The 2020 Pandemic has artists looking for creative outlets online. One of the most creative things that has come out of quarantine may sound bizarre, but is probably the most Gen Z thing to come out of the internet recently. If you’re a frequent TikTok scroller, you may have seen some videos about the internet phenomenon of Ratatouille: The Musical, or Ratatousical as it’s affectionately nicknamed. Tiktok user @e_jaccs is credited with kicking off the crowdsourced phenomenon with her love ballad to Remy the Rat back in August, which became a popular TikTok sound. From there, other creators on the platform created their own songs for the Ratatousical as a joke, before it snowballed into a real event.
If you’re not familiar with the story of Pixar’s Ratatouille, the animated film came out in 2007 and is available to stream on Disney+. It follows the story of Remy, a French rat who has always dreamed of being a chef. When his home nest is destroyed, he travels to Paris, where he meets the bumbling Alfredo Linguini. Linguini is trying to learn to be a chef at a famous Paris restaurant, but everything he touches turns disgusting. Remy and Linguini team up to achieve both their dreams, Linguini learning to cook by Remy pulling on his hair. One thing leads to another, and the duo end up serving food to an intimidating food critic. The film ends with Remy and Linguini managing the restaurant successfully, and teaches the important lesson “Anyone Can Cook!” The film was a financial success and received positive ratings; it was even voted one of the 100 greatest motion pictures of the 21st century in a 2016 poll of international critics by The BBC.
Disney films have been consistently adapted to the Broadway stage, with Disney Theatrical Productions producing 10 musicals based on Disney animation since Beauty and the Beast in 1994. Disney’s The Lion King has been a staple of Broadway since 1997, and is the 3rd-longest running Broadway musical. Other popular Disney adaptations include Newsies and Mary Poppins. All the Disney Broadway adaptations were film musicals, so they translated easily to the stage. So far, The Lion King is the only Disney broadway musical solely featuring anthropomorphic animals.
The film version of Ratatouille was not a musical, so all the content created for the crowdsourced musical is original content. From rat puppets to ensemble choreography and rat makeup, the TikTok creators have thought of everything. In just a few months, the musical phenomenon attracted the attention of Patton Oswalt, original voice of Remy the Rat in the film. His tweets about the musical reached the director of the Pixar film as well as many Disney executives. While Disney does not have plans to create an official musical, the TikTok creation has been picked up for a one-night charity streaming event benefiting The Actor’s Fund, which helps support actors while Broadway is closed. It’s been confirmed that the original content creators have been credited and compensated for their work, and some creators will be performing in the stream.
Interested in experiencing the Ratatousical for yourself? Tickets are available on TomorrowTix and start at just $5, but there are higher tiers of donation. The stream begins at 7pm EST on January 1, but will be available to stream for 72 hours afterwards. Pour yourself a glass of wine, grab some cheese, and get ready to sing along to Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical.