A look back at the sequel to the Disney Channel phenomenon, that had brought musicals back to prominence.
With the recent premiere and success of Descendants 2, I thought that it was only appropriate to pay tribute to High School Musical 2—the once global phenomenon, in which Disney Channel had replicated the Descendants’ triumph.
Whether to your chagrin, or to your delight, High School Musical 2 was iconic. The television film, which still ranks as the most viewed Disney Channel Original Movie, had essentially raised a generation. The dancing and the vocals were on point, while each song was crafted to fit the story, perfectly. Even to this day, its songs are permanent fixtures in the heads and hearts of millions, and “Troyella” “Zanessa” will forever be one of the most beloved ships in Millennial history. (I am certain that I am not the only one who still ships Vanessa Hudgens with Zac Efron.)
Descendants 2 is, seemingly, the new High School Musical 2 (both of which were directed by Kenny Ortega, to top the cake). But, although we are all for it, let us not forget about the film that had started the television network’s renaissance, which will soon celebrate its 10th birthday on Aug. 17!
Happy (advanced) Birthday, High School Musical 2. To celebrate you, below are my 10 favorite moments, from you.
(Disclaimer: Sharpay is bae, okay?)
1. When Gabriella tells Sharpay that she is remaining enrolled at East High School
Poor Sharpay (Ashley Tisdale), for her dreams of winning Troy’s (Efron) heart were crushed when Gabriella (Hudgens) revealed that her mother (Socorro Herrera) had promised her enrollment at East High for the following school year. Sharpay’s reaction, “Bless mom’s little heart”, was priceless! Also, those vocal exercises—they had me in tears, from laughter!
Watch the entire scene, below!
2. When Troy gives Gabriella a “T” necklace
Admit it: upon watching this scene, you had wanted Troy your significant other to give you an initial necklace, too. Since this film had been released, initial necklaces had become the new promise ring. Am I right, or am I right?
3. When Sharpay wants “Fabulous”
“Fabulous” is probably the perfect song to describe Sharpay. I mean, “she’s got to have fabulous everything”—“everything’s got to be perfect for [her]”. Sharpay just “needs a little fabulous, is that so wrong?”
4. When Gabriella and Troy sing to each other as if they are the only two people on Earth
I cannot, with the feels in this scene. The effortless, natural way that they looked at each other whilst singing a song entitled, “You Are the Music in Me”? Ugh. One can easily tell that they were head over heels in love, both on and off-camera.
5. When Chad stresses that he does not dance, but dances anyway
Not only was there an entire musical number dedicated to baseball (!), but the fact that Chad (Corbin Bleu) had clearly been dancing to a song entitled, “I Don’t Dance”, is what had made the scene. Chad, Y U lie?
6. When Ryan becomes “one of them”
When Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) had been accepted into Gabriella and Troy’s ensemble of friends, my heart skipped a b-b-beat. I had personally enjoyed his character in this film—he had been fully developed and was capable of holding his own (against his fraternal twin sister).
7. When Sharpay and Troy rehearse for the Midsummer’s Night Talent Show
Of course, this scene, because any and every musical number in which Sharpay had starred should automatically end up in a “best of” list. Also, Troy’s reactions were fantastic.
8. When Gabriella breaks up with Troy
Okay, so, this was not one of the best scenes. But, you must admit, that “Gotta Go My Own Way” was a jaw-dropping song. The song may parallel Vanessa and Zac’s then-future breakup (I mean, right?), but it is, without a doubt, one of the most well-sung and well-written songs in the franchise.
9. When Troy sings the most epic musical number, ever
I cannot even begin to describe why this scene was one of the best; However, I encourage you to read this article, via BuzzFeed, featuring a (humorously) perfect analysis of the “Bet On It” performance.
Watch the epicness, below.
10. When Gabriella and Troy (finally) kiss!
Of course, I would include Gabriella and Troy’s first kiss in my list! Duh. Fun fact: the reason as to why this scene was cut immensely, was because Vanessa and Zac’s kissing had been NSFD (Not Safe For Disney)!
Bonus: When Lava Springs closes their breathtaking swimming pool down for the most epic staff party ever
The final musical number was a fun way to end the film. Who else had learned the dance moves to “All for One”, all the while watching the High School Musical 2: Dance Along?
And, to wet your nostalgia even more, check out the Dance Along featurette, below!
Which were your favorite moments from High School Musical 2? Were there ones that you would rather have made my list? I want to hear your thoughts, below!
(All video media via YouTube. Featured image via fandom.com.)