‘Hamilton’: An Animated Disney Movie Inspired 1 of the Most Impressive Scenes in the Musical
There’s no denying that the musical Hamilton is a masterpiece — and now that it’s available on Disney+, more people have access to it and are raving about the show. Fun fact: one impressive scene that everyone has been talking about was inspired by a Disney movie, according to director Thomas Kail.
Why ‘Satisfied’ leaves Lin-Manuel Miranda ‘overwhelmed’
Composer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s iconic musical has so many amazing songs and moments, but audiences have been particularly impressed with the rewind element in the song “Satisfied.”
In a 2018 interview with the Washington Post, Miranda explained how the Angelica Schuyler song “Satisfied” leaves him “completely overwhelmed” every time he sees the scene.
“The first time I saw it, I was so overwhelmed,” Miranda explained. “I mean, it’s still the number that every time I see it, regardless of where I am in my life or which company I’m seeing in the world, I am completely overwhelmed. It is so much bigger than all of us.”
“All of ‘Helpless’ goes counterclockwise,” choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler explained during the interview. “So when you rewind in ‘Satisfied,’ and for just a moment you go clockwise, you understand it. When they dance in ‘Helpless’ and ‘Satisfied,’ the same dance movement matches both lyrics.”
Music director Alex Lacamoire shared that when it came together it was beyond impressive, noting, “The first time we saw what it looked like, with the lights and the turntable, our jaws literally dropped.”
The scene is inspired by a Disney movie
“Satisfied” is impressive to witness and the inspiration comes from a familiar place. Director Thomas Kail shared that the Disney movie Ratatouille provided the idea for freezing time and reversing.
In the Hamilton scene, Angelica gives a toast to Alexander and Eliza and the song then rewinds to the events of the song “Helpless,” but from Angelica’s perspective.
“This is something I talk to the actors playing Angelica a lot — about Ratatouille,” Kail explained. “When the critic takes the bite, and you go into the critic’s eye, that’s what we’re doing.”
The ‘rewind’ moment gets creative with storytelling
In a June 2020 interview with Screen Rant, Kail shed more light on how Ratatouille provided the inspiration for the scene.
“This is, I hope, a funny reference. But Ratatouille was a big influence on the number ‘Satisfied,’” he explained. “In Ratatouille, there’s a moment where the critic takes a bite of the food. And in that moment, you go into his eye, and you go back to see his childhood: his mother or grandmother giving him the food, and then he has this visceral and emotional connection to the food that breaks down even the most hardened of critics.”
Using that animated film moment as inspiration, the musical pulled off a unique way to flash back in time. Kail explained how the song is a “moment that stops time.” He shared, “What we do basically is we go into the mind and the heart of Angelica Schuyler.”
He continued, “At that point in the show, we have not really broken the chronological and forward moving linear progression of time, but in that number, we stop time. We reverse it and we go into her head, and that’s also setting up the language that we’ll use for the end of the show when the bullet is stopped, and we go into Hamilton’s head. Those are two cinematic moments that happened in a piece of theater, and what I had the chance to do here was try to find ways to bring the theatrical elements into the film.”