Hi Matilda – hang on ... what’s that catchy yet familiar tune you are humming?
Naaman, I’m not proud of myself, but it is, in fact, the song I Praise You, My Ratatouille, the show-stopping act two closing tune from the (completely hypothetical) Ratatouille the musical.
Like anyone else with two eyes and a heart, I have watched Ratatouille upwards of 15 times … but I’ve never heard of this musical. Did Disney finally respond to my letters?
Oh, absolutely not. In fact, I’m sure Disney would be horrified if they learnt what was going on on TikTok right now.
This caught the attention of TikTokkers who posited the idea of a full Ratatouille musical (or Rataousical), following Remy’s journey from the trash pile to befriending and puppeteering hopeless chef Linguine and taking the Parisian culinary world by storm.
Before you know it, the song was transformed into a full orchestration, complete with a huge chorus, chiming bells and an emotional crescendo.
This has managed to capture the internet’s attention, with dozens of people writing songs, creating set designs and even selling merchandise.
It’s either a testament to the creativity and persistence of the human spirit or a scathing indictment of how bored Gen Z has become during lockdowns.
Hey, I get it. Ratatouille is one of the internet’s favourite memes. It’s a rare film that is inherently funny and easily mockable, but also genuinely good. It’s a beautiful, enchanting film about the relationship between creator and critic, that also has a funny rat-based premise.
What is perhaps my favourite ever tweet sums it up well:
You (hasn't seen Ratatouille): gross get this rat outta here
Me (smart, has seen Ratatouille): now wait just a minute
— ray (@rougasrougas) June 19, 2016
That’s the thing, it’s honestly perfect internet fodder. Old enough to be nostalgic, but not so old that we have realised that it’s offensive (see Pocahontas). It’s genuinely stupid (I mean, it’s about a wonderful rat becoming a Michelin Star chef) but serious enough to still bring a tear to the eye.
So wait, is there a single source of canon for all these songs? Or are people just coming up with their own?
No, this is very much a crowdsourced affair. There are plenty of songs going around but here are some of my favourites.
Gabbi Bolt has created a beautiful tune for the first act when Remy’s dad tries to convince his son to be content with the life of a rat.
Liv Pearsall brought the terrifying food critic Anton Ego to life.
Jeremy Crawford has reduced me to tears with this minor key reprise of the show’s theme.
And John Thomas handed us the final powerful lines sung by our hero.
Wow, I honestly did not expect it, but these are actually good. Forgive me if I’m wrong though, but aren’t the two main characters a rat-sized rat and a human-sized human? How on earth is that going to work on the stage?
This is a good point. Ratatouille is the Pixar movie that is the least suited for the stage. How is a man dressed as a rat possibly going to climb inside the chef’s hat of another man and pull his hair to use him as a cooking puppet?
At first, I was more sceptical than Colette. Are we just going to ignore the size difference? Are the rats going to be in Cats-style jumpsuits and makeup? If they use puppets, how would the last row even see Remy? Are the rats actually going to be human size and the humans giant animatronic robots, a la King Kong? The musical raises more questions than it answers and, honestly, I think that is part of the magic of it.
Also, never fear, the internet has already begun workshopping solutions.
They made Frozen the musical, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. Why let a simple matter of scale stop us from having our magnificent rat?
Yes, Ratatouille deserves its own musical! It’s still a travesty that there’s no Disneyland Ratatouille ride. That rat taught me more about myself than those stupid blue people from Avatar ever did – and they have an entire theme park!
In the words of comedian Billy Eichner, who seems to love Ratatouille almost but not quite as much as us: “You were a rat that played a chef, there’s nothing better than that!”
Also, did you know about Michelle McNamara, the wife of Remy’s voice actor, Patton Oswalt? She was a crime author who pretty much single-handedly connected all the crimes of the Golden State Killer / Night Stalker that led directly to his arrest? But she never got to see this as she died in 2016? Give that man a bloody musical, I tell you! He has earnt it!
When can we see a finished, real-life Ratatouille the Ratausical – on Broadway, perhaps?
It’s funny you ask, because it looks like this meme might actually be galvanising into a real-life production.
The @ratatouillemusical TikTok page has done a call-out for songwriters, actors, dancers and artists to collaborate on the project.
“I don’t know how we are going to do this, but we are going to do it,” said the man behind the project, who did not give his name in the video.
This can really go one of two ways. Either it is the best thing to ever grace the internet, a fantastic tribute to humanity and rat-dom, live-streamed across the world, or – more likely – Disney is going to get a whiff and hit these brilliant creators with a cease and desist faster than you can say Auguste Gusteau.
Now, uh, what about a Stuart Little musica-
Don’t you dare talk to me about that pompous private school mouse. I’m ride or die Remy.