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High School Musical is a trilogy of Disney musical films directed by Kenny Ortega and created by Peter Barsocchini. The story follows the lives of a group of students at East High School, mainly the star basketball player Troy Bolton (played by Zac Efron) and shy, brainy Gabriella Montez (played by Vanessa Hudgens), as they get involved with the school’s musical program.
High School Musical first aired on the Disney Channel on January 20th, 2006 . The film stared Zac Efron as Troy Bolton and Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez. It also stared Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman. On August 17th, 2007 the sequel, High School Musical 2 premiered on the Disney Channel. The movie followed the students of East High as they work summer jobs at a country club and prepare for the club’s talent show. The third and final film in the trilogy, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, was released in theaters on October 24th, 2008 and follows the students as they finish their final semester of high school and consider their futures after graduation.
The film follows new girl Gabriella as she enters East High School mid-year. She had met the school’s star basketball player, Troy, at a New Year’s Eve party when the pair sang a karaoke duet. When they accidentally try out for the school musical other students begin sharing their secret, out of character hobbies. Troy and Gabriella’s friends try to sabotage their relationship so they can focus on their primary after school activities (basketball and academic decathlon) but eventually they come clean and encourage them to attend a call back. They win their games and get the staring roles.
The films have been overall regarded as commercial but not critical successes. The first film’s premiere had over 7,000,000 views but scored a 56% on Rotten Tomatoes and High School Musical 2 scored 57% on Rotten Tomatoes while its premiere had over 17,000 million viewers. High School Musical 3: Senior Year, the only film to be released in theaters, earned a 65% on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed over $90,500,000. It’s popularity inspired many similarly themed movies such as Sunday School Musical[11} as well as a resurgence of musical movies aimed at kids and teens like Hairspray (2007), Fame(2009), and Camp Rock (2008).
As of January 2014 Facebook’s High School Musical topics page has gained over 5,200,000 likes, the High School Musical wikia has over 200 pages. Fan sites for the film trilogy include the HSM channel on Fan Forum and on Fan Pop. All three High School Musical films are available to watch on YouTube through Disney’s DisneyMoviesOnDemand channel, with prices ranging from $2.99 to $9.99.
As the fanbase for High School Musical ages the fandom has become nostalgic towards the films, able to mock them affectionately. Tumblr blogs devoted to the films include alwaysawildcat, hsm-4ever, and highschoolmusicalconfessions. and Common hashtags used by the fandom include #hsm and #wildcats. As of January 2014, Fanfic.net has over 14,000 High School Musical submissions and Deviant Art has over 28,000 submissions tagged High School Musical.
Troy Sings the Pokemon Theme Song
On October 13th, 2007 Youtuber JAelliottCK uploaded a musical number from High School Musical (“Bet On It”) with the audio replaced with the Pokemon theme song. As of January 2014 the video has received 23,000 views, though a video with the same concept uploaded on May 27th, 2008 by Youtuber HSMusical05 has received over 500,000 views.
On March 25th, 2008, Youtuber choirnerd uploaded the same scene from High School Musical 2 this time replacing the audio with “It’s Raining Men.” As of January 2014 the video has received over 80,000 views.
Conflicted Troy and “Bet On It”
Two stills taken from High School Musical 2’s musical number “Bet On It” that appear to show Efron desperately grasping at something can be captioned with two activities a user can’t decide between like “sleep or another episode” or “take a shower or eat breakfast.”
Stills and GIFs taken from “Bet On It” are popular because of Efron’s dramatic dance moves and facial expressions.
“What team?” has become a catchphrase among the fans of High School Musical to use to see if the person they’re talking to is also a High School Musical fan. If they are they would reply “Wildcats,” the mascot of the basketball team in the film. Fans use this test when texting, in Tumblr comments, and even in Chatroulette.
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