REVIEW: “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical”—Seaview Productions, For the Actors Fund

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

“Excuse Me Waiter, There’s a Rat In My Soup!”

Only a few months ago, Broadway fans came together on TikTok in an unprecedented collaboration to create a new musical based on the beloved Disney film "Ratatouille." Then, only yesterday, Broadway said “bon appetite” with a big Broadway feast! “Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical” began its celebration of the delectable crowd-sourced creation by giving it the full high-kicking, lip-smacking Broadway treatment. Now—it’s your musical, cooked to perfection!

This incredible, almost miraculous production is based on the brilliant, animated 2007 Pixar release from Walt Disney Pictures. The title refers to the French dish ratatouille, a French Provençal stewed vegetable dish originating in Nice, and follows an anthropomorphic rat named Remy, an earnest and lovable rodent, who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant's garbage boy named Linguini.

The film starred the voices of Patton Oswalt as Remy, Lou Romano as Alfredo Linguini, Ian Holm as Skinner, the head chef of Auguste Gusteau's restaurant; Janeane Garofalo as Colette Tatou, a French rôtisseur and the staff's only female chef; Peter O'Toole as Anton Ego, the feared restaurant critic; Brian Dennehy as Remy's father and leader of his rat-pack clan; Peter Sohn as Emile, Remy's older brother; and Brad Garrett as Auguste Gusteau, a recently deceased chef.

The Disney film premiered at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California, and was considered a box office success, receiving widespread critical acclaim and winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was even later voted one of the 100 greatest motion pictures of the 21st century by the BBC.

Remy is a member of a large family of rats (a horde, I think, is the word) who ply the trash cans and sewers of a Parisian suburb, just like good rats should. "Eat your garbage!" commands Remy's father, Django, obviously a loving parent. The rats are evicted from their cozy home in a cottage-kitchen ceiling in a scene that will have rat-haters cringing, and they are ultimately swept through the sewers in a torrential flood. Remy, who has always been blessed with a refined palate and a sensitive nose (there's certainly something de Gaullean about his snout), washes up near the river in view of the most famous restaurant in tout le France. Recognizing his culinary hero, he now starts skulking around the kitchen of Gusteau, delving in all the wonderful aromas and spices.

Linguini, the garbage duty employee, and Remy meet, somehow establish trust and communication, and when Linguini gets credit for a soup that the rat has made and gets promoted to cook, he panics and they team up. Remy burrows into Linguini's hair and is concealed by his toque, but can see through its transparent sides and controls Linguini’s every move in the kitchen by expressive body language or by pulling on his hair as if each tuft were a joystick. Together, they astonish Paris with their genius, rising to the top of the restaurant industry, only to be judged by the imperious critic Anton Ego.

Fast forward to the year 2020, and to this new TikTok production, which follows the storyline somewhat faithfully, but it’s done a bit more succinctly. The narrative of the show relies mostly on your recall of the events from the Pixar film, delivering quick recaps by Remy before diving into those moments from the film which are now expanded into songs.