How a fake musical inspired by the 2007 Disney-Pixar movie ‘Ratatouille’ took over TikTok

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TikTok creators are writing original numbers for the fictional ‘Ratatouille: The Musical.’ @rjthecomposer/@danieljmertzlufft/@fettuccinefettuqueen/TikTok
  • “Ratatouille,” the 2007 Disney-Pixar film, has taken over TikTok.
  • People are making original songs, memes, and videos about a fictional musical based on the movie. They call it “Ratatouille: The Musical.”
  • The musical started with a short song from TikTok user @e_jaccs with the now-iconic lyrics, “Remy the Ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams / I praise you, my Ratatouille, may the world remember your name.”
  • After TikToker @danieljmertzlufft created a theatre arrangement for the song, the concept of a full-blown TikTok musical took off.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Over the course of several months, a nonsensical musical about Remy, the rat from “Ratatouille,” has morphed into a full-fledged musical theatre phenomenon on TikTok.

“Ratatouille: The Musical,” as it’s come to have been known on social media and on the short-form video app itself, isn’t a formalized production. Rather, it’s a meme that’s taken on extreme life of its own, with people on TikTok writing songs, making choreography, and imagining staging for a show that only exists online.

“Ratatouille,” a 2007 Disney-Pixar animated comedy, was directed by animation veteran Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”) and stars Patton Oswalt as Remy, a rat who hates garbage and has grand culinary aspirations. Set delightfully in Paris, the film follows Remy after he’s separated from his family, eventually teaming up with Alfredo Linguini (Lou Romano), a bumbling new hire in a gourmet restaurant. Working together (with Remy guiding Linguini’s cooking from beneath his hat), the two keep the gig running for as long as they can.

What started a single nonsensical (but hilarious) jingle about Remy, the film’s main character, has grown into a full-blown collaborative effort that builds on previous musical theatre trends on TikTok. The hashtag #ratatouillethemusical has over 14 million views; #ratatouillemusical has approximately 88.5 million. One account, @ratatouillemusical, is trying to serve as a central hub for the project, soliciting submissions for original content tied to the musical.

“Ratatouille” the musical has grown so big, and amassed so many songs on TikTok itself, that there are more than enough to make a selective ranking.

@mrsfionnacharmingTHIS WAS SO HARD ##ratatouille##ratatouillemusical##remytheratatouille##ratatouillethemusical##musical##musicaltheatre##fyp##foryoupage##remy##rat

lRatatouille Musical Songs – Amber

This is how “Ratatouille: The Musical” — or, the “Ratatoosical,” if you will — became one of TikTok’s biggest 2020 sensations.

This isn’t the first time ‘Ratatouille’ content or musical theatre has blown up on TikTok

“Ratatouille: The Musical” isn’t’ the first time “Ratatouille”-adjacent content has woven itself into the very fabric of TikTok. The film’s most iconic song, “Le Festin,”has been a TikTok mainstay for months; a parody cover with very approximate French was widely circulated as well.

“Ratatouille: The Musical,” as Vulture noted, also plays into a musical theatre TikTok tendency to spin wildly elaborate jokes out of simple musical motifs. Prior to “Ratatouille,” the most prominent examples of that phenomenon were “Grocery Store: The Musical” (which adapted Louisa Melcher’s “New York Summer” into theatre fare) and an “Avatar: The Last Airbender” musical project from earlier this year.

Like the “Grocery Store” musical, “Ratatouille: The Musical” started with a single iconic musical snippet. In early August, TikTok user Emily Jacobson (who was identified by Rolling Stone and goes by @e_jaccs on the app itself) posted an “Ode to Remy” that went on to become the lynchpin of “Ratatouille: The Musical.”

“Remy, the Ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams / I praise you, my ratatouille, may the world remember your name,” she sings as sparkles, cherry blossom petals, and smoke fall over pictures of Remy.

@e_jaccsA love ballad ##remy##rat##ratatoille##disney##wdw##disneyworld##ratlove##ratlife##rats##Alphets##StanleyCup##CanYouWorkIt

lOde to Remy – Em Jaccs

As Rolling Stone reported, Jacobson’s song went viral after Brittany Broski (who has approximately 5.9 million followers and is known to most as “Kombucha Girl”) duetted a video of a Disney World Remy dancing that used the sound. The phenomenon that followed that initial bout of virality, however, was much bigger.

‘Ratatouille’ the musical began in earnest after composer Daniel Mertzlufft made a musical theatre arrangement of Jacobson’s song

As both Rolling Stone and Vulture reported, composer and arranger Daniel Mertzlufft was the first to parlay Jacobson’s infectious jingle into musical theatre gold. Mertzlufft also adapted Melcher’s “New York Summer” into theatre fare, and participated in the “Avatar: the Last Airbender” fan-made musical effort on TikTok earlier this year.

Mertzlufft told Rolling Stone that Jacobson’s song “screamed to me a big, big Disney ending, like ‘Little Mermaid’s’ ‘Part of Your World’ or the ending of ‘Hunchback of Notre Dame.'” With some new instrumentation and a few chord and melody changes, he turned it into a suitable Act II finale.

