High School Musical is a Disney TV movie that follows two students, Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens). They meet on winter vacation when they both sing karaoke at a New Year’s Eve party. They enjoy singing together and decide to exchange phone numbers before going their separate ways.
Gabriella transfers schools at the beginning of the new school term and ends up at Troy’s high school. Troy is captain and star player of the East High ‘Wildcats’ basketball team, whereas Gabriella is a talented science student and becomes a member of the academic decathlon team. Gabriella tries to convince Troy to try out for the school musical. They both miss the audition, but the drama teacher hears them singing together and invites them to a callback. When the callback list is posted, brother and sister team Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) and Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) discover that they have competition for the leads in the musical – and they’re not happy.
The Wildcats and the decathlon team are also unhappy and worried that their teammates might choose singing over upcoming competitions. They conspire to trick Troy into saying that Gabriella and the audition aren’t important to him. Gabriella is extremely upset by Troy’s apparent betrayal and decides not to audition for the musical after all. Troy is left confused and upset. Realising their mistake, the basketball team tell Troy what has happened and offer to support him in the callback.
Meanwhile, Ryan and Sharpay encourage the music teacher to change the audition time to coincide with the basketball championship and the scholastic decathlon, forcing them to decide. When the basketball and decathlon teams find out about this deception, they develop a plan to help Troy and Gabriella take part in both their competitions and the audition.
Peer pressure; identity; breaking stereotypes; teamwork; striving to achieve goals
High School Musical has some violence. For example, there’s some rough play on the basketball court. This includes a player shoving another player out of the way to get the ball.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nudity and sexual activity
High School Musical has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- There’s some hand-holding and mild flirting.
- The main male character appears shirtless in one scene.
- Two characters almost share a kiss in the final scene.
- A female teacher walks into the men’s locker room, and several shirtless male students are shown wearing towels around their waist.
There is some mild coarse language in High School Musical. For example:
- A song lyric includes the sentence ‘Shake your booty and turn around’.
- The head coach exclaims, ‘What the heck!’
- A character says, ‘I’d rather stick pins in my eyes’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
High School Musical is a family-friendly musical aimed at pre-teen audiences. The movie is filled with positive messages about friendship and being true to yourself. Although the plot is fairly simple, the catchy songs, upbeat dance sequences and portrayal of young romance will engage viewers.
The main messages from this movie are about the importance of:
- being true to yourself
- having the courage to try new things
- being a good friend
- standing up to peer pressure.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include accepting others as they are and supporting your friends’ interests and aspirations.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- standing up for what you believe in and fighting back against peer pressure
- persevering to achieve your goals and try new things.