TikTok musical expands upon concept of live performance


Jasmin Dominguez

Ratatouille The Musical, the first of its kind, is actively pioneering the way for others by transforming from a meme to a production, and by dedicating its proceeds to helping out actors during the pandemic.

Anyone can cook! But can anyone make a musical? Emily Jacobsen, a 26-year-old schoolteacher from Hartsdale, N.Y. proved that she could by posting an acapella of her singing a song dedicated to the beloved Pixar character Remy the rat from the beloved 2007 movie “Ratatouille”. She uploaded the TikTok in October 2020, not thinking the internet would take it by storm and turn it into a Broadway-style TikTok musical. 

Tiktok creators and celebrities jumped in on the trend following Jacobsen’s lead and added more characters from the movie into the musical, from Tony-award winning singer and actor Andre Dé Shields as food critic Anton Ego to “American Idol” winner Adam Lambert as Emile and so much more. Each TikTok was filled with creativity and a new perspective on each character, each song bringing these Disney characters to life once more. 

With the 60-second videos getting increasingly more traction, the idea of actually starting a musical didn’t seem so ridiculous with the millions of supporters liking and commenting on the videos, which eventually led to a TikTok page starting up called “@ratatousicalmusical”, which tracked all the updates and people in the production. 

Once the full production finally came to be on January 1 of this year,the musical sold over 1 million tickets. The stream was so successful that it was rebroadcast again for free on January 9, and now you can watch the spectacular musical on the TodayTix website and app. Additionally, all proceeds will be donated to The Actors Fund, an organization that helps out-of-work actors with housing and health care during the pandemic. 

While the whole meme-turned-legitimate-production seemed impossible and crazy from the start, TikTok and its vast stable of creators (who have arguably become used to thinking outside the box during the various stages of lockdown in 2020) made it possible to deliver the universal moral of dreaming big, even if you are a rat with a dream to cook—or a schoolteacher with a dream to adapt a children’s movie for the stage.