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High School Musical
By Connie Sellecca

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Directed by: Kenny Ortega

Starring: Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale


High School Musical
is a highly entertaining movie for the whole family to enjoy. It is an engaging look at the politics of high school and the passions that often exist beneath the surface.  Gabriella and Troy are two high school students who meet while on vacation with their families. They discover their joy for singing after being forced into a karaoke performance at a New Years Eve party.

When the drama teacher, Ms. Darbus, announces auditions for the school musical, Gabriella and Troy both want to audition, but hesitate because they are both concerned about their respective obligations, and the opinions of their friends. Troy is a basketball star, and Gabriella, a new girl in school, is a "brainiac."  They decide to audition and earn a call back, much to the dismay of Sharpay and Ryan Evans, the brother and sister team who have starred in the past 17 school musicals. Complications arise when Gabriella, due to her math and science skills, is quickly drafted into the academic decathlon team. And Troy, the star of the basketball team, is pressured to "keep his head in the game." His teammates, and his dad who is the coach, remind him that they're counting on him to win the coveted league championship.

Gabriella and Troy's decision to audition sets off a chain of events at the high school; students suddenly start breaking out of their cliques, talking to other students and admitting that they too have secret passions. However, the members of the academic decathlon and basketball teams feel that they need their star players to focus on the goal, and join together to come up with a plan to separate Gabriella and Troy so they won't go to the call back auditions. To top it off, Sharpay convinces Ms. Darbus to change the date of the call backs to the same time as both the decathlon and the championship basketball game!

When their friends realize how miserable Troy and Gabriella are, they recognize that as true friends, they should offer support, no matter what the situation. The brainiacs and the jocks devise a plan that allows Gabriella to complete the decathlon, Troy to play in the basketball game, and both of them to perform at the call backs. Their brilliant audition brings down the house and they win the lead roles in the school musical.

This movie is highly entertaining; the musical performances are catchy, with engaging high energy. The sing-a-long and dance-a-long versions of the movie also allow viewers to participate in the musical experience. The characters are warm, funny and realistically portray some of the struggles that children face in school and life. There is no questionable content aside from Sharpay's attempts to sabotage Gabriella and Troy's chances for the musical. This movie teaches many positive lessons about friendship, taking chances, breaking out of stereotypical cliques, and the power of perseverance. High School Musical will renew your faith in the entertainment industry for recognizing a need for this type of programming. Kudos to Disney for repeatedly airing the movie, giving families opportunities for viewing parties and sharing the excitement with other ‘tweens.

 

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