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Still shot from the movie: High School Musical 3 - Senior Year.

High School Musical 3 - Senior Year

After singing and dancing their way into the hearts of millions of TV viewers in two Disney Channel original movies, the cast of High School Musical reassembles for this theatrical outing. This time the gang from East High is ready to graduate. Realizing the future will likely lead them in separate directions, Troy (Zac Efron), Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens), Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) and Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) prepare to stage their last performance. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A
Violence: A-
Sexual Content: A-
Language: A
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Run Time: 109
Theater Release: 24 Oct 2008
Video Release: 17 Feb 2009
MPAA Rating: G
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Oh, if only life were a High School Musical! Song and dance numbers for every occasion, your best friends always by your side and the promise of a happy ending. Yet even for the characters of this movie, who are now in their Senior Year, the recognition that life cannot stay in this seemingly ideal place forever is beginning to creep into their consciousnesses.

This realization is perhaps hardest on Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and his girlfriend Gabriela Montez (Vanessa Hudgens). Having discovered each other and a love for singing a couple of years earlier (as depicted in the first High School Musical movie), the upcoming graduation ceremony means the break-up of their perfect duet. It may mean the same for their relationship too, because Gabriela has been accepted at Stanford University in California and Troy has a basketball scholarship for the University of Albuquerque in New Mexico.

Hoping to hang onto their present as along as possible, the pair teams up with the usual gang to stage one final performance. But when their drama teacher Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) tells the cast that some scouts from Julliard are coming to their opening night, with plans to award one student with a scholarship, the teens suddenly have different feelings about participating in the show. For drama queen Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale), winning a spot at the prestigious school of performing arts is worth every effort, even if some of them are underhanded. That's why she tries to bribe her brother Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) and sends him out to steal music from the piano composer Kelsi (Olesya Rulin). Yet for Troy, the idea of studying theater instead of pursuing athletics suddenly turns his world upside down and has him questioning his plans for the future.

Of course, all these dilemmas are depicted through elaborately choreographed sequences. For fans of the franchise, who have sung and danced their way through the pervious two made-for-TV movies, this theatrical release is sure to be just what they were hoping for. And for parents, who have been grateful for entertainment with depictions of good role models, this production won't let them down. The only content of note in this family film are some slightly shorter skirts and a body suit amongst the girls' costumes, a couple of boys forced to run through the schools wrapped only in towels when practicable jokers steal their clothes, and a few scuffles on the basketball court. Although there are depictions of teens exerting their independence by making their own choices, there is still plenty of respect shown to parents and teachers.

While we all know real life isn't as simple as a High School Musical, it is still nice sometimes to escape to somewhere where music, dance and good friends are in abundance. A place that reminds us the best approach to making tough decisions is to remember, "We're all in this together."

High School Musical 3 - Senior Year is rated G:

Cast: Zac Efron, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel
Studio: 2008 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Website: Official site for High School Musical 3 - Senior Year.

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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