High School Musical (2006) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –

In 2006, a Disney Channel Original Movie premiered that would become a modern-day Disney classic. It led to concert tours, sing-alongs, and one of the highest grossing theatrical movie musicals when the third installment premiered two years later in 2008. That film is none other than High School Musical. Even though it premiered twelve years ago (as of 2018), this beloved Disney Channel film continues to have a lasting impact on a new generation of fans who love Disney, musicals, and/or both.

A Toast

This Disney Channel film is one of the most inventive and original films to be released through the famed cable channel. There have been other great Disney Channel films and television shows, like Kim Possible and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, but this film continues to inspire young people to pursue their dreams and accept themselves for who they are. Some of this film’s most catchy tunes include “Breaking Free” and “We’re All in This Together.” It launched the career of Zac Efron (who recently appeared in The Greatest Showman in 2017), and made Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale (who was also on Suite Life), Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, and Lucas Grabeel household names. Indeed, the first installment of the High School Musical series still continues to delight audiences with its memorable songs and a plotline similar to William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

Beer Two

Like many Disney films, this film does not exactly line up with reality. Then again, this is a modern original Disney musical, and not real life. Many young people have said that they loved High School Musical when they were children, and then complained when they entered high school in the real world. The fact that Disney films present high levels of fantasy with minimalist presentation of reality has plagued Disney films ever since Walt Disney created his famed studio, and that issue continues to be problematic even in the twenty-first century.

Verdict

High School Musical might be corny and cheesy at times, but watching this film almost feels like eating comfort food. High school in real life might never be like the way it is depicted in this film, but High School Musical continues to produce films even though it is more than one decade old. Some would say that Glee is a more realistic approach to High School Musical given the parallels between the setting and the power of music in both of those works of entertainment. Glee might have ended in 2015, and 2018 is already the tenth anniversary of High School Musical 3: Senior Year, but like what Troy Bolton said, “Once a wildcat, always a wildcat!”


High School Musical (2006) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: during every musical number

Double on those Drinks: whenever there is a reprise

Take a Drink: every time Sharpay does anything spiteful

Drink a Shot: every time Kelsi and/or Ryan change their hats

Double on those Shots: whenever there are basketball shots

And Celebrate with Your Favorite Drink: during the epic finale of this corny (but still adorable) Disney Channel original classic

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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