Ratatouille: The Musical


Joy Herrera, Staff Writer

TikTok is the place where trends are made. The short videos allow people to endlessly collaborate with others and have allowed many creators to find ways to innovate. One such trend that took TikTok by storm was Ratatouille: The Musical. What originally started as a cooking trend with the song “Le Festin” from the Pixar film, Ratatouille, transformed throughout 2020 into a TikTok-produced musical. This leap happened when a parody song was released by an elementary school teacher named Emily Jacobsen.

“Remy, the ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams,” sang Jacobsen on her viral TikTok that channeled the interest around the Pixar film into actually creating a full-blown musical.

Her TikTok blew up when a popular creator on the platform, Brittany Broski, used the audio of the song in her own TikTok. After the audio began to gain popularity, the song was remixed by Daniel Mertzluff, another popular TikTok creator. He arranged the audio into the traditional Disney musical style. This created a trend on TikTok where people created songs to add to the fictitious musical based on the characters and plot of the popular Pixar movie. 

Beyond just songs for the musical, people created costumes, playbills, set designs, and choreography. Even more impressive was that the creators who participated in the trend ranged from professional choreographers to aspiring singers. The different levels of experience but equal enthusiasm for the project created a wealth of quality content.

As the trend gained popularity, it was launched into the mainstream with the official Disney TikTok account referencing Jacobsen’s TikTok and the official Pixar Twitter account using the lyrics in one of their posts. For many people on TikTok, this seemed like a revolutionary endeavor as it was an entirely crowd-developed musical. 

Musical theater, as a genre, has long seemed inaccessible to the common audience. Most people are not able to visit Broadway and may never become a part of the musical making process. This trend allowed fans of musical theater and other users on the platform to connect to the theater in ways they were not able to before. TikTok has played a large part in reinvigorating the interest in musical theater even beyond its established audience. 

This all came to a culmination in late 2020 when the original creators of the trend collaborated with several Hollywood actors to form a full length live-action version of the musical, which was released on Jan. 1 as a charity effort for the Actors Fund. It raised $1.8 million and displayed a star-studded cast with Titus Burgess playing Remy, Ashley Park playing Colette, and Andrew Barth Freedman playing Linguini. Although the virtual musical elicited a less than glowing review from The New York Times, it did show that TikTok has the power to create enormously popular trends and bring success into the mainstream.


Graphic courtesy of PLAYBILL.COM