"Remy the Ratatouille, the rat of all my dreams. "That line has been on my head for weeks as I scrolled through my TikTok feed and increasingly came across clips of a crowdsourced Pixar-themed collaboration. Yes, Ratatouille, the musical is very online right now (it was even recognized by Disney's official accounts) and I had the chance to chat with the two people who started it all.
It all starts with Emily Jacobsen, a 26 year old teacher with a talent for creating songs that are inspired by animated characters. She told POPSUGAR she was "deeply in quarantine" when she wrote an article on the August Ratatouille Attraction to Walt Disney World. As a huge Disney fan, the news stuck with her and she hummed a song about Remy, the rat with a penchant for cooking. "I found that (video) pretty funny and pretty catchy," she said. "So I decided to make a TikTok with crazy visual effects and a different voice. It was just some kind of joke sending it to family and friends."
Jacobsen "never thought about it" after she released her song. "But then fast forward two months later," she said. "With the help of some exposures and the sharing of some TikTok superstars, the video caught the attention of composer, arranger, musician Daniel Mertzlufft."
Don't get confused … #remy #remytok #rat #rattok #ratlove #ratatouille #GamingLife
♬ Ode to Remy – Em Jaccs
This isn't Mertzlufft's first musical rodeo – or even his first TikTok musical. He has an extensive compositional background, both on and off social media. he is responsible for Grocery store: the musical, and you can probably tell by the Thanksgiving musical with James Corden. A friend tagged him on Jacobsen's video and asked if this could be the next big thing. It was child's play for Mertzlufft.
"(My friend) tagged me on this comment. I said, 'Okay, I know exactly what this is,'" he said. "When we look at these words," we praise you, oh Ratatouille. May the world remember your name. "This is the end of a show, if I've ever heard one. So this must be one Be the grand finale with the whole choir singing about how the world will remember Remy's name. "
Inspired by the classic Disney compositions by Alan Menken, Mertzlufft got to work. He created the sounds of an orchestra electronically from home and had a friend help him create a choral sound. He imagined the choreography and notes. From Jacobsen's point of view, "it was amazing." She said, "I almost cried. I loved it so much. And it was kind of between my song and its arrangement that the whole thing Ratatouille Musical movement was born. "
Remy: Add the musical OG song @e_jaccs. Vocals @cjaskier #remy #ratatouille #musicaltheatre #broadway #singer #musical #disney #fyp #disneymusicals
♬ Original sound – danieljmertzlufft
After Mertzlufft's arrangement took hold online, other TikTok developers began contributing their songs, costumes, vocals, dance moves, and more. The idea quickly began to expand beyond a song until a full-blown crowdsourcing musical could be put together from individual stories. Users sang duets with each other and posed as the characters Linguini and Colette. Award-winning Tony actor Kevin Chamberlin sang "Everyone Can Cook".
Millions of views later, it became almost impossible to analyze a For You page without seeing it Ratatouille-like videos. Game slip Disney Parks' TikTok account submitted an "unofficial audition video," and Pixar's official account gave the movement a nod on Instagram. Fans are demanding that the musical become canon, either on Broadway or through a Disney project. Both Mertzlufft and Jacobsen would like to see something different, although Mertzlufft noted that it would be difficult to give all creators the recognition they deserve.
Our unofficial audition for #ratatouillemusical with @milomanheim and @pearcejoza D #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyChannel #EPCOT #Ratatouille
♬ Original sound – Disney Parks
What does Ratatouille especially so special? There are plenty of Disney movies, even Pixar movies, that could be said to be more popular, successful, or better suited for musical treatment. According to Mertzlufft, several factors play a role. The film came out in 2007 and is very popular with the Gen Z TikTokers who saw it. Aside from the nostalgia, Mertzlufft and Jacobsen said that the relativity of the film brings people together.
"I saw it recently and just found out that I feel like a scam or that you are failing to reach your potential," Jacobsen shared. "I feel like I'm for a lot of adults, that's super relatable."
Mertzlufft shared similar feelings. "It's an underdog story," he said. "There's no reason Remy and Linguini should work. There's no reason this plan should work, and it does. And they create magic together, and they couldn't have done it without each other." He uses this allegory to refer to the theatrical world, but it also sums up exactly how the TikTok musical started in the first place. An unlikely pairing of strangers who turn something unfathomable into pure magic. That sounds like a plot straight out of the Disney playbook.