Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical


Miranda Eaton

Since COVID-19 has shut down Broadway performances for more than 9 months, people involved in the business are forced to do work from home, and what better way to spend quarantine than to write another musical just for fun. Musical theater lovers have been working on a particular musical together on the social media app, TikTok. Although this year has been an immense challenge for most, creating songs, dances and even set designs have been a great way to cure boredom and collaborate on a musical version of the 2007 Disney-Pixar movie Ratatouille.

The animated film Ratatouille is about a rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a real chef, despite being a rat and his family members disapproving of his biggest dreams. Eventually, he decides to move to Paris to follow his dream with the help of his human friend Linguini, who ironically knows a lot less about cooking than Remy. Remy faces the challenges of not being seen by other humans while also guiding Linguini through how to cook in the kitchen without getting caught. To adapt the story from screen to… smaller screen, creators on TikTok came up with their own songs, dances, makeup looks, set designs, puppets, Playbill programs, and more.

This all started when a TikTok participant came up with a song idea for the musical, posted it online, and went viral within days. One person dueted the song and the chain kept going until someone decided to make it sound like an ensemble song. Once that went viral as well, it became one of the songs in the musical. 

“Ratatouille the Musical” came to life in a one-time-only benefit performance on January 1st, 2021 at 7 pm. Seaview, a theatrical production company, announced that it would present an online performance of the show to raise money for the Actors Fund. The company mentioned that this performance will be available for streaming for three days. “The love for the performing arts shines through in the ‘Ratatouille Inspired TikToks’ from theater lovers around the world,” Joseph P. Benincasa, the Actors Fund chief executive, said in a statement. This musical was created by millions of TikTok users with around 200 million views on the hashtag, #ratatouillethemusical. These creators have contributed so much time and effort just for a fun activity during quarantine, not even thinking about it potentially becoming a real virtual musical.

The performance will be without a director, choreographer, and stage crew, which is very different from any show on Broadway. However, because it came together all on TikTok, it’s a chance for the people who went viral to show off their amazing talents. “In a year where we saw Broadway close, the TikTok community brought musical fans together virtually with one of the most unique trends we have ever seen on the platform,” said Lizzy Hale, senior manager for content at TikTok. Over the last decade, Disney has become more appreciative of fan appropriation, especially during the pandemic, where people have been curing their boredom by becoming creative. “Although we do not have development plans for the title, we love when our fans engage with Disney stories. We applaud and thank all of the online theater-makers for helping to benefit the Actors Fund in this unprecedented time of need.” read a statement from Disney. It’s amazing to see the collaboration between millions of strangers, and above that, to see them sharing their talents with the world to create an entire musical together.