High School Musical (franchise)

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High School Musical
High School Musical current logo.JPG
High School Musical film series logo
Directed by Kenny Ortega (1–3) Michael Lembeck (Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure)
Produced by Bill Borden
Don Schain (1/3)
Written by Peter Barsocchini
Starring Zac Efron
Vanessa Hudgens
Ashley Tisdale
Lucas Grabeel
Corbin Bleu
Monique Coleman
Music by David Lawrence
Adam Watts
Drew Lane
Eddie Galan
Drew Seeley
Matthew Gerrard
Robbie Nevil
Shankar Mahadevan
Randy Petersen
Antonia Amato
Jamie Houston
Tim James
Kevin Quinn
Faye Greenberg
Andy Dodd
Greg Cham
Ray Cham
Cinematography Gordon Lonsdale (1/2)
Daniel Aranyò (3)
Edited by Seth Flaum
Distributed by Disney Channel
Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) 2006–2008
Running time 97 minutes (1:37; 1)
111 minutes (1:51; 2)
112 minutes (1:52; 3)
117 minutes (1:57; 3) extended edition
320 minutes (5:20; total)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $4,200,000 (1)
$7,000,000 (2)
$11,000,000 (3)
$22,200,000 (total)
Box office $253 million (total)

The High School Musical franchise consists of three Disney musical films directed by Kenny Ortega and created by Peter Barsocchini. It stars Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman. The original film was released simply as a Disney Channel Original Movie, but after its huge success it was followed by a television sequel. The third film received a theatrical release. Ashley Tisdale & Lucas Grabeel reprised their roles as Sharpay & Ryan Evans in a spin-off on the series titled Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure,[1] it was a direct to video film. Numerous international versions have been created, plus stage musicals and video games have been released, among other things.

Film series[edit]

High School Musical (2006)[edit]

Main article: High School Musical

High School Musical was released on January 20, 2006 as a Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM), and is the most successful DCOM ever produced.[2] The movie was Disney Channel's most watched movie in 2006, with 7.7 million viewers for its premiere broadcast in the US[3] and 789,000 viewers for its UK premiere. It was the first DCOM ever to be broadcast by BBC on December 29, 2006, and has been viewed by over 225 million people worldwide.[4] The first film's leads were Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel, who sang most of the songs.

The movie follows star athlete Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and shy, smart Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) when the school musical changes their lives. Troy and Gabriella meet while vacationing at a ski lodge over Christmas Break and inadvertently participate in a karaoke contest together ("Start of Something New"). When school starts in January, drama queen Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) makes a dramatic entrance at East High, Troy's school. At this point, Gabriella is revealed to be a new transfer student to the school; she and Troy reconnect. Later that day, the pair are seen talking at the sign-up sheet for the Winter Musical by the Drama Club's co-president, Sharpay. Her brother Ryan (Lucas Grabeel), the other co-president, notices Troy constantly coming back to the sheet. Doing her research, Sharpay finds out that Gabriella was a top student at her old schools and convinces Scholastic Decathlon captain Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman) to invite Gabriella to the team as a distraction from auditioning. Troy's best friend, Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu), is concerned that Troy's mind seems to have wandered away from basketball despite being varsity team captain and struggles to keep his attention.

As the day of auditions quickly approaches, and Troy and Gabriella are too shy to come forward after watching Sharpay and Ryan perform their own flashy arrangement of a love song ("What I've Been Looking For"). Kelsi Nielsen (Olesya Rulin), the composer and writer of the musical, objects, but is ridiculed by Sharpay. Following the audition, Troy and Gabriella pluck up the courage to come forward but Mrs. Darbus (Alyson Reed) declares it too late to audition, and they are left crestfallen. As they are about to leave, Kelsi trips and drops her music. After helping her pick it up, they listen to her play the intended version of the song. Mrs. Darbus overhears Troy and Gabriella singing and invites them to a callback.

