Editor’s Pick: Ratatouille the Musical’s scrumptious soundtrack

For a musical comprised of songs from TikTok, the music in Ratatouille the Musical⁠⁠—a musical reimagination of the similarly titled Pixar film⁠⁠—is surprisingly well written even with its few duds. While the format of minute-long videos definitely shows through due to the unfortunately short runtime of many songs, each song’s take on what a Ratatouille musical would look like is delightful. That said, not every song is worth a listen, and it’s important to know which to avoid and which to put on repeat.

Lilianne Harris, Beat Editor

Anyone Can Cook ⁠⁠— “Anyone Can Cook” is very reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast’s “Belle”⁠⁠—which is to say that it works perfectly. Though it speaks a bit too much about the chefs given that those characters aren’t properly introduced until later, the song sets the tone of the rest of the show so well that I can’t complain. This is easily one of the best in the musical, both in lyrics and composition.


That’s What the Life of a Rat’s All About ⁠⁠— Though it could have easily become a true “villain” song, “That’s What the Life of a Rat’s All About” thankfully stays away from that trope, making Remy’s father the perfect level of sympathetic. Its lyrics might not be on par with “Ratatouille” later in the show, and are worse than the best parts of “Anyone Can Cook,” but they still work to paint the rats’ point of view perfectly.


I Knew I Smelled a Rat (Prologue) ⁠⁠— Though clever in concept, this piece fails on execution. The vocals need an instrumental behind them, and when it does get to the instrumental section (after just a few lines, I might add), it simply doesn’t have the time to ramp up. I’d pass on this one.


The World Will Remember My Name ⁠⁠— Though I generally don’t like the style of comparatively slower, more emotional songs in shows, “The World Will Remember My Name” rocks the genre very well. It could have easily fallen into a pitfall of being hopeful but very generic, so I’m thankful that it keeps the context of Remy being a rat in mind throughout. The final note sung is also flat-out incredible and genuinely gave me chills the first time I heard it.


Anyone Can Cook (Reprise) ⁠⁠— This version works just as well as the first “Anyone Can Cook,” with the instrumental just as Disney-esque. It builds perfectly, and I think it’s very clever that Linguini sings it—the only issue is that there isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said about it the first time around. 


Collette Tango ⁠⁠— One of the best parts of the song is Linguini’s interjections whenever Collette pauses between lines, and one of the worst parts is that those pauses are frequently taken half-way through a sentence. Unfortunately, the phrasing isn’t that great, and the part where she accelerates is messy at best and unclear at worst. “Collette Tango” works, but it could have worked a lot better.


The Rat’s Way Of Life ⁠⁠— Pop-rock numbers in musicals are my least favorite, and this one leans into that cheesy style intentionally. The structure of this song simply isn’t up to par compared to some of the best in the show, but is better than some of the worst. If you’re into the musical Rent, you might enjoy this one, but I just can’t get into it.


I Knew I Smelled a Rat ⁠⁠— Though I’m reviewing the music and not the structure of the musical, it should be noted at this point that there are a plethora of places where songs should be, but aren’t, and between “The Rat’s Way of Life” and “I Knew I Smelled a Rat” is one such spot—some sort of emotional Linguini song, perhaps, would fix the structure. In any event, “I Knew I Smelled a Rat” gets better as it goes along, starting off poorly but becoming quite alright by the end. It’s a fun villain song with an even more fun instrumental, and there’s not much that can go wrong in a song like that.


Ratatouille ⁠⁠— Andre de Shields is a musical epic, and if you enjoyed his performance of Anton Ego, you should absolutely check out Hadestown. I love the two-part structure of this titular song, and his duet with his younger self in the second half. Though I wish this song was a bit longer, I adored every second of it.


Finale ⁠⁠— “Finale” has some of the best composition—both in the instrumental and the ensemble’s singing—but some of the worst lyrics. “Remy the ratatouille” is perhaps the worst, most meaningless line I have ever heard, and they just keep on repeating it. If you can get past the extremely cheesy lyrics, though, it’s a great song.


Overture, Curtain Call, and Incidental Music ⁠⁠— The three of these songs (with “Overture” playing at the beginning and the other two songs playing at the end) all work extremely well for what they’re doing. Though “Curtain Call” is formatted very differently from a typical curtain call tune, given that it acts as a sung medley instead of just instrumental, it and “Overture” are delightful medleys to listen to. “Incidental Music,” which would play as the audience leaves the theatre in a more typical musical, is incidentally one of my favorite songs in the show, with a nostalgic tone that works great.