Picture This

Like O.M.G., I’ve seen High School Musical 2!!!!

8/13/2007 5:43 AM

Disney Channel’s much anticipated sequel to the 2006 movie phenomenon will not debut on the network until Friday (Aug. 17). But thanks to a week-long sneak preview of the tween-targeted telefilm on Cablevision Systems’ Disney On Demand service my family and I were able to watch the song and dance movie this past weekend.  

In this era of video pirating and instant You Tube uploading of TV content, Disney took an awfully big chance offering of Cablevision and Verizon Communications’ FIOS TV subscribers with Disney On Demand unlimited access to HSM2. Viewer expectations for the movie are undoubtedly high: Some industry observers believe that HSM2’s premiere airing — which has been promoted relentlessly over the past two months on just about every Disney-owned media platform — could draw 10 million tween/teen viewers and their parents!

I was going to use this space to write a review of the movie, but rather than have an old fogy like me critique HSM2, I’m going to turn over my column to someone who’s right in the middle of the film’s target tween 9 to 14 year-old demo: my 11-year old daughter Iyana.

She’s pretty much lived the High School Musical experience since the original movie debuted in January 2006 – including Disney Channel’s own exhaustive on-air and Internet buildup to the sequel’s premiere – so who better to determine whether the movie actually lives up to all the pre-hype?

So here to review HSM2, Ms. Iyana Umstead:

Thanks, daddy. First, it was real cool watching High School Musical 2 on Disney On Demand before all my friends.

I thought that High School Musical 2 was actually better than the first one.

The movie begins with the end of school and the beginning of summer vacation for the students of East High. The only problem is that the movie’s two main stars, Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) and Troy (Zac Efron), as well as their school friends are looking for summer jobs. All eventually get a job at a country club owned by the parents of Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) and Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale). Everybody knows from the first movie that nobody likes Sharpay and she doesn’t like anybody either — except Troy, the school’s basketball star.

The club has a talent show and Sharpay wants Troy to perform with her rather than Gabriella. Sharpay is even more devious than before, and her efforts to steal Troy threatens to leave Troy’s relationship with his friends, and especially Gabriella, in the dust. I won’t say how it ends, but you can kinda guess how things eventually turn out.

The drama and emotion from the actors definitely improved from the first movie, especially between Gabriella and Troy, as well as Chad (Corbin Bleu) and Taylor (Monique Coleman.) Also, the singing and dancing in the movie had more energy and emotion this time around.

Overall I think it is worth watching High School Musical 2 because it’s really a GOOD movie. Oh, and also look out for quick appearances from some other Disney Channel stars in there too!