@danieljmertzlufftRemy: The Musical OG Song @e_jaccs add. Vocals @cjaskier##remy##ratatouille##musicaltheatre##broadway##singer##musical##disney##fyp##disneymusicals

loriginal sound – danieljmertzlufft

Mertzlufft’s arrangement, which he posted on October 19, blew up and has amassed approximately 1.5 million views on TikTok. The sound itself has been used in over 7,600 videos, and inspired people to create a variety of spinoffs ranging from staging to choreography to separate lines for Remy himself.

@jjniemanncoming soon! -( OK but this audio by @danieljmertzlufft SLAPS##theatrekid##ThatWitch##broadway##rat##ratatouille##musical##sing##actor

loriginal sound – danieljmertzlufft

From that point, people began to write other songs for ‘Ratatouille: The Musical,’ spinning it into a full-fledged musical phenomenon

After Mertzlufft’s arrangement of Jacobson’s jingle blew up on TikTok, people began to create separate spinoff jingles for specific characters and moments in the movie. That included, of course, Colette, a razor-sharp chef trying to make it in a male-dominated world, and Linguini, the bumbling youth who partners with Remy, but also characters like Chef Gusteau, Remy’s father and brother, and even the old woman who attempts to kill Remy and his family at the beginning of the film.

Much of this activity can be traced back to late October — particularly many of the most popular original songs — but people are still creating “Ratatouille: The Musical” content now, in November.

@strachansingsssIts the bad British accent and facial expressions for me!pStupid Rats an Original! @ratatouillemusical ##fyp##ratatouille##ratatouillethemusical

loriginal sound – Oliver Strachan

Composer RJ Christian’s “Anyone Can Cook” is an emotional ballad sung by Chef Gusteau, whose ghostly presence counsels Remy throughout the film.

@rjthecomposerI worked way too hard on this ##ratatouille##ratatouillethemusical##musical

lAnyone Can Cook – RJ Christian

Blake Rouse’s Collette-focused tango number begins with the character’s iconic “You think cooking is a cute job, eh, like mummy in the kitchen?” line from the movie. A duet featuring @aaacacia_ amassed over 850,000 likes.

@aaacacia_##duet with @blakeyrousesorry for the lack of enthusiasm but i was trying to remember it##WeWinTogether##fyp##ratatouillemusical##musical##singer##fyp

loriginal sound – Yay Blake Rouse!!

One song for Remy’s dad from @fettucinefettuqueen, a musician who is also known as Gabbi Bolt, features lyrics like “don’t waste your whiskers on dreaming;” another take from @cincinnatusstrikesagain features Remy’s dad singing about how “a rat is a rat.”

@fettuccinefettuqueenMy official entry to the ##ratatouillemusical. (Idea credit: @danieljmertzlufft ) ##ratatouillemusical##theatrekid##foryou##Animation##austok##FYP

lTrash is Our Treasure – Gabbi

It’s not just songs, though — “Ratatouille: The Musical” has become a full musical theatre experience on TikTok, with people making videos showing off potential staging, discussing costumes, and acting out what it would be like to stage-manage the show.

@stageandmanagementWhat this show sounds like from my experience ##ratatouille##ratatoosical##stagemanagement

loriginal sound – danieljmertzlufft

After months of creative genesis, however, people are addressing the original song that sparked the musical phenomenon. “The fact that the lyrics make no sense fills me with an extreme, uncontrollable rage,” one TikToker wrote in an on-screen caption. Others spoke about the way that the fandom has “openly rejected the original song.”

Still, others argue that there’s a logical place for it in the final production.

@katiestopi dont usually get serious on here but… ##ratatouille##ratatouillemusical##ratatouillethemusical##remytheratatouille##remy##fyp##foryou##makeitmini

loriginal sound – danieljmertzlufft

Ratatouille: The Musical’ has now been recognised on Disney and Pixar social channels, and by others involved with the movie

Patton Oswalt, who voices Remy in “Ratatouille” the film, acknowledged the musical, quote retweeting a video of @fettucinefettuqueen’s song for Remy’s dad, complete with staging from @shoeboxmusicals.

“My…God…” Oswalt wrote, tagging “Ratatouille” director Brad Bird in the tweet and asking if he had seen it.

Bird, who also directed “The Incredibles” and its 2018 sequel in addition to “Ratatouille,” acknowledged Oswalt’s tweet, writing, “Whoa! It’s got a life of its’s own!!! Our baby is walking the earth! Roaming freely with plans of its own!!!”

The official Pixar and Disney Broadway Twitter accounts also got in on the action, quoting Jacobson’s original song (“the rat of all [our] dreams”).

As Vulture reported, even the official Disney Parks TikTok account posted a video “audition” for the musical featuring Disney Channel actor Milo Manheim.

@disneyparksOur unofficial audition for ##ratatouillemusicalwith @milomanheim and @pearcejoza

It’s unclear exactly what the fate of “Ratatouille: The Musical” is, or whether it will make it to Broadway. For now, it’s a testament to the collaborative possibilities — and a huge amount of musical theatre lovers — on TikTok.