"Ratatouille" "Ratatouille"

Yesterday, we spoke to three animators who are making names for themselves on Tiktok. Needless to say, art on the video-sharing platform doesn’t stop at animation.

The proof: creative Tiktok users, professionals and amateurs alike, are pooling their talents to invent a stage musical inspired by the 2007 Disney-Pixar feature Ratatouille. The virtual show — which pays homage to the film’s protagonist Remy, a rat with a knack for haute cuisine — has been gathering steam for months. Here’s a quick timeline of how Ratatouille the Musical took shape:

In August, Emily Jacobsen, whose Tiktok channel is full of playful sung tributes to cartoon characters, read about a new Ratatouille-themed ride due to open at Walt Disney World in Florida. She then posted an ode to Remy on the app, singing: “Remy, the Ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams / I praise you, oh Ratatouille, may the world remember your name.”

@e_jaccs

A love ballad #remy #rat #ratatoille #disney #wdw #disneyworld #ratlove #ratlife #rats #Alphets #StanleyCup #CanYouWorkIt

♬ Ode to Remy – Em Jaccs

In October, composer Daniel Mertzlufft (the instigator of an earlier pandemic-era Tiktok sensation, Grocery Store: The Musical) took Jacobsen’s ditty and gave it a Broadway-style symphonic arrangement. “When I first heard the video,” he told Vulture, “I immediately knew, this is an act-two finale. This is in the style of classic Disney.”

@danieljmertzlufft

Remy: The Musical OG Song @e_jaccs add. Vocals @cjaskier #remy #ratatouille #musicaltheatre #broadway #singer #musical #disney #fyp #disneymusicals

♬ original sound – danieljmertzlufft

Mertzlufft’s video promptly went viral. It has gone on to score a volley of Tiktok videos that develop the idea of a Ratatouille musical in ingenious ways. Here’s puppet designer Brandon Hardy commenting on the relevance of puppets to the film’s story:

@brandon.hardy.art

YES I’ve got ideas for the Ratatouiile Musical! #Ratatouille #RatatouilleTheMusical #RatatouilleMusical #Puppetry #FYP @ratatouillemusical

♬ original sound – danieljmertzlufft

And actor Tristan McIntyre, who helped choreograph a “rat dance”:

@tristanmichaelmcintyre

cookin’ up some choreo for #ratatouillemusical 👨‍🍳 @rawalton4 @ratatouillemusical #foryoupage #fyp

♬ original sound – danieljmertzlufft

It’s no coincidence that many participants are professionals coping with the temporary closure of theaters. As actor Kevin Chamberlin, who composed a song of his own for the project, told The New York Times: “What’s really interesting about all this is that, during this pandemic, art is pushing through because we can’t get on stages and in front of audiences.”

@chamberlin_kevin

@ratatouillemusical 🎶 Anyone Can Cook 🎶 #Gusteau #ratatouillemusical #kevinchamberlin #theatrekid #musicals #broadway #ratatouille #fyp #composer

♬ original sound – Kevin Chamberlin

Eventually, Disney noticed. In late November, it quoted Jacobsen’s lyrics on Twitter and Instagram, and Disney Parks’ official Tiktok posted a contribution to the fantasy musical:

@disneyparks

Our unofficial audition for #ratatouillemusical with @milomanheim and @pearcejoza 🐀🇫🇷👨‍🍳 #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyChannel #EPCOT #Ratatouille

♬ original sound – Disney Parks

This isn’t the first time Ratatouille has inspired an unofficial adaptation (anyone remember the 2007 Brazilian film Ratatoing?).

What sets this project apart is that it captures the essence of both the film and Disney musicals. Thanks to Mertzlufft’s deliberate orchestration and the general talent involved, it looks and feels pretty similar to what the House of Mouse might stage on Broadway. But by inviting anyone to contribute, it reflects the film’s core lesson, “Anyone can cook” — Ratatouille the Musical is the show where anyone can sing, dance, and build props.

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Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit

Alex Dudok de Wit is Associate Editor of Cartoon Brew.

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