Making the Grades
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."
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about High School Musical 3 - Senior Year.
As with musicals from decades ago, reality is suspended in the happy world inhabited by these characters. While this movie may not represent real life, can you think of films that depict a negative adolescent world that is just as unrealistic? Why do films that depict rosy scenarios often receive more criticism than “darker” movies?
Deciding on future careers as you leave high school is often overwhelming. Do you believe these decisions are “final”; or is it okay to make many career decisions throughout your lifetime?
Home Video Viewing Alternatives
Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to High School Musical 3 - Senior Year.
High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which is releasing theatrically, is the follow up to two made-for-TV movies: High School Musical and High School Musical 2. Concerns about loosing their friendship as they part ways for summer vacation causes four girls to start a group called The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.