Who can forget the movie that introduced the world to Zac Efron? High School Musical was the first of three movies of its kind and was a smashing success. Released in 2006, 7.7 million viewers tuned in to watch its television debut on The Disney Channel. So, it should come as no surprise that High School Musical is one of the many titles streaming exclusively on Disney+. Whether you’re watching it for the first time or reliving your teenage years, you’ll remember why this was such a big hit.
People who weren’t even casual viewers of the Disney Channel knew about its success and the fact that it spanned several different demographics was impressive for a made-for-TV movie. Billboard went so far as to call High School Musical a “chart-topping phenomenon,” noting that the soundtrack of the film was almost as important as the film itself.
If you’re looking to watch High School Musical online on Disney+, here’s a family viewing guide that’ll give you all the information about the movie that you need.
How to Stream ‘High School Musical’
High School Musical is one of the fan-favorite Disney original movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream High School Musical and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “High School Musical”
- 5. Tap on “High School Musical”
- 6. Tap the PLAY button
- 7. Enjoy!
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘High School Musical’: Overview
Release Date: 2006
Creators: The film was directed by Kenny Ortega and written by Peter Barsocchini.
Starring: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, and Monique Coleman.
Synopsis: When Troy Bolton (Zac Efron), who’s a member of the basketball team, tries out for the high school musical along with the shy Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) from a different clique, the students in high school don’t know how to handle the change in the social order. The two form a friendship and try hard not to start a rivalry between groups, despite plenty of other students trying to tear them apart.
‘High School Musical’ Plot
The movie focuses on the importance of breaking the “status quo.” Even though Troy and Gabriella are unlikely friends (and romantic interests) who bond over this school activity, it’s proof that students can, and should, be friendly towards everyone in high school. Gabriella might not be a jock, but it doesn’t mean she fails to have anything in common with Troy. And, just because Troy is on the basketball team doesn’t mean he shouldn’t pursue his other passions.
‘High School Musical’ Cast
Zac Efron as Troy Bolton
Efron plays Bolton, the basketball player who takes an interest in the high school musical. According to Efron, his dancing skills weren’t quite up to the task while shooting the movie. “I didn’t know how to dance during those High School Musical movies,” Efron said on BBC Radio 1. “ I was just a kid, like, from the street. An actor scraping by in a one-bedroom studio apartment. I think I was going to film school when I booked that.”
Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez
Hudgen’s character of Gabriella is extremely intelligent, and more of a goody-two-shoes. When the movie came out, Hudgens was credited as “Vanessa Anne Hudgens.” As her star continued to rise, she dropped the “Anne.” The character obviously means a lot to Hudgens, as she briefly reprised the role in her 2018 video for “Lay With Me.”
Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay Evans
Every high school is a “villain,” which is where Sharpay Evans comes in. Tisdale’s character wasn’t all evil but truly served as the protagonist throughout the film series. Her character was popular enough to get her own spinoff film, Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. Just this year, Tisdale defended her character on Twitter, stating “Sharpay was chasing her dream, Troy and Gabriella were chasing each other.”
Lucas Grabeel as Ryan Evans
Lucas Grabeel played Sharpay’s twin brother, Ryan. The two both served as co-president at their school’s Drama Club, which explains why they’re so invested in Gabriella and Troy. Grabeel is also working on a music career.
Corbin Bleu as Chad Danforth
Chad is best friends with Troy, and they’re both on the basketball team together. But unlike Troy, Chad’s primary focus seems to be on the team. In 2012, Bleu made his debut on Broadway, meaning that the movie likely helped shape his career.
Monique Coleman as Taylor McKessie
Even though Taylor McKessie feels as if the school musical may prevent her friend Gabriella from focusing on academics — namely, the Scholastic Decathlon Team — her character was very important to the movie. For one, African-American women didn’t have a huge presence on television. “It was really important to me because, at that time, there weren’t really any other African-American girls on the Disney Channel, except for Raven. There also weren’t African-American female characters like Taylor. The idea that I could portray a character that anyone could see and say, ‘Yeah, a black girl can be the smartest girl in school. She doesn’t always have to be sassy’ — that was part of what really drew me to it,” Coleman told Billboard, per J-14.
