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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Penn chapter.

If you’re as addicted to TikTok as I am, you’ve probably heard about the platform’s latest obsession: Ratatouille: The Musical. The original Ratatouille is a critically-acclaimed Pixar animated movie about a rat named Remy, who has big dreams of becoming a chef in Paris. 

In August, the idea to create a musical feature for Ratatouille went viral on TikTok. This sparked a wave of thousands of TikTok videos under the hashtag #RatatouilleMusical, all to design a theater production of Ratatouille: The Musical and make it a reality. And it worked! In December, Broadway production company Seaview announced that Ratatouille: The Musical will come to life for 72 hours, as a live-streamed event. While this isn’t the weirdest thing that’s happened in 2020 by far, it’s probably one of my favorites!

How Ratatouille: The Musical was created

TikTok’s odd love for Ratatouille started in early 2020, when the song, “Le Festin” from the original film soundtrack was used in a ton of cooking videos, including videos where TikTok users created meals from the film. Then, as with many things on TikTok, the song became a meme after a singer muttered fake French-sounding words instead of singing the actual lyrics. Clearly, Remy the rat already held a special place in the hearts of TikTokers.

The concept of Ratatouille: The Musical began in August, when TikToker Emily Jacobsen uploaded a video of herself singing a silly yet catchy tune dedicated to “Remy the ratatouille.” The song went viral for its funny subject and memorable lyrics, and it was subsequently used in the background of thousands of other TikToks. Two months later, TikTok user Daniel Mertzlufft uploaded his take on Jacobsen’s song, which featured background music and additional vocals to complete the Broadway experience. Mertzlufft’s video also went viral, garnering more than 2.2 million views. 

Over the next three months, TikTok users joined forces to create what we now know as Ratatouille: The Musical. Taking inspiration from Jacboson’s “Ode to Remy,” musically talented TikTokers began to cook up songs for the film’s other characters and storylines. Notable contributions are Gabbi Bolt’s “Good in the Garbage,” from the perspective of Remy’s father and Blake Rouse’s “The Rat’s Way of Life,” from the perspective of Emile, Remy’s best friend. However, my personal favorite video comes from former Disney actor, Kevin Chamberlin, who played Bertram Winkle in the Disney channel show Jessie! His song, “Everyone Can Cook,” is a recurring theme throughout the musical. 

TikTok users took the trend further, truly bringing the musical to life! User Jack Gwood uploaded Rouse’s song complete with choreography, props, and rat costumes. Chris Routh showed off his mini stage production for Ratatouille: The Musical, featuring cutouts of the characters, mood lighting, and a functioning turntable. These are just two notable videos, but there are thousands of contributions that show off the talents of TikTok creators!

Ratatouille: The Musical and Broadway

So what’s next for TikTok’s latest trend? Apparently, Broadway! Production company Seaview will be presenting Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical as a virtual event. While the details are not totally clear yet, Seaview announced that both “Broadway and TikTok’s biggest and brightest stars” will be included in the musical. The performance will stream live on January 1st, 2021 at 7PM EST, and ticket proceeds will benefit the Actors Fund, a nonprofit that supports members of the entertainment and performing arts community in need. 

If you’re interested in learning more, check out #RatatouilleMusical on TikTok or the official Broadway website!

Megan Chui

U Penn '23

Megan is a senior majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. She is from Philadelphia, PA!