefit event surrounding Ratatouille, never did we imagine that it would blossom into such an amazing outpouring of love and support for The Actors Fund,” said Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of Disney Theatrical Productions. “What we all saw New Year’s day was a celebration of art and craft that was as charming as it was moving. It’s thrilling to see how the theatre-makers on TikTok and the Broadway community came together to provide aid to so many in need during this unprecedented time.”

The Disney Corporation is not known for giving their permission to fan-run projects involving their intellectual property like this, even for fundraising purposes, so perhaps this is a new leaf for them. It’s certainly a good look. The Ratatouille: TikTok Musical took less than a month to put together, starred Tituss Burgess as Remy and André De Shields as Ego, and raised just over $2 million for the Actors Fund.

Source: Digital Music News

Editorial credit: XanderSt / Shutterstock.com

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Donation

‘Black Panther’ Inspires Disney to Donate $1 Mil to STEM Education

Stealing the show in Disney’s hit movie Black Panther is Shuri, a tech savvy princess who lives in the fictional African nation of Wakanda. Fans can’t wait to see her invent circles around Tony Stark and Peter Parker, but they also want her to affect the real world, too.

There are few scientist role models for children of color in major cinema, and Shuri (played by Letitia Wright) is already pretty popular with young fans. To help support these fans, Disney has made a $1 million donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in an effort to grow their STEM curriculum.

The donation is specifically earmarked to help open new STEM education centers in 12 underserved communities including Atlanta, New Orleans, and Washington D.C. These education centers allow students to learn about 3D printers, robotics, and digital modeling. Also included is Oakland, CA, which was featured as the setting for Wakanda’s new STEM outreach program in the movie.

“It is thrilling to see how inspired young audiences were by the spectacular technology in the film,” said Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company in a prepared statement. “So it’s fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want.”

In his own statement, Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of America thanked Disney.

“Thanks to Disney’s support, we can expand our outreach and allow more youth to find their passions and discover STEM careers,” said Clark.

“You can never go wrong when you invest in kid’s [sic] futures,” added Chadwick Boseman, star of the film.

Black Panther made over $702 million in its opening four-day weekend. A $1 million donation may seem like a drop from that waterfall, but it is hopefully only the first.