‘High School Musical’ Songs and Soundtrack
As you could image, High School Musical had an important soundtrack.
Songs included “Start of Something New”, which was performed by Zac Efron, Drew Seeley, and Vanessa Hudgens; “We’re All In This Together, performed by Zac Efron, Drew Seeley, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, Lucas Grabeel, and Olesya Rulin; “Stick to the Status Quo”, performed by Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, KayCee Stroh, Chris Warren, and Dutch Whitlock, and “Getcha Head in the Game,” performed by: Drew Seeley. Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel sang both “Bop to the Top” and “What I’ve Been Looking For,” which were also important tracks to the movie
‘High School Musical’ at the Box Office
Fortune reports that 7.7 million viewers watched the film debut on the Disney Channel, which held a record. That is, until the sequel — which was released in 2007 — aired, and pulled in 18.6 million viewers. It’s also reported that leads Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens were up to $1.39 billion when considering their combined lifetime domestic box office grosses. That’s not bad for two Disney stars at the start of their career.
‘High School Musical’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
The movie scored fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 63% approval rating. AV Club’s Noel Murray, who gave the movie a B, states that “High School Musical makes an appealing case for an idealized vision of high school, where individuality is celebrated and even the mean kids know everyone’s name. It’s all so gleeful and encouraging, viewers may not notice that the story is really about the rich getting richer—or at least the popular getting more popular.” In comparison to other movies, High School Musical seemed a bit cliche. But for a Disney movie, most critics agree that it hit its mark.
‘High School Musical ‘ Trailer
‘High School Musical’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
1. Lucas Grabeel Worked Retail Before Getting The Role Of Ryan
If you grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, you’ll never forget Blockbuster. But Grabeel will always hold the company in his heart. He was working at Blockbuster right before auditioning for the movie, and after his work in Halloweentown High — which his location carried. “After shooting Halloweentown High, I had to go back to work at Blockbuster because I made a little money, but I didn’t book anything right after,” he said, according to Buzzfeed. The store had the 2004 Disney Channel Original Movie available for rent. “I actually had a kid bring it up one day and was like, ‘You look like the kid from Halloweentown High.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’ He was like, ‘Yeah, right, you work at Blockbuster.'”
2. Monique Coleman’s Audition Included Her Singing In A Corner.
Coleman was so nervous during the audition that she took on the advice of the casting director to sing in the corner. “I look back and I think that they probably were kidding when they asked me if I wanted to turn my back, but I think I was just doing what made me feel comfortable,” she said, per Buzzfeed. Hey — it worked.
3. Ashley Tisdale and Monique Coleman Were Friends Before The Movie Started.
Coleman was on an episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, a Disney series that featured Tisdale in the main cast. Having someone familiar on set made filming the movie slightly easier for both stars. Tisdale was actually shooting the second season of the show when this movie was in production.
4. Tisdale Claims She’s Completely Different From Sharpay In Real Life, Aside From One Trait.
In an interview with MovieWeb, Tisdale says that even though she loves playing Sharpay, the character is a stretch from who she really is — except for one similarity. “I’m nothing like Sharpay! I was never the popular girl at school, although can probably relate to her because of her passion for performing,” she said. “I love to perform, so that’s probably the one and only thing we have in common.
5. Zac Efron Had To Play A Lot Of Basketball To Prep For His Role.
When you’re an essential member of the school’s basketball team, of course, you’ll want to look legit. Efron had three hours of basketball practice per day. And, it must have paid off. The AV Club reports that the basketball scenes in this movie were heavily analyzed, but aside from one brief mistake, it all looked natural. “The only rules broken were somewhat minor ones, and the play of the game appears to be natural and realistic, the only major error (the early scoring surge according to the scoreboard) is more of a continuity error than a basketball inaccuracy,” the site reported.