Ranking The High School Musical Films

So as you may or may not have seen in my last post (psst… it’s here btw) in the 3459th week of lockdown, I decided to rewatch the High School Musical films. This is partly inspired by a thread I saw on Twitter ranking all of the different songs in the trilogy. Just to clarify, all 3 main HSM films are great and I’m 100% including the Sharpay spin off film in this. Miss Ashley Tisdale didn’t give us such an iconic performance across all four films for me to not include it here.

Last place: High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

Okay, hear me out. I really like the film. It’s a nice tie up of loose ends and really does give the cast a proper send off. However. I feel like some of the choices the characters made felt really predictable. Another thing, I don’t understand how they managed to put on a full on musical in so little time. I’m also not 100% sold on Sharpay not being able to see right through the British girl but I guess this was to highlight how self centred she is. Even though they subtly debunked this in the last film because she was in TWO group numbers. Anyway, I did really like this film. But some of it felt like a rush to get it out and done while the actors still passed as young. And we got the ultimate Sharpay/Ryan duet I Want It All which still remains an absolute banger.

3rd Place: Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure.

I adored this film. It was very fun and glamorous just like Sharpay. I really liked that this film taught her a lesson and it seemed to actually stick with her in this one. It was still very predictable but I felt like the script was handled with a bit more care. I think this film really grounded Sharpray and deflated her ego a bit and then she was handed her dream on a silver plate. Also, who takes a month to get into a Broadway show? Plus the dogs in this film were super cute. I wish there were more musical numbers in this though.

2nd Place: High School Musical

The first film very much says what it does on the tin. It’s a quirky film about sticking to the status quo…. but then saying bollocks to that. The musical numbers are great in this. All of the songs in this film are absolute bops. I’m also low key a fan of how you can spot the moments you can just absolutely tell Lucas Grabeel absolutely despised Ashley Tisdale (it’s okay, guys, they were good pals from the second movie onwards). Can we also appreciate Corbin Bleu’s tshirts in this film?

1st Place: High School Musical 2

I think this film has the strongest message out of the films. The undertones of Disney-fied class conflict is apparent throughout which made for a really interesting divide and the ultimate come together amongst the group. Disney were really out here showing us what happens when you give people too much of a step up without recognising where they came from. They become arseholes, sure, but you can’t deny Bet On It isn’t an absolute banger to come out from that. This film is the strongest, in my opinion, in balancing the fun with the serious and raises some important discussions about getting ready for the final year of high school. I also think this film was super crucial to Sharpay’s character development. You know how some things have to get worse before they get better? This is the same. The shift in dynamic between Sharpay and Ryan was really interesting to watch in this film. It makes you wonder how long Ryan had to put up with Sharpay’s crap after so long. Anyway, the tunes in this film are all bops and the choreography is slick, particularly in I Don’t Dance which unintentionally invents the Chad/Ryan pairing you didn’t know you needed.

How would you rank the films? If you haven’t seen them, they’re all available on Disney Plus, I definitely think it’s worth checking them all out.

Stay safe and until next time,

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