I haven’t been able to get a high-pitched voice singing, “Remy the ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams,” out of my head for the past week. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then I envy you. For the past few weeks on TikTok, many creators have come together to create a musical based on the Pixar movie Ratatouille. The hashtag #ratatouillethemusical has over two million views, and there are countless song and choreography entries.
TikTok creator @e_jaccs was the one who started the idea. On Aug. 10, she posted an original song called “Ode to Remy.” In an interview with BroadwayWorld, Jaccs explained her inspiration for the song, “So I had been reading an article about the new Ratatouille ride in EPCOT [a theme park at the Walt Disney Resort]. Using the article as inspiration, I just began singing this on-the-spot song around my house about Remy.” Little did she know that her song would become the backbone of the finale song.
On Oct. 19, creator @danieljmertzlufft posted what he thought the musical’s finale song would sound like. Imagine a giant choir (of people dressed up as rats and Linguini) belting their hearts out in front of Remy’s restaurant with confetti flying everywhere; it’s beautiful. Since then, many creators have submitted ideas for the musical. Songs, set designs, choreography — you name it, and I can assure you it exists somewhere on TikTok. There’s a thread on Twitter that compiles some of the created songs, and you can get lost for hours in the hashtag — in case you need a distraction from all the political madness. Still, the collaborative TikTok musical nods to many traditional tropes and standards of the genre. “Rat is a Rat (is a Rat)” will sometimes randomly pop into my head; I think it’s because the song is stereotypical for the dad/old man-type character (Remy’s dad also has the best songs; you can fight me on that).
You may be thinking, “Why would a bunch of people try to create a musical over TikTok?” The answer to this question is: because of the coronavirus pandemic. In June, a surge of songs were written for a musical based on Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Grocery Store: A New Musical went viral at the beginning of October.
TikTok is changing the entertainment industry as we know it. In an NPR interview, L.A. Times pop music critic Mikael Wood said, “[talent scouts] looked to TikTok, which had the added bonus that it had tens of millions of users just sort of locked in their houses, staring at their phones, making huge hits of these songs.” It has become an outlet for young and experienced musical creators to come together and create through the pandemic. It also isn’t a coincidence that “Ratatouille the Musical” went viral a week before the election. TikTok has become an excellent platform for escapism, especially for a generation with such high-stress rates. It can serve as a distraction — watching these catchy videos, or imagining what a musical based on a popular movie/TV show would look like. The platform also allows creators to showcase their talents that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. The next time you have an idea for a song that could belong in a musical that’s based off a movie or show, don’t be afraid to share it on TikTok!
Feature Photo: Courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter