Review: Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical was underwhelming

The musical serves up great music but falls flat on acting


Photo Playbill

The featured image on the playbill for the musical created by Jess Siswick.

Zoe Thaxton, Staff Writer

Back in August, creators on TikTok started composing songs for a hypothetical musical—one based on the Pixar movie Ratatouille. I was hooked.

Ratatouille was one of my favorite movies to watch when I was younger and to hear songs for it made my day. It blew up and many artists jumped on the bandwagon, creating everything a musical needs: songs, scripts, dances and scenic designs. A musical created solely by the fans! It was so cool!

Then, in December, it was announced that the Actors Fund (an organization that helps those in the entertainment industry) would be hosting a live streamed full-length Ratatouille musical! It was available on Ticket Master from Jan. 1 at 7 pm Eastern time and could be watched till Jan. 4 at 6:59 pm. I gladly bought a $5 ticket to support the Actors Fund and enjoy this musical. I was genuinely excited, so I watched it the minute it came out.

Yet… I was underwhelmed. It was okay, not the best but not the worst.

For starters, the musical follows the same premise as the movie. The musical cut back dialogue and scenes due to timing and the inability to perform such scenes for a pre-filmed concert.

I loved this cast. All these Broadway stars and talented singers did a phenomenal job with the limited time they had to prepare. My only critique on them is the casting of Mary Testa as Skinner. I personally didn’t like it (though I’m not saying she isn’t talented.) There just wasn’t something right with her playing the crazy chef that didn’t feel right.

The leading cast of the Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical (Photo Ratatousical on Instagram).

Let’s start with the other good parts: I adored the music. Definitely the best part of the production.

The artists created such beautiful songs that are very catchy. Different songs were apart of different genres of music which was captivating. My personal favorite songs were Emile’s song “Rat’s Way of Life,” “Kitchen Tango,” performed by Collette and Linguini; and Remy’s dad Django’s song “Trash is our Treasure.” Overall, all the songs were beautifully sung and carried the weight of this show.

The acting was the worst part for me. It wasn’t even awful, just very awkward. Even this all-star cast couldn’t take away some of the tension created from the filming. Tituss Burgess as Remy led the show well and was a captivating narrator, but the constant narration from his character just dulled on. It didn’t give many other characters screen time. Also, some of the jokes just didn’t land with me. Either they were just out of place or just didn’t make me laugh.

The dancing was also bad. Now, I love tap dancing, but that’s not the part I had issues with. It was times where the ensemble would do TikTok dances. I understand that this is a “TikTok musical,” but it was just so cringy and out of place. Since everyone filmed separately, there were times in the show where the dancers wouldn’t line up properly.

Now, I give this musical the benefit of the doubt. We’re in a pandemic. The actors didn’t have long to prepare their lines and songs on top of acting alone. That’s a challenge and I applaud them for still making relatively good product in such a short amount of time.

I still believe my money was well spent as I knew that it went to a good cause. I hope that if they continue this production further on Broadway that they make these changes. I believe it has the potential to be even better.