American high school kids refuse to conform to their friends' expectations and, instead, reach for the stars. A Disney made-for-TV movie in which Troy (Zac Efron), school basketball star, and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens), shy brainbox, discover they both like to sing. Tragically separated shortly afterwards, it's not too long before they're reunited and decide to audition for the school musical, much to the disgust of the resident wannabe thespians.
The Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical
is a combination of backstage action and Grease
without the unwholesome habits. Scoring record ratings at the time of its US January 2006 broadcast, it's a smash hit with tween audiences (ages 6 to 10), but appealing for all ages. At a New Year's Eve party, Troy (Zac Efron of the WB's Summerland) has a chance meeting with Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) when they share a karaoke song. Lo and behold, when school resumes, they discover that Gabriella has just transferred to Troy's East High School, a campus divided into tight cliques of jocks, cheerleaders, brainiacs, and skater dudes. Eager to recapture the magic they'd discovered during karaoke, Troy and Gabriella consider auditioning for the school's upcoming musical, much to the dismay of the school's frost queen/theatre goddess, Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody
). Problem is, Troy is also the star of the basketball team and Gabrielle is being recruited to compete in the Scholastic Decathlon. Will they give up their cliques to start something new, or will they do as the show's first big anthem urges and "Stick to the Status Quo"? Well, this is a Disney movie, so maybe the sacrifices won't be that hard, and even the hints of romance are mild. This two-disc Remix Edition of High School Musical
retains all the bonus features of the original DVD and adds 34 minutes of new features. Following a couple of minutes of red-carpet interviews from the DVD release party, "High School Reunion" (6 min.) gathers the cast for some more interviews, glimpses of their other Disney Channel credits, and appearances on the Teen Choice Awards. The longest feature is the dance-along, in which the cast teaches the choreography for "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "We're All in This Together." At 16 minutes, it allows for move-by-move instruction followed by half- and full-speed run-throughs, though they're facing the camera, so home participants will have to figure out the mirror image or simply ignore the left-right directions and do it backward. And because this is the Remix Edition, there are videos of the remixed versions of "Breaking Free" and "We're All in This Together" as well as a video of "Eres Tu," a Spanish version of "What I've Been Looking For" (the Ryan and Sharpay version) by Mexican band Belanova. Retained from the original DVD are the sing-along subtitles, the making-of featurette, the "Bop to the Top" rehearsal, and the music videos for "We're All in This Together" and "I Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." Not included in this version: the trivia-packed "pop-up edition" that debuted on the Disney Channel on Thanksgiving weekend 2006. So even if the Remix Edition
is a little thin for two discs, fans will enjoy the new stuff while they wait for High School Musical 2. --David Horiuchi
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.