“Now or Never” advocates playing as a team and leaving a legacy of excellence. Starry-eyed couple Troy and Gabriella cherish the time they have before college separates them on “Can I Have This Dance,” “Just Wanna Be With You” and “Right Here, Right Now.” Pals Troy and Chad recall their carefree, we-can-be-anything childhood fantasies as they brace for the challenges of adulthood (“The Boys Are Back”). “High School Musical” notes that change is inevitable, but teens can cling to memories of spring shows, state championships and good friends while bravely stepping into the future. On a reprise of “We’re All in This Together” the East High Wildcats celebrate their unity and uniqueness (“Everyone is special in our own way/We make each other strong”).
Even though there’s nothing sexual about “A Night to Remember,” some parents may object to it placing so much breathless emphasis on senior prom and its trappings. Taken at face value, “I Want It All” seems to promote avarice and a lust for Broadway fame.
Friendship. Young love. Teamwork. A feathery dose of teen angst. All return for their Senior Year. Songs from the third act of Disney’s idealistic tween melodrama are as fun, catchy and wholesome as ever.
Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.