Something is happening on TikTok that was completely unexpected, but necessary.
Broadway, and theatres around the world, are closed right now, which has prompted theatre kids and professionals on TikTok to collaborate to create a fully socially distanced musical on the 2007 film Ratatouille inspired by Remy the rat.
Composers, singers, actors, musicians, dancers and set designs have come together to write and perform the musical with original songs entirely from the app.
This isn’t the first musical that has been developed on the app during the pandemic, however. Works such as Grocery Store the Musical have been conceived through almost world-wide quarantining.
We are interested in how a bunch of TikTok creators banded together to create this Disney adaptation from their homes.
The idea for this musical originated in early 2020 when the song Le Festin’ became popular for cooking videos on the app. Set in Paris, this movie is deemed a creative and ambitious representation of sophisticated cooking and haute cuisine to TikTok creators.
Later, a parody version of this song started circulating the app with a female voice singing fake French-sounding noises over the music and has been used in videos of gross or bad cooking.
TikTok user Em Jacs shared an ode to Remy the rat on August 10 a cappella singing lyrics in a mousy voice. The lyrics say “Remy, the Ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams/ I praise you, oh Ratatouille, may the world remember your name.”
This ode sparked a whole corner of TikTok to start adapting the song similar to Broadway musicals. User Daniel Mertzlufft began writing an arrangement and orchestration for the song. This song became even more famous on TikTok with over a million views on the original post.
This user was also the mastermind behind Grocery Store the Musical and Avatar the Last Airbender the TikTok Musical.
This song also became the backing track for many contributions to the project. It has been used in visions of set designs (@shoeboxmusicals), choreography (@tristanmichaelmcintyre), playbill (@siswij), puppets (@brandon.hardy.art) and a theoretical high-school cast party (still_nic).
TikTok’s duet feature has allowed other musical theatre singers to add to the song. Users including @megg_mcmuffin22, @andybecker1, @johnviggiano, @rwhitford, and @ashleycarpp have contributed from the perspective of other characters such as Remy, Anton Ego, Gusteau and even a flustered waiter.
User @fettucinefettuqueen has since released a song titled Trash is our Treasure from the perspective of Remy’s father. User @barbershopraga also released a song from his dad’s perspective titled A Rat Is A Rat Is A Rat.
TikTok user RJ Christian is one of the key contributors to the TikTok musical having posted songs for Anton Ego, Gusteau, Linguini as well as Remy.
His compositions were inspired by Alan Menken, and he utilises the limited time of TikTok to his advantage. He says that he was excited by the minute restriction as it allows him, and other composers, to truly focus on the best parts of characters and do things writers can’t get away with in a real musical number.
Christian emphasises that he writes from different characters perspectives by trying to embody their emotions at that moment; it also helps that he is a big Disney nerd. His song Recipe for Success, a duet for Linguini and Remy, was written to be a fun, harmonious and triumphant number that depicts two friends just goofing around in the kitchen.
One of Christian’s most popular renditions is his solo for character Anton Ego, where he takes inspiration from other Disney villains such as Claude Frollo and Scar to embody the intelligence and the non-singing singing that is part of their aesthetic.
A TikTok account @ratatouillemusical has gained almost 200 thousand followers as the central hub for musical content.
This goofy burst of creativity is significant and extremely unique. The features that TikTok has developed allow a unique opportunity for collaborations between users without pressure.
The Ratatouille Musical is very similar to the original Disney movie in terms of its inspiring and encouraging meaning; encouraging viewers that inspiration and happiness can come from anywhere and that anyone has the ability to create.