The 3 high school musical films ranked, from worst to best


For a certain generation, there are few franchises more tinged with nostalgia than Musical High School, but how do movies rank from worst to best? From 2006 to 2008, the adventures of Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad, Taylor et al captured the hearts of young audiences, made Zac Efron a star, and instilled the important message that singing and dancing doesn’t necessarily have to be. be lame.

Musical High School premiered on the Disney Channel on January 20, 2006, quickly becoming the most commercially successful Disney Channel original film ever produced at the time. A pure-hearted, spotlessly clean and unabashedly serious musical about chasing dreams, falling in love and marching to the beat of your own drum, the film inspired a passion for performance and musical theater for young audiences which continues today. like two suites. High School Musical 2 debuted in 2007, becoming an even bigger hit than the original and giving the studio credit for producing a theatrical final, Lycée Musical 3: Senior Year.


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All three films are zipped, wacky, and wonderfully endearingly endearing mid-years time capsules. In the Musical High School franchise, the cynic has no place and impeccable sincerity is the name of the game. Here are the films in the trilogy ranked, from worst to best.

3. Lycée Musical 3: Senior Year

The only film in the franchise to make its theatrical debut, Lycée Musical 3: Senior Year saw director Kenny Ortega swinging for fences, with a bloated budget and higher production values. Centered on the gang’s last year in high school, it’s the most thoughtful and emotional of the series, as Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad and Taylor ruminate on where they’re from and where they’re going in their latest. spring musical. Zac Efron’s Troy receives the biggest arc, resuming his dilemma of choosing between ball and song, except now on the more macro level of taking on the real world. This “macro” approach is true everywhere; Sharpay and Ryan sing at one point that “Bigger is better and bigger is bigger,” but that doesn’t always apply to this entry. As catchy and fun as they are, most of the numbers are just enlarged versions of top songs from the two originals. Gabriella and Troy have their typical romantic ballads, Gabriella has her moody (and honestly skip-worthy) solo, and there’s a full finale that tries to supplant the cheerful pyrotechnics of “We’re All In This Together” with bittersweet sentimentality.

Among the new songs, the stars are Efron’s “Bet On It” sequel “Scream”, a tortured ballad that combines the star’s unrivaled commitment to utter ridiculousness with a heavy metal riff on Fred’s dance. Astaire on the ceiling of Royal wedding; and Sharpay and Ryan’s explosion of “I Want It All,” an excessively shameless ode that recognizes and has fun with the film’s expanded scale. The rest is still breezy entertainment, but much of it lacks the small-scale charm that made the original so successful. This one’s for die-hard fans, and those who grew up with the franchise are likely to shed a few tears as they watched the gang collect their degrees and join in the song one last time.

2. Lycée Musical 2

High School Musical 2 Cast Image

The Musical High School The phenomenon was so huge that when its sequel debuted in August 2007, it broke pretty much every record in the book. Fans of the original had little reason to be disappointed. High School Musical 2 features the return of the original cast set, transplanting them to Sharpay’s country club, where Troy found a job for him and his friends for the summer. Much of the plot conflict revolves around Sharpay’s attempts to sabotage Troy’s relationship with Gabriella and claim it as his own.

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There’s a bit more drama to this one, more conflict and shadows for the supporting characters, especially Ryan. The songs lean more toward overproduced dance-pop than the charming and simple melodic tunes of the original, but there are still plenty of highlights. “What Time Is It” is the best opening number in the entire series, a “school’s out” bop that instantly brings audiences back to the franchise’s impeccable innocence. Sharpay’s solo, “Fabulous”, is an underrated pop diva track, and “I Don’t Dance” a Damn Yankees-meets-hip hop showcase for Corbin Bleu Chad and Lucas Grabeel Ryan, is as instantly eye-catching as it’s an awe-inspiring feat of choreography. Of course, the main dish is Efron’s “Bet On It”, both a sublime piece of high camp and a testament to the innate charisma of the Efron movie star. While he may not quite hit the bubble gum level of the original (“Humuhumunukunukuapua’a” is a low point in the series), High School Musical 2 sees Ortega and the cast coming back with overwhelming confidence that is still somehow contagious.

1. Musical High School

Musical High School

It’s hard to overstate how much of a thunder this movie really was. The 2006 Disney Channel original film was a cuddly tradition for millennials, a weekend event for tweens who were just a hair too young to dance to school or take a walk. in town with friends. However, no DCOM has ever performed as well as Musical High School, which debuted to 7.7 million viewers and instantly became a defining phenomenon for the generation. It’s easy to see why; HSM sparked the revival of public interest in movie musicals brought about by films like Red Mill! and Chicago and repackaged it for a younger audience, triggering in them a passion for performance and musical theater that continues to this day.

It’s easy to call Musical High School “Silly”, but that’s not the point. The entire film is a rejection of the cynic and a serious embrace. It’s also an incredibly well-executed story of walking to the beat of your own drum, populated by a diverse and playing cast and filled to the brim with nonstop earworms. “Start of Something New”, “What I’ve Been Looking For”, Get’cha Head in the Game “,” Stick to the Status Quo “and” Breaking Free “are all melodious and shimmering hits, and” We ‘ re All In This Together “instantly became a triumphant hymn of unity for the ages. Musical High School taught an entire generation that singing and dancing doesn’t have to be lame, and to this day he’s still able to put a smile on viewers’ faces from start to finish.

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