I just watched High School Musical and High School Musical 2 for the first time last night, and all I have to say is, "Who writes this stuff?" Now, I'm not trying to sound bitter or cynical, but we all know that high school was not even CLOSE to that...nor will it ever be. And I'm not putting it down because it sends out a good message that being yourself is okay. In case you haven't seen it, or in case you couldn't stomach watching the whole thing, let me just paint a picture for you of what the characters are like:
Gabriella: I am the smartest kid in the United States and win decathalons like little kids win soccer trophies. My boyfriend is the star basketball player and...well, we'll get to how awesome he is in a minute. I have the voice of an angel and I am dying to try new things. I am perfect.
Troy: I am the star basketball player, the star golf player, the star everything player. I am nice and always want to help everyone. My parents took me snowboarding for New Year's yet I still feel the need to get a summer job so I can pay for college. Oh, and did I mention that I recently realized I could sing and read music and that I am good at that too? I am perfect.
Sharpay: I am beautiful. I am talented. I am conniving. I am rich. I am shallow. My thoughts consist of me, me, me, me. I am The Mean Girls stereotype.
Ryan: I am Sharpay's brother. I follow her around like a lost puppy. I have no depth until High School Musical 2. That is all.
Chad: I am Troy's best friend since preschool. I play basketball, and baseball, and every other sport known to man. I am the stereotypical wingman. I am perfectly content to be second best. My life is perfect.
Taylor: I am the second smartest kid in the United States, but I am also beautiful and can fit in with any crowd I want to. My only role in this movie is for Gabriella to have a friend and for Chad to have someone to ask out on a date at the end so that his life stays perfect.
And miraculously, they are all singing and dancing to, "We're All In This Together" at the end of the movie. Classic Disney.
How do they do it though? How do they find writers (who all have a bit of cynicism inside them somewhere) that will write this stuff? What? Do they put them in a room with smiley face bouncy balls and make everyone hold hands and discuss what their high school dreams were while a secretary sits in the corner with a steno pad and writes everything down? I just don't understand where it comes from. Maybe adults don't write it. Maybe they scour elementary schools for 4th grade writing samples of what they think high school is going to be like.
Anyways, thank you Disney for making a production where singing and dancing and being yourself is not just okay, but it's the cool thing to do. Thank you for letting kids know that it's okay to break out of the norm and to enjoy doing a variety of things. Thank you for sending a good message and promoting it so well that kids from all backgrounds eat it up like a mountain of cupcakes.
And just for a little fun, I came across this a while back when looking for Kevin Bacon Footloose pictures and had to hold back the laugh while I was watching High School Musical 2 with my neice. Enjoy...