When the school finds out that Troy and Gabriella have auditioned for the Winter Musical, everyone fears the status quo of the school is drastically changing and Sharpay gets frustrated and worried ("Stick to the Status Quo"). Sharpay and Ryan find out that Chad and Taylor are going to split Troy and Gabriella up. Chad and Taylor are afraid that their respective teams will fall to pieces, so the pair stage individual interventions and get Troy and Gabriella to change their minds about their respective auditions. This particularly affects Gabriella, who now believes that Troy didn't really care about their friendship ("When There Was Me And You"). Upon realizing the damage they have caused, Chad and Taylor's respective groups feel guilty and fix the situation. When word comes that Troy and Gabriella are still interested in auditioning, Sharpay and Ryan convince Mrs. Darbus to change the date of the callbacks to the date of the game and the Decathlon. The pair go on as planned with their audition ("Bop to the Top"). Fearful that their friends will be unable to attend the callbacks, Chad and Taylor stage a school-wide computer glitch that forces the whole school to pack the auditorium. Without appearance, Mrs. Darbus considers cancelling Troy and Gabriella's callback; however they arrive in the nick of time and sing ("Breaking Free"). In the end, Ms. Darbus decides to award the lead roles to Troy and Gabriella, making Sharpay and Ryan understudies. Sharpay hopes that she will not lose by not getting lead in the musical, but does not retain any hard feelings.

The film ends with the entire school gathering in the gym to celebrate East High's basketball win ("We're All in This Together").

High School Musical 2 (2007)[edit]

Main article: High School Musical 2

It's the end of the school year, and everyone's excited for summer vacation ("What Time is It?"). Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) is happy to finally be spending her summer vacation without having to move. When the whole gang gets hired at Lava Springs Country Club as summer help, resident drama queen Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale), whose parents own the club, is concerned that the Wildcats are once again marching in on her territory ("Fabulous"). While taking time out of her day to convince club manager Mr. Fulton (Mark L. Taylor) to intimidate the Wildcats into quitting ("Work This Out"), Sharpay schemes to win over Troy (Zac Efron) by offering him various luxuries, including a chance for a college scholarship. Although Troy says he's committed to his relationship with Gabriella, Gabriella grows concerned after hearing he's spending more time with Sharpay.

Meanwhile, the club is preparing for the end-of-summer talent show, and the piano-playing Kelsi (Olesya Rulin) has written a special ballad especially for Troy and Gabriella ("You Are the Music in Me"), one that Sharpay would like rearranged for just her and Troy. When Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) discovers that Sharpay is no longer interested in his talent due to her pursuit of Troy, he finds himself spending more time with the Wildcats, even playing against Chad (Corbin Bleu) in a staff baseball game ("I Don't Dance"), one that Troy skips to attend a college hoops practice which Sharpay has indirectly set up. Ryan even goes so far as to secretly prepare a special dance number for the Wildcats to perform at the talent show. When Sharpay stumbles upon the Wildcats' rehearsal, she orders Mr. Fulton, to disallow all Junior Staff to partake in the talent show, namely the Wildcats. Fulton draws up a quick memo and pushes Activities Director, Taylor (Monique Coleman), to notify the staff.

Troy's good mood suddenly turns sour when everyone starts ignoring him. After a devastating rehearsal with Sharpay for the talent show,("You Are the Music in Me (Reprise)"), Troy loses Gabriella ("Gotta Go My Own Way"), who informs him of her frustration with Sharpay's scheme and quits her job at Lava Springs. He discovers the reason for his friends' coldness when Kelsi quietly passes him Mr. Fulton's memo ("Bet on It"). An angry Troy then confronts Sharpay and tells her he has to break his promise and not sing with her. When Chad and the Wildcats find out he's no longer singing in the show, they push him to go back to Sharpay, and only moments before the show does Ryan tell Troy she picked a different song. When Troy announces his disappointment to Sharpay of the change, Sharpay is left surprised and confused- she never chose another song. As the final act, Troy is on stage singing solo, not knowing what to expect. Gabriella- in a surprise move- comes back and joins him. The rest of the Wildcats soon come on stage as well to complete the musical number ("Everyday"). Sharpay learns her lesson in humility and is invited to join in; instead of awarding the Star Dazzle Trophy (given to the best act) to herself as usual, she chooses to give it to Ryan. Afterwards. the gang enjoys viewing the fireworks while Troy and Gabriella share their first kiss.

The summer comes to a conclusion with a staff pool party ("All for One") which also shows Miley Cyrus at the end.

High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)[edit]

It's the end of the Wildcats' championship basketball game against the West High Knights, where team captain Troy (Zac Efron) immediately rallies their spirits ("Now or Never"). At Troy's after-party, Troy and his girlfriend, Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), are seen sitting in Troy's treehouse reflecting about the past year and picturing how their last few months at East High would end ("Right Here, Right Now").

