By Natalie Daniels
COVID-19 failed to stop creativity among artists everywhere. Instead of characterizing quarantine as a dark time for art, many people strived to create in their time of isolation and uncertainty. One example is a TikTok inspired musical based on the Pixar movie Ratatouille.
For those who have not seen the Disney film, it follows the story of a rat named Remy who gets to live out his dreams of becoming a chef after meeting a clumsy kitchen worker called Linguini.
It all began on August 10th where TikTok user Em Jaccs uploaded a video singing her song, “Ode to Remy,” for the fictional character Remy the rat in Ratatouille. The lyrics include “Remy the Ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams.” After the video received a lot of traction, another TikTok creator, Daniel Mertzlufft, took the fun little song and adapted it with a new Broadway-like arrangement. Mertzlufft’s arrangement gained 1 million views, becoming a viral sensation on TikTok.
Other creators began jumping on the fun, creating more songs, choreography, and even set designs for this virtual musical. Users like @fettucinefettuqueen uploaded a possible song for the musical titled “Trash is Our Treasure,” while @barbershopraga sang an arrangement for “A Rat is A Rat.” Two TikTok creators, @blakeyrouse and @aaacacia_, worked together to create a tango-inspired duet between the movie characters of Linguini and Collete. @shoeboxmusicals artfully crafted an “idea” for what the set would look like if done on stage.
The amount of TikToks tripled as months went on, and people outside of TikTok began to take notice of the new up and coming musical. The musical has its own TikTok account @ratatouillethemusical, where videos of former creations around the musical are uploaded.
Now, the TikTok show will be an actual show for audiences everywhere! Seaview Productions will produce the musical. Ratatouille will stream as a one night only concert on January 1st.
The cast includes big stars like Titus Burgess (Remy), Andrew Barth Feldman (Linguini), Kevin Chamberlain (Gusteau), and André De Shields (Ego). Also in the cast are Wayne Brady (Django), Adam Lambert (Emile), Ashley Park (Collete), Priscilla Lopez (Mabel), Owen Tabaka (Young Ego), and Mary Testa (Skinner).
Playbill also used TikTok artist Jess Siswicks’ cover art for the musical's playbill.
The reimagination of this movie into a full-fledged musical illustrates the power of artists working together to create not just for themselves but for the community around them. Ratatouille may be the first Broadway Esque show inspired by TikTok, but it won’t be the last.
Natalie Daniels is an editorial intern for Dreamlette. She is a journalism major at Emerson College with a love of storytelling. Her favorite topics include entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, social issues, and music.