Movie Mom

Movie Mom


High School Musical

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:Kiss
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:None
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2006

This week, as the powerhouse franchise that is known as “HSM” moves from television to CD (top-seller of the year), DVD, stage show, video game, ice show, birthday party decoration theme, and now feature film theatrical release, it’s time to take another look at the original that became the unstoppable hit of 2006, the original Disney Channel movie, “High School Musical.”

When Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) find themselves singing karaoke together at a resort on New Year’s Eve, they feel a connection. But then it turns out she has transferred to his school. Vacation is one thing, but at school people tend to stick to clearly defined roles. He’s a basketball star. She’s a math whiz. Their friends all think anyone outside their group is not worth talking to, and the idea of liking anything different is not tolerated.

But they still have music in common — and a lot of chemistry (Efron and Hudgens became a real-life couple). Despite the best, or perhaps I should say worst efforts of bother-sister scene-stealers Ryan and Sharpay Evans (Lucas Grabeel and Ashley Tisdale as HSM’s version of Team Rocket) to hold onto the lead roles in the…high school musical, talent and integrity win the day.

My favorite number in the show is the joyous salute to being yourself, “Stick to the Status Quo.” Can’t wait to see HSM3. Go Wildcats!



  • Ryan W. Mead

    “Stick to the Status Quo” is hardly a “joyous salute to being yourself”- if anything, it is a salute to conformity. The song sets up one of the major themes of the film by reinforcing Sharpay and Ryan’s belief that members of cliques should stay in those cliques and not attempt to break out. This is, of course, eventually shattered by Troy the jock and Gabriella the “nerd” barging in on Sharpay and Ryan’s theater territory, much to their anger. The cooking jock, the dancing smart girl, and the cello-playing skater are all silenced by their cliques. By the end of the film, however, everyone (except maybe for Ryan and Sharpay) realize that you should NOT “stick to the status quo.” The song is catchy and sets up the plot, but it is not meant to give a positive message or “salute…being yourself.”

  • Nell Minow

    Thanks, Ryan! I understand your point about how the characters react in the movie during that scene. But the message is very clear to the audience of the movie during that song who is on the right side, even though it is not clear to the characters until later. The song itself is about the interests the kids have despite the expectations of their friends and I believe the title is used ironically to convey exactly the opposite of its literal meaning.

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