High School Musical, which first aired January 20, 2006 is a Disney Channel Original Movie centering around the Albuquerque, New Mexico fictional East High School and their students. Filmed on location in Salt Lake City at the real East High School and Ogden, Utah, the movie (and their first two filmed sequels) are directed and choreographed by Kenny Ortega, who also worked on Disney's Newsies and Hocus Pocus. Since the movie’s original premiere, it has become one of the centerpieces of Disney's “tween” (mostly girls between six and thirteen years old) marketing, with the original soundtrack and DVD versions having gone multiple platimum. Two sequels and one spinoff have been made due to the success of the film, with High School Musical 2 and High School Musical 3: Senior Year being released to positive reviews, and Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure to moderate reviews.
Plot Summary Edit
High School Musical is about two high school students, Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), captain of East High School’s basketball team, nicknamed the Wildcats, and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Anne Hudgens), a shy top student. Both of them try out for the lead roles in their school's musical (and quickly fall in love in the process) despite the lack of support from the rest of their classmates, one of them being Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) and her brother sidekick Ryan Evans (Lucas Grabeel) who where despite not getting the role. The film also focuses on Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu), Troy's best friend and Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman), Gabriella's best friend who fall in love, too.
On New Year's Eve, juniors Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) meet at a party while both teens are at a ski lodge during winter break. At the party, the two are called upon to sing karaoke together ("Start of Something New"). They seem to be attracted to each other, and exchange numbers before going their separate ways. One week after Christmas break, Troy sees Gabriella in his homeroom, and she explains that she just moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico and transferred to East High School over break. Troy shows Gabriella around the school, and they pause in front of the sign-up sheet for the winter musical auditions. Drama Club president Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) arrives, assuming that Gabriella is interested in auditioning. Wanting to eliminate competition, Sharpay investigates the new girl and has the scholastic decathlon captain, Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman), find out about Gabriella's past academic achievements, resulting with Taylor and Gabriella becoming great friends.
During basketball practice, Troy has trouble focusing because his thoughts are on Gabriella and the idea that he might enjoy singing more ("Get'cha Head in the Game"). Gabriella and Troy both go to the musical auditions where Sharpay and her twin brother Ryan Evans (Lucas Grabeel) perform ("What I've Been Looking For") but both are too shy to audition. When Gabriella finally gains the confidence to step forward, Troy offers to sing with her, but Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) tells them that they are too late. After Mrs. Darbus attempts to leave, Kelsi Nielsen (Olesya Rulin), the musical's composer, trips and drops her items. Troy and Gabriella rush to help her, and they sing together as Kelsi plays piano ("What I've Been Looking For (Reprise)"). Ms. Darbus overhears them and gives them a callback audition.
When the callback list is posted, Sharpay discovers that she has competition for the lead in the musical, and the rest of the Wildcats are shocked that Troy and Gabriella have auditioned for a musical. Other students confess their own secret passions and talents ("Stick to the Status Quo"), alarming both Taylor and Troy's best friend Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu). Since Gabriella has agreed to join the scholastic decathlon team, both Taylor and Chad want their teammates to focus on their upcoming competitions rather than the musical. Troy is tricked into saying that Gabriella is not important while she watches through a wi-fi link that the scholastic decathlon team has set up. Gabriella gets extremely upset by this betrayal ("When There Was Me and You") and decides not to audition for the musical.
Troy is left confused as to why Gabriella did not want to audition anymore. Realizing their mistake, Chad and the basketball team tell Troy what happened and offer to support him in callbacks. Troy goes to Gabriella's house and they reconcile.
After overhearing Gabriella and Troy practicing, Sharpay has Ms. Darbus change the callback time to coincide with both the basketball championship and the scholastic decathlon to interfere with Gabriella and Troy's participation. Kelsi overhears the conversation and the basketball team and the decathlon teamwork together to come up with a plan. On the day of the competitions, Taylor and Gabriella use the school's computers to delay the championship and the decathlon. Troy and Gabriella rush to the auditorium, and Sharpay and Ryan finish performing their song ("Bop to the Top"), confident that their plan worked. After Gabriella and Troy audition ("Breaking Free"), Ms. Darbus gives the two the lead roles, making Sharpay and Ryan understudies.
Troy and Gabriella both win their respective competitions, and the entire school gathers in the gym to celebrate ("We're All In This Together"). Chad asks Taylor out, and Sharpay makes peace with Gabriella.
In a post-credits scene, Zeke (Chris Warren Jr.) paces alone in the gym as Sharpay runs in declaring the cookies she rejected from him earlier "genius". She then hugs him and he says he will make her a crème brûlée.
- Zac Efron as Troy Bolton, the most popular male student at East High School, and the captain of the varsity basketball team. On New Year's Eve, after singing with Gabriella, he finds himself having a crush on her.
- Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez, a new student and one of the brainiacs on the scholastic decathlon team. She develops a love for Troy after meeting at a new years party.
- Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay Evans, an energetic and proud student with a love of theatre. Enjoys being the centre of attention, particularly Troy's.
- Lucas Grabeel as Ryan Evans, Sharpay's twin brother. He is very easily pushed around by his sister, but is not as mean as her, despite going along with her plans to sabotage Troy and Gabriella. He is also shown to not be particularly smart, such as not knowing how to spell "drama", and never understanding Sharpay's plans.
- Corbin Bleu as Chad Danforth, Troy's best friend, and is very good friends with Jason and Zeke. He likes the status quo, but later ends up dating Decathlon captain Taylor.
- Monique Coleman as Taylor McKessie, Gabriella's best friend and Chad's love interest. She is captain of the school's scholastic decathlon team, and despises the basketball players and cheerleaders, believing them to be airheads, although she later ends up going out with Chad.
- Bart Johnson as Jack Bolton, Troy's father and the coach of the basketball team. He has a mutual dislike with Ms Darbus, thinks that theater is worthless, and also believes that Gabriella is a distraction to Troy's basketball career. However, he eventually comes around to it.
- Alyson Reed as Ms. Darbus, the stern drama teacher at East High. She despises sports and cell phones but takes her job very seriously.
- Olesya Rulin as Kelsi Nielsen, a student at East High. She is a pianist and composer. She is very shy and is constantly bossed around by Sharpay, but in the end she learns to stand up for herself and not get bossed around by Sharpay.
- Chris Warren Jr. as Zeke Baylor, a friend of Troy and Chad, and plays for the basketball team. He also enjoys baking and is an admirer of Sharpay.
- Ryne Sanborn as Jason Cross, a friend of Troy and Chad, and plays for the basketball team. He also tends to ask mundane questions in class.
- Kaycee Stroh as Martha Cox, a peppy brainiac who enjoys hip-hop. She is good friends with Gabriella, Taylor, and Kelsi.