I live in a box, actually I live in the United Arab Emirates, but sometimes I feel as if I live in a box.
It took years for me to get bitten by the Harry Potter bug, as I had not even known how big the bespectacled boy wizard until 2001, the year I finally became Potter fan.
Same way, I had not learned about the super-successful, Emmy Award winning, Disney's High School Musical, till about last month.
So, I am breaking free (no pun intended) from the hypothetical box that I have living in and actually enjoying the teenybopper wonder that is - High School Musical.
I am going to make no excuses about it, yes, it is cheesy, corny, superficial, predictable - yet I love it!
I know the target audience of this franchise is kids and tweens. I am in my late teens, yet I find myself oddly attracted to this series of films. I own both the TV movies on DVD and both the audio CD's too.
Alright, there is not much to the story of the film. High School Musical (HSM) 1, takes place at East High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
(Mild Spoilers Ahead)
Troy Bolton is the star basketball player of the Wild Cats at East High School.
Gabriella Montez, a bookworm by nature, is a recent transfer student at the same school.
They meet at a New Year's eve party, during winter break, where the two participate in a karaoke contest. Sharing instant chemistry, the two teens part ways, only to meet each other again at East High, when the school year resumes.
After a series of events, Troy and Gabriella audition for the lead roles in the annual Winter Musical and even get selected for the callback, much to annoyance of the drama club president, Sharpay Evans. Sharpay, along with her twin brother Ryan, plot, plan and scheme, in order to get Troy and Gabriella out of the musical.
The proceedings come to an hell breaks loose kind of situation, when the callback auditions are held at the same time as the basketball finals and the scholastic decathlon. Which makes it next to impossible for Troy and Gabriella to complete their duties to the school and follow their own passion of singing.
Story wise, HSM is as simple as you can get, yet it is the simplicity of it all that makes the movie such a likable fare. Competent performances, great music and excellent song 'n' dance routines, are the highpoints of this enterprise.
Zac Efron as Troy Bolton, is my favourite. Apart from being 'oh so cute', he also a good actor and a fabulous dancer. Although, Zac's singing was blended with Drew Seeley's voice for most for the songs.
Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez, played her part well. She looks nice and has the best voice among the entire cast.
Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay Evans, Lucas Grabeel as Ryan Evans, Corbin Bleu as Chad Danforth, Monique Coleman as Taylor McKessie round up the main cast. Every one of them portray their individual character's well, due to the nature of the film, heavy histrionics is not expected from the cast members and no one disappoints.
Music is fantastic. I have grown to love soundtrack and have by hearted almost every word of every song. 'Start of Something New', "What I've Been Looking For", "Stick to the Status Quo", "When There Was Me and You", "Bop to the Top", "Breaking Free" and "We're All in This Together", are my favourite songs, in terms of music and picturisation.
The album is a blockbuster and rightly so, I haven't been addicted to a movie soundtrack like this as long as I can can remember.
The High School Musical: Encore Edition includes:
1). Original and sing-along versions of all the songs.
2). Bring It All Together (The Making of High School Musical)
3). I Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You music video
4). We're All In This Together music video
5). Dance Along version of Bop To The Top
It is a Region 2, Single Disc DVD, in Full Screen, PAL format, with the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and Dolby Digital 5.1 Audio Track.
I bought the DVD for 80 Dhs (about $20) at Virgin Megastores Abu Dhabi.
High School Musical is also available in a Remix Edition, a 2-disc Special Edition, but I preferred to buy the original, since the Remix DVD was costing a bit more then I intended to spend on the series.
A entertaining musical, not only for the kids and tweens, I am sure many 'older kids' will also enjoy this Disney extravaganza. After all, not everyday, do we get to see good, clean musicals directed at the youth.