Broadway’s still closed, we’re all stuck at home, and, yes, you read that correctly, TikTok users have created a complete musical version of the Pixar film Ratatouille. That includes original music, of course, but also choreography, costume design, and even a mock Playbill for the show. What began as a viral joke rooted in a catchy tune has turned into a bonafide TikTok musical. Coming soon (post-COVID!) to a theatre near you.
Ratatouille the Musical has taken on a life of its own — it’s difficult to miss its many tendrils now that it’s taken hold of TikTok’s creative zeitgeist. That’s doubled, tripled even, by TikTok’s algorithm, which keeps serving you videos similar to those you’ve spent the most time watching and interacting with. So if you’ve seen one, there’s a good chance you’ve seen most of the musical by now.
More than anything else, though, Ratatouille the Musical is a perfect microcosm of the strange — and at times bewildering — power of social media. That’s something many of us have lost touch with, as misinformation and conspiracy theories compete to take over our feeds.
The rat of all my dreams — Ratatouille the Musical began, as most shows do, with humble beginnings. In this case, those beginnings take the form of a catchy ditty that goes something like this:
The progression of the remainder of the musical’s creation is up for debate, as creative endeavors so often are when social media is involved. But suffice it to say the results are very TikTok and very impressive.
The original “Remy” motif now has a full choral arrangement, for example — and an unofficial Playbill for the show (though it could be the real thing if you didn’t know):
Various “auditions” have popped up for the show’s main roles:
As have smaller musical numbers:
This is only a sampling of the totality that has become known as Ratatouille the Musical. You'll need to explore the rest on TikTok for the full experience.
And then there were memes — As with most TikTok trends, there’s a good chance you haven’t heard of Ratatouille the Musical at all if you aren’t on the app. Still, there’s been some leakage to other social networks, like this Twitter thread that attempts to trace its lineage.
That main theme has a way of worming its way into your head…and it helps that Ratatouille has a long-standing history of being fodder for memes, too.
Will Ratatouille the Musical ever make its way off the internet and onto a real stage? Our gut reaction is to say definitely no, it won’t, but have you ever seen Cats? There’s no way this would be any stranger than that making it to the stage.
Also, these Gen Z kids created a whole musical in the middle of a pandemic between actively shutting down the Trump administration's misinformation campaigns. Give them a Tony already, you cowards. Wait, can someone look up how the Tonys work?