Viral TikToks lead to a Ratatouille musical

Playbill+for+Ratatouille%3A+The+TikTok+musical%2C+designed+by+Jess+Siswick

Playbill for Ratatouille: The TikTok musical, designed by Jess Siswick

Loren Savage, Writer

Over the past several months, thousands of Tik Tok users have come together to create a musical version of Disney’s “Ratatouille.” Users of the app have written songs, designed costumes and puppets, choreographed dances, created makeup looks and done so much more. This trend began to catch the attention of news outlets and even Broadway itself. The musical will now be a one night only benefit event for actors who have been out of work due to the pandemic.

The animated Disney film was released in 2007, “Ratatouille” tells the story of Remy the rat and Linguini, who team up to cook in the Parisian restaurant Gusteaus.

This all began when Tik Tok user, Emily Jacobsen, posted an ode to the 2007 films’ main character, Remy. The piece goes, “Remy the ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams.” The song began to go viral, and then in October another user, Daniel Mertzlufft, turned the song by Jacobsen into a finale for the musical. Vocals, strings, French horn, and percussion were all added to Jacobsen’s original number. Mertzlufft has said that he was inspired by Alan Menken, who has done the composing for many Disney films. This version of the song blew up on the app as theater students and professionals began to realize the possibility of a musical based on the Disney film.

According to a video posted by BuzzFeed, Jacobsen said that the idea for the song came to her as she was cleaning her apartment. She had just read an article about the new “Ratatouille” ride coming to Disney World and, “…that sort of got the movie in my head…,” said Jacobsen. She then thought it would make a funny Tik Tok. The tune then began to trend on the social media platform.

Tik Tok users began to write more songs. A duet between two characters, Colette and Linguine, became one of the most popular songs. The number was composed by Blake Rouse and was sung by Rouse and Acacia Pressley. User R.J. Christian has created multiple songs for the Tik Tok musical, one being from the perspective of Anton Ego, a character from the film. Actor Kevin Chamberlin even contributed a song called “Anyone Can Cook” based on the catchphrase from one of the film’s characters, Gusteau.

User Gabbi Bolt created a song from the point of view of Remy’s father, Tristan McIntyre created a dance to “Ode to Remy,” and Jess Siswick created the official playbill design used to advertise the Ratatousical.

Many users have created puppets to act as Remy the rat and showcased their ideas for set design. One user, Shoebox Musicals, created a mock set. Puppeteer Brandon Hardy created puppets for Remy and the other rats in the film.

On December 9, Broadway production company Seaview announced that they would be putting on the virtual event. Seaview is working with Tik Tok and TodayTix.

In a Tik Tok posted by Jacobsen, she says, “It’s like you did this Tik Tok! You made this thing! You are the cause of this great benefit for The Actors Fund to help so many people out of work! Thank you!”

Patton Oswalt, voice of Remy the rat in the original film, took to Twitter to say, “OH MY GOD IT’S HAPPENING. What an amazing way to start out 2021.” Other actors from the film have not spoken publicly about the Ratatouille musical.

TodayTix, the company selling tickets to the musical, has said that the songwriters of songs showcased in the musical will be compensated for their work.

Disney has recently said that they do not have any developments planned to make the “Ratatouille” musical an official Disney musical.

The musical is entirely crowdsourced by Tik Tok users. It will premiere on January 1, 2021 at 7 p.m., it will be performed once, and the stream will be available for only 72 hours. The ticket sales for the event are contributing to The Actor Fund. Tickets are available at todaytix.com, it is a pay what you want system the lowest being five dollars. It is unknown who will star in the Ratatousical.

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