The following week at East High, Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) made another dramatic entrance and a drama teacher, Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed), is alarmed when few students sign up to audition for the Spring Musical, and Sharpay suggests that she perform a one-woman show. Quickly, the discouraged playwright, Kelsi (Olesya Rulin), scribbles on the sign up sheet everyone in her homeroom class, including Sharpay, Ryan, Troy, Gabriella, and the less than enthusiastic Chad (Corbin Bleu), Taylor (Monique Coleman), and other fellow Wildcats. Conclusively, Ms. Darbus announces that the Spring Musical will reflect the students' final days at East High. Ms. Darbus also announces that she will select one student for a Juilliard scholarship with Sharpay, Ryan, Kelsi, and Troy under consideration. Desperate to win the scholarship and knowing Kelsi will give the lead roles to Troy and Gabriella, Sharpay tries to persuade Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) to help her convince Kelsi to consider them instead by predicting their future in theater ("I Want It All").

Prom is around the corner, and Chad asks Taylor to be his date. She declines because she feels him to be unenthused about the event. Subsequently, Chad jumps onto a table and announces to the entire cafeteria that he is interested in having Taylor be his date, and she accepts ("A Night to Remember"). Meanwhile, Gabriella finds out that she has a chance to attend college really early. Sharpay told Troy that Gabriella is going to Stanford early. Troy encourages Gabriella to go, convinced that he is the only reason holding her back. However, on Prom night, Troy drives out to pick up Gabriella as East High is not the same without her. Days later, the play finally goes on as planned ("Spring Musical"), and Sharpay is prepared for the last musical at East High. At the close of the evening, Ms. Darbus announces that both Kelsi and Ryan each received the scholarship to Juilliard. And Gabriella returns. It is also revealed the outcome of the other student's college choices("We're All in This Together (Graduation Mix)").

The film concludes with a big celebratory graduation ("High School Musical"), and then, like a stage musical, has closeups of the lead actors.

Cast members[edit]

Character Film
High School Musical (2006) High School Musical 2 (2007) High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008) Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure (spin-off) (2011)
Troy Bolton Zac Efron
Gabriella Montez Vanessa Hudgens
Sharpay Evans Ashley Tisdale
Ryan Evans Lucas Grabeel
Chad Danforth Corbin Bleu
Taylor McKessie Monique Coleman
Kelsi Nielsen Olesya Rulin
Zeke Baylor Chris Warren Jr.
Jason Cross Ryne Sanborn
Martha Cox Kaycee Stroh
Ms. Darbus Alyson Reed
Jack Bolton Bart Johnson
Boi (Sharpay's Dog) Manly Ortega[5]
Mrs. Montez Socorro Herrera Socorro Herrera
Vance Evans Robert Curtis Brown
Mrs. Evans Jessica Tuck
Mrs. Bolton Leslie Wing Pomeroy
Mr. Fulton Mark L. Taylor
Tiara Gold Jemma McKenzie-Brown
Donny Dion Justin Martin
Jimmie Zara Matt Prokop
Mr. Danforth David Reivers
Mrs. Danforth Yolanda Wood
Principal Matsui Joey Miyashima Joey Miyashima

Discography[edit]

Reception[edit]

Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, "best-of" list, saying, "Call it children stuff. But HSM became a billion-dollar hit across screens big and small thanks to a love of song, dance, and happy endings. And that's pure, old-fashioned showbiz."[6] East High School was chosen as the Number 1 Top Five Best High Schools from Movies and TV by St. Petersburg Times.[7]

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
High School Musical 56% (9 reviews) N/A
High School Musical 2 57% (7 reviews) 72 (23 reviews)
High School Musical 3: Senior Year 65% (128 reviews) 57 (26 reviews)
Average ratings 59% 65

Stage performances and other media[edit]

High School Musical 4 and reunion film[edit]

In 2009, Gary Marsh, president of Disney Channel confirmed that there will be fourth installment in the series saying, "I'm excited to be part of a franchise that, thematically, encourages kids to believe in themselves. Like the first three movies, my goal is to keep the art form of the traditional musical alive, yet bring a contemporary emotional response to the story and its characters through song and dance."

