DVD Review: High School Musical (Two-Disc Remix Edition)
By Jeff Swindoll Dec 6, 2006, 12:42 GMT
High School Musical is Romeo and Juliet infused with infectious musical numbers
I hate to say that I told you so, but I told you so. Disney brings out another edition of their smash TV hit High School Musical for Christmas buying, but is this one worth the upgrade? Read on to find out.
The movie is the same so I’ll use the plot description from my first review:
Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) are with their parents at a ski resort for the New Years Eve holiday. While attending the teen party, they’re thrown together for karaoke and find that they sing well together. They both go their separate ways but Gabriella transfers into Troy’s high school.
The school is having auditions for the school musical, but Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale) and Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) Evans are the anointed stars of the show (they arrive at the audition with prearranged musical arrangement and choreography – snooty brats). Gabriella wants to audition for the musical, but no one will sing with her until the smitten Troy volunteers. The auditions are over, but drama teacher Mrs. Darbus (Alyson Reed) overhears them singing the song to the show’s composer Kelsi (Olesya Rulin) and lists them for a callback.
This throws Sharpay and Ryan into a tizzy since no one gets a callback but them and also shocks Troy’s best friend Chad (Corbin Bleu) when Troy’s name is on the callback list. This also throws the school into chaos since everyone has to stay in their clique and Troy is a star basketball player crossing over into drama geek territory violates those unwritten rules. Not to mention that fact that Troy’s dad Coach Bolton (Bart Johnson) is Mrs. Darbus’ mortal enemy and is mad at his son for missing practices to rehearse for the musical.
Chad teams up with Gabriella’s new friend Taylor (Monique Coleman) to plan a way to keep Troy on the basketball side and Gabriella in her proper place in the math club competition team. Their trickery causes both Troy and Gabriella to suffer. They work things out but the villainous Sharpay changes the callbacks to be at the same day and time as the big basketball game and math competition.
High School Musical is Romeo and Juliet (without the suicides) infused with infectious musical numbers. It has obviously been a smash hit with Disney and they just couldn’t resist bringing out another version.
If you recall my first review I said that I smelled a double dip in the winds and my olfactory senses proved to be correct since we now have the 2 disc “Remix” edition. However, the High School Musical (HSM from now on) maniac may delight in it, but others might find that the new features may not be worth the upgrade.
The new disc ports over all of the stuff from the single edition and only adds some marginal new items. Let’s take a look and see what’s new and what’s familiar.
The disc has been spread out over two discs. The first disc contains the movie in both original and sing along versions. You’re given the choice of which version you want to watch when you hit play (you can also select the sing along from the bonus features menu).
The movie is presented in fullscreen (still no anamorphic (1.85:1) transfer enhanced for 16x9 televisions) as it was shown on its many repeats on the Disney Channel. The other special features on disc one are the “Learning the Moves” featurette and the “I Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” music video. All of these items were on the original DVD release. Nothing new so far.
Disc two is where we start to see some additions to the stuff that was put on the original DVD release, however, some of it I wonder how new it is (some I do know aired on the Disney Channel). Disc two is divided into two sections, “Backstage Disney” and “Music and more.” “Backstage Disney” starts off with 2 minutes of footage from the Hollywood DVD premiere of HSM. It has red carpet interviews with all of the stars as well as some guests (Sabrina Bryan (Cheetah Girls 2), Miley Cyrus, and Brett “Ace” Young (American Idol 5) for example). This clip is new to the DVD and was not on the other release.
Next is the 5 minute “A High School Reunion.” This appears to be the newest item on the disc (at least judging by Zac Efron’s new hairstyle). Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman sit on a couch and discuss what they did before HSM and the phenomenon surrounding the show. The next item is not exactly new, but is new to this DVD release.
“Disney Channel Dance Alongs (Get Your Head in the Game and We’re All in This Together)” runs 16 minutes and aired on the special dance along night replay of the movie. The final item in the Backstage section is the 9 minute featurette “Bringing it all Together: the making of High School Musical” that was on the first DVD. “Music and More” starts off with the new 3 minute “Breaking Free Remix,” but I liked the original better.
Next is a new 4 minute remix of “We’re All in This Together” which fares better than the first remix in my opinion. “Eres Tu” is a Spanish version of one of the songs by Belanova (this appears to have aired on the Spanish Disney Channel and is new to the disc). Finally, there’s a 90 second remix of “We’re All in This Together” that appeared on the original DVD release.
As they used to say of Elvis fans, 35 million tweens can’t be wrong. High School Musical was a hit and Disney continues to milk the cash cow. (Tweens are asking who Elvis was and the old folks are asking what a tween is.) As they did on the Disney Channel, Disney has no qualms about releasing yet another dip of High School Musical.
Die hard fans will snatch it up, but I really can’t see much that would make me upgrade to this version. Remixes don’t really do the trick for me. My sniffer tells me that when High School Musical 2 rolls around that we might have a triple dip.
High School Musical (Two-Disc Remix Edition) is now available at Amazon. As of yet, this version of the DVD is not available in the UK. Visit the DVD database for more information. High School Musical is also currently on tour. For High School Musical Tickets, visit M&C’s Ticket Database.