Ratatouille The TikTok Musical


Photo Credit: playbillstore.com

The first ever TikTok musical, Ratatouille.

Ayla DeBord, Reporter

A savory, french, and  rodent filled musical. There’s nothing like it. Ratatouille The Musical; the TikTok sensation that took the entertainment and musical theater world by surprise. One random funny video turned into the first ever TikTok musical.

According to the New York Times, the idea for the musical started when Emily Jacobson, a 26 year old schoolteacher from New York, posted a tiny rat voice a cappella style tribute to Pixar’s Remy the rat. When Jacobson’s video went viral, users on the platform used the ‘duet’ feature and added background music and melodies to her original audio. 

This started a chain reaction of people coming up with their own music for how they think the musical of Ratatouille would go. Songs were written from the perspective of tons of the characters: Remy, Linguini, Collet, Anton Ego, Skinner, Emile, and even Remy’s dad. 

Sophia James, one of American Idol’s top 15 contestants in 2020, wrote a song for the character Skinner and posted it on TikTok. For those who don’t know, Skinner is the villain of Pixar’s Ratatouille. Sophia’s video got 1.6 million likes and over 5.9 million views. James’ song was featured in Ratatouille The TikTok Musical that premiered January 1st of 2021, along with many other artists who wrote songs for the musical that went viral. 

According to newsroom.tiktok.com, The show was a virtual benefit performance for The Actors Fund that included 10 songs from TikTok and featured musical stars like Wayne Brady, Adam Lambert, Andrew Barth Feldman, Ashley Park, Tituss Burgess as Remy the rat, and many more.

Although this musical was a one night virtual performance, it has inspired a new idea for how musical theater can be made and produced. It has also shown that social media has great power and can open possibilities we have never considered before, like Broadway partnering with TikTok. Most importantly, it has opened the eyes of other creatives, inspiring them to write their own musicals and collaborate with others across the world during a time when collaboration with others is at its hardest. 

Jillian Kates Bumpas, a professional musical theater performer based in New York stated, “I love the way so many young artists were able to collaborate from all over the world and to get it even just to the virtual presentation it got to is really remarkable.”

Boe Wank, a professional dance choreographer and musical theater performer, spoke about his views on the TikTok musical and if it could one day be a full production. “To be completely honest, no, as of now, I don’t think that it has the bones to be a fully realized stage musical. That’s not to say that it couldn’t be! As it is, it is about as fully realized as it can be, since it was conceived for and by TikTok creators. That, in its own right, is incredibly impressive! In order to transition to a fully-staged Broadway musical, the entire scale of the piece needs to be examined. And I’m certain the creators of the piece know that as well, and are likely working on just that. Once that happens? Who knows!?”

The theater world is filled with possibilities and we might be seeing more TikTok musicals in the future. Ratatouille The TikTok Musical was the first step in a direction of sparking new ideas and letting young artists showcase their talents. There’s surely a good chance that there will be more to come.