It was also confirmed that the main stars such as Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale or any of the original Wildcats gang would not be returning as the lead roles but an entirely different set of actors will be cast for the film.[8] Reports said that the fourth film would have the title High School Musical 4: East Meets West and would be directed by Jeffrey Hornaday. It was also reported that the plot would follow around a love triangle set against the cross-town school rivalry between the East High Wildcats and West High Knights. The film should begin to proceed in late 2014 and premiere in July 2015. There will be an epilogue 10 years later of where the Wildcats are today. In an interview with Showbiz Spy in March 2012, Efron stated that he would be open to filming a fourth film, saying, "I can't say for sure if it will happen but deep down in my heart, I would jump at the chance." He then went on to say that he was "pretty sure [the rest of the cast] would feel the exact same way." [9] In March of 2014, Efron once again discussed the possibility of a reunion film.[10]

Spin-offs[edit]

Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure[edit]

Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure is a direct-to video film and High School Musical spin-off starring Ashley Tisdale. The film looks at Sharpay Evans' life after her graduation trying to get a role in a Broadway show. The film was released as a Blu-ray and DVD combination pack on April 19, 2011. The film takes place shortly after the graduation of the original cast. It starts with Sharpay Evans, the spin-off's protagonist, learning about the audition to a musical on Broadway. So, Sharpay travels to New York City with her dog Boi and meets Peyton (Austin Butler). Everything goes awry on such a "fabulous adventure" for Sharpay. One example includes Boi and another boy's (Bradley Steven Perry) dog running away. Searching for the pets, him and Sharpay find that the dogs are madly in love. By the end, Sharpay gets the part in a real Broadway musical and shares a kiss with Peyton. Then her twin brother Ryan Evans visits, to say that he is not in Juilliard with Kelsi as hinted in High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

High School Musical: El Desafío[edit]

High School Musical: El Desafío (in Spanish, The Challenge) is a spin-off of the American film High School Musical for the Latin American market, based on the book Battle of the Bands. The films were scripted for a theatrical release, and had eight new songs produced exclusively for the film. The film was first adapted in Argentina in February 2008, for Mexico in August 2008 and then for Brazil (with the title High School Musical: O Desafio) in 2010.

Over the summer, the team captain discovers that the girl next door has changed a lot over the summer. Meanwhile, the mean girl is still as vain as ever and overshadows her poor brother and his "invisible" friends. When the school year begins, the school announces a "Battle of the Bands" contest. Working against the clock and with limited resources, both cliques pull their respective forces together for the big day. However, in an effort to win, dreams are thwarted, and only one band will be the winner.

High School Musical China: College Dreams[edit]

High School Musical China is a spin-off of the High School Musical series for the Chinese market. It was released in August 2010.

Merchandise and other media[edit]

Concert tour[edit]

The "High School Musical: The Concert" tour started on November 29, 2006 kicking off in San Diego. The tour continued until January 28, 2007 performing in major cities around the United States, Canada and Latin America. The concert featured all of the original cast members except for Zac Efron, who was shooting Hairspray. Efron was replaced by Drew Seeley (whose voice was blended with Efron's during the film). The concert featured the original songs from the film, as well as songs from Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, and Corbin Bleu.

High School Musical: On Stage![edit]

Pacific Repertory Theatre's School of Dramatic Arts High School Musical Act 1 Finale.

High School Musical was adapted to a stage musical starting in early 2006 with two versions: a 70-minute One Act play and a full-length Two Act musical. On August 1, 2006, Playbill announced that the Stagedoor Manor summer theater camp, featured in the film Camp, would be the first venue to produce High School Musical on-stage. Pacific Repertory Theatre School of Dramatic Arts staged the California premiere in 2007, which was revived in 2008.

From early 2007 though the end of July, North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA had a production of High School Musical that featured Broadway actor Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Ryan and Kate Rockwell, a semi-finalist on Grease: You're the One that I Want!, as Sharpay.

High School Musical 2 was later adapted to a stage musical starting in late 2008. Both theatrical versions includes "Hummuhummunukunukuapua'a", a song cut from the film but included on the DVD. Again, Pacific Repertory Theatre School of Dramatic Arts presented the West Coast premiere of High School Musical 2 in January 2009.[11] The production was directed by PacRep founder Stephen Moorer, who previously directed the California premiere of the first High School Musical.[12]

Reality series[edit]

During July and August 2008, ABC broadcast a reality competition based on the series, High School Musical: Get in the Picture [13] hosted by Nick Lachey. The winner of the show appeared in a music video during the credits of High School Musical 3.[14] The series premiered to poor ratings, with the show coming in fourth place in its timeslot.[15]

Madison High TV series[edit]

In 2010 Disney announced their intention to film a television spinoff of the film series entitled Madison High and began casting that same year.[16] A pilot episode for the series was officially ordered in early 2011,[17] which would star Luke Benward, G. Hannelius, Leah Lewis, Katherine McNamara, Mark Indelicato, and Nolan Sotillo.[18] The episode contained four songs and if picked up, would have marked the first crossover and spin-off between a Disney Channel Original Movie and a Disney Channel Original Series. However, although the pilot was filmed, Madison High was not picked up for a season nor has the pilot episode aired as of June 2014.

