|High School Musical Gets Sporked
Author: J.J. Farragut PM
COMPLETE. Just as I was about to watch the next part of the movie, YouTube took it down. I'm done sporking this movie. But since I saw the whole movie a year ago, I know enough about it to write my final review.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Angst - Chapters: 6 - Words: 34,074 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-10-13 - Published: 08-21-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2840622
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: YouTube decided to take down parts of High School Musical that I needed to watch to complete this sporking. If those clips ever come back, I won't watch them. I finally have a decent excuse to end this project.
High School Musical is the B-rate of Disney's empire. Thanks to a $22.2 million dollar budget and politically correct screenwriting, this series struggles through a weak plotline stripped of all emotion and conflict. If we ever needed proof that Disney's glory days are over, this movie proves it.
You know much money it made?
One. Billion. Dollars.
That's right. Instead of disappearing beneath a growing scrap pile full of Disney's flops, cheesy TV shows and sappy sequels, the saga brought in $1 billion. Three feature-length movies plus dozens of adaptations, live performances, book series, video games and comics made as much money as The Lion King at the box office.
Children call it awesome. Critics call it happy. Single adults call it a phenomenon.
I call it the worst Disney movie ever.
How HSM ever earned so much astonishes me. Ever since Lilo and Stitch (2002), Disney's animations and TV series have been getting worse, not better. Disney left its Renaissance in the 1990s and entered the era of political correctness in the mid-2000s. Ever since then, they've seemed hesitant to tackle difficult issues, try new things, and risk offending their audiences. A few recent movies, like Toy Story 3 and The Chronicles of Narnia, are exceptions. The overwhelming majority have been boring.
I'm not surprised. Disney's Renaissance was the apex of their legacy: They produced the finest animations for their time. But ever since then, they've never come close to the power and magic that gush from The Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Pocahontas or any other classic Disney works.
I doubt Disney will ever have a second Renaissance, and I blame this on their business. Entertainment is show business, and Disney needs to put on a show, full of drama, magic and creativity. But Disney has taken the show away from the business and followed the money. They won't do business differently. Why bother? Their audiences are entertained. If people pay for movie tickets and subscribe to the Disney Channel, why should Disney bite the hands that feed it?
Because one thing never changes: People love a good story. The young and old alike love conflict. They love watching characters face their destinies. They love to laugh, cry and angst along with the characters. They want to see a work of art. They want to walk through uncharted wilderness, where the people and forces of nature in the story play by their rules. Walt Disney himself said, "I don't like formal gardens. I like wild nature. It's just the wilderness instinct in me, I guess." Children have that instinct, too, whether they realize it or not. I think Disney understood that—which may be one reason Disney said, "You're dead if you aim only for kids. Adults are only kids grown-up, anyway." The Walt Disney Company has failed to live up to those standards; as a result, they don't produce the best they can—only the mediocre.
High School Musical sucks. It doesn't suck because the Walt Disney Company's greatest days are long gone. High School Musical is simply awful. Every minute drags by. Its storyline is boring, its music is weak and its actors are unconvincing. Except for Ashley Tisdale's performance (she is the only teen actor/actress who shows any emotion) and the dance scene in "Stick to the Status Quo" (the best scene in the whole film), nothing—and I mean nothing—about this film rose to the level of mediocre. It is completely and thoroughly average in everything from storyline to dancing to music.
I still don't understand how a half-hearted Grease ripoff became a global phenomenon. It doesn't have the teen success story of Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle or the romance in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga. It doesn't focus on the real-life issues of Lizzie McGuire or the boyish pranks of Even Stevens. Those sagas and series aren't extraordinary, but they're more compelling than High School Musical.
If the screenwriters focused on the musical and made it the center of the plot, this movie could have been something exceptional. Instead, they tried to build up all those plot points. And just like Gabriella Montez and Troy Bolton, those plot points were boring and underdeveloped. There's a storytelling plot I like to call the "Everybody Wants It" plot: It's a childhood dream that many of us have. High School Musical doesn't have one of those. Not everybody wants to be on a high school basketball team. Not everybody wants to star in a high school musical. Not everybody wants to even be in high school. And not everybody wants to be like the characters in this film—a pair of overachievers surrounded by their shallow, narrow-minded friends.
As much as this movie blows, I give it kudos for being kid-friendly—no cursing, alcohol, drugs, sex or political messages. It's just teens having fun. And heck, I'm glad it had a happy ending. I would show this to my kids if this were the last franchise on the face of the earth. Since it isn't, I'll show my kids the shows I grew up with—everything from the Disney Renaissance, all the Looney Tunes, Spongebob SquarePants, and the series I loved when I was little.
Apart from being kid-friendly and having a happy ending, High School Musical is completely and thoroughly mediocre. It doesn't deserve the high ratings or the $1 billion it raked in. I have never seen a movie with so few emotions, such a weak storyline and such an unconvincing cast of characters.
But that's just me.
Well, I did it: I watched High School Musical. I watched all of it before YouTube took parts of it down. Did I waste my time? Probably. Was I unfair? I'll let you be the judge. Was my writing poor? Yes. Will I rewrite it? Not for a long time. I've spent too much time sporking this movie. It's time to let it go.
Thanks for reading!