Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one on the planet that doesn’t “get” Disney’s “High School Musical” franchise. Admittedly, I’m not a big fan of musicals, but still, why is everyone going bonkers over it?
In 2006, The Disney Channel debuted its made-for-TV production, “High School Musical.” I watched it; it was okay and I generously gave it 3 stars (out of 5). Then there was a sing-a-long version and a dance-a-long version. For the record, I passed on those.
In 2007, Disney unleashed its made-for-TV sequel, “High School Musical 2.” It was okay, a bit more contrived and more over-the-top; I gave it 3 stars—but maybe I should rethink that.
Now there is “High School Musical 3.” What is interesting is that it will be released in theaters—tomorrow. Imagine that, a made-for-TV movie that spawns a theater-released sequel. Rest assured, I won’t be rushing out to view it, but it will eventually turn up on The Disney Channel, so I might check it out then.
There’s already talk about “High School Musical 4” with different characters (as opposed to a “College Musical” with the same characters). That seems like a recipe for disaster, but this whole thing is a head-scratcher to me.
Interestingly, Disney, apparently seeking to jump on their own bandwagon, did “Camp Rock” this summer. It was less contrived and even had the Jonas Brothers in it, but didn’t catch on like its cousin, “High School Musical.”
Although I may seem like a curmudgeon when it comes to musicals, there are some that I actually like. Check back tomorrow to find out which ones.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.