Ice tour[edit]

"Feld Entertainment" produced global tour titled, High School Musical: The Ice Tour which had its world premiere in New York city on September 29, 2007.[19] The cast included 2004 World Junior Bronze Medalist Jordan Brauninger and 2004–2005 Australian national champion Bradley Santer. The show contained elements and songs from both the original film and its sequel, High School Musical 2 and now features a special preview of High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

Books[edit]

In June 2006, Disney Press published High School Musical: the Junior Novel, the novelization of the successful film. This novel hit number one on the New York Times best-selling list and remained on the list for sixteen weeks.[20] As of August 2007, the novel has sold more than 4.5 million copies, with 1 million copies of the novel's follow-up, High School Musical 2: The Junior Novel, being shipped to American retailers.[20] "High School Musical 3: Senior Year: The Junior Novel" came out on September 23, 2008. Shortly after the success of the original novel, Disney announced that a book series, entitled Stories From East High, would be published in February 2007 with a new book being published every 60 days until July 2008.

Video games[edit]

Disney Interactive Studios has produced 6 High School Musical video games, all taking the guise of music video games incorporating songs and plots from the films.

Comics[edit]

Between 2007 and 2010, Disney Italia produced and published a comic series starring the characters of the movies, made by Italian artists, in a homonymous official magazine of the franchise. Some of the comics stories have been published abroad, such as in Finland and Greece.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "High School Musical's Ashley Tisdale returns as Sharpay – NZ Entertainment – Your daily fix of celebrity gossip". Entertainment.msn.co.nz. May 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  2. ^ Nielsens ratings for January 28 – February 3 – USATODAY.com
  3. ^ Keveney, Bill (August 13, 2007). "Can 'High School Musical' do it again?". USA Today. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  4. ^ "DisneyChannelFacts". Disney Channel. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  5. ^ "Manly Ortega – true star of High School Musical 3". Yahoo Movies. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 
  6. ^ Geier, Thom; Jensen, Jeff; Jordan, Tina; Lyons, Margaret; Markovitz, Adam; Nashawaty, Chris; Pastorek, Whitney; Rice, Lynette; Rottenberg, Josh; Schwartz, Missy; Slezak, Michael; Snierson, Dan; Stack, Tim; Stroup, Kate; Tucker, Ken; Vary, Adam B.; Vozick-Levinson, Simon; Ward, Kate (December 11, 2009), "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS". Entertainment Weekly. (1079/1080):74-84
  7. ^ Top 5 best and worst high schools from TV and movies
  8. ^ http://www.thehollywoodgossip.com/2009/03/confirmed-high-school-musical-4/
  9. ^ http://www.showbizspy.com/article/245060/zac-efron-wants-another-high-school-musical-movie.html
  10. ^ http://www.eonline.com/news/519160/zac-efron-talks-high-school-musical-reunion-we-re-all-thinking-about-it
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Pacific Repertory Theatre – Disney's High School Musical 2 – On Stage!". Pacrep.org. Retrieved 2011-05-16. 
  13. ^ Surette, Tim (April 1, 2008). "ABC's summer: chock full o' reality". Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  14. ^ Michael Schneider (March 2, 2008). "ABC heads to High School". Variety. Retrieved 2008-05-13. 
  15. ^ "ABC's 'High School Musical' reality show missteps". The Live Feed. 
  16. ^ Nellie Andreeva (November 12, 2010). "Disney Channel Preps First Musical Series". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  17. ^ Nellie Andreeva (February 17, 2011). "Disney Channel's Music-Driven 'HSM' Offshoot 'Madison High' Gets Pilot Order". Deadline.com. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  18. ^ Lara Martin (February 21, 2011). "Disney casts musical pilot 'Madison High'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2013-02-12. 
  19. ^ "Disney's High School Musical: The Ice Tour Heats Up with Announcement of Principal Cast". June 27, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-04. 
  20. ^ a b Disney launches two 'High School Musical' books

External links[edit]