So, if you have kids over the age of 2, you have heard of the Disney phenomenon that is High School Musical. HSM3, as it is better known, makes its way to theaters tomorrow. Now, if you are a kid, I can certainly understand your excitement and joy over this impending closure of the original HSM trilogy. But, what about those grown-ups who are as excited, or maybe more (count me in that category...)
Well, according to acutal news articles that I found on http://www.msnbc.com/, "...it's OK to be an adult and be excited about this movie." (see article here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27286351/)
Many may wonder why adults are drawn to the movie, after all - it's about high school! (I was in high school 19 years ago...) I can only tell you my experience:
When the original HSM came to Disney Channel in 2006, I personally was already ready for the movie to be over already. Disney Channel hyped that crazy movie to death! I was sick of all of the songs and Sharpay's crazy behavior and clapping even before the first viewing. But then something happened: I watched the movie with my 3 girls (ages at the time were 11, 7, and 2). We were all mesmerized. I mean, it was just a movie, it wasn't even meant to be the "event" that it became, but it made a mark in our family. I actually saw myself as the "smart girl" trying to fit in all those years ago. The music was catchy, and I was actually glad that the leads didn't kiss at all in that movie. It wasn't necessary. We all got the message that Disney intended, without any teenage romantic gratuity. Alissa and I actually talked about another aspect of HSM (1) the other day - that Gabriella moved to a new school in 11th grade, worried that she wouldn't fit in, and she found that she didn't need to worry about that at all. (P.S. This worries Alissa because she could be "the new kid" as an 11th grader, but somehow knowing that Gabriella's experience turned out Ok comforted her a little.)
Well, fast forward a year and a half, to the necessary sequel: HSM2. Everyone wanted, no, needed, to know what happened to these kids after the first installment. People threw HSM2 parties (we actually went to one!) and, in my opinion, that movie was even better. My kids didn't realize the message they were subliminally receiving - that its OK to be different, and you should embrace that. And, you shouldn't change who you are - be true to yourself and everything will be OK. They just liked the music and the cool dances and the Humuhumunuknukapua'a deleted scene. But, they absorbed the themes in the movie as they watched (over and over), memorizing the lyrics. We listened to those songs on our iPods, and in the car. Even Abby, so young at the time, was entranced.
Yes, I got tired of both of those movies, especially after repeated viewings, but we still pop them in regularly and sing along. Even me.
Almost as soon as HSM2 aired, there were talks of a 3rd installment. The kids and I devoured every morsel of information we could get about it. Now, it's here. And I find myself more excited for this one than the last 2. I don't really think this movie will top the other 2. I've heard the music, and I'm not blown away. But it's the recurring theme that Disney presents that I am so impressed with - be yourself, it's OK. And this movie brings at least one new message, as far as I can tell from the snipits that I've seen:
This is the time to remember. While you're a kid, take time to be a kid. (As a 37 year-old, I am lucky that I can look back at my teenager years fondly.) Those really are times that you want to remember. Make some memories and treasure them.
So, I can't wait to see this movie. (Yes, part of it is that cutie Zac Efron - I know, I'm almost old enough to be his mother!) But, I know that there will be more than music and dancing and maybe a kiss at the end. There will be the magic that is Disney - a message that the kids will receive from these young adults. And, maybe the music will grow on me....
Our tickets wait in my wallet (bought 2 weeks ago!) as my friend and I talk about how excited we are to see this movie with our kids tomorrow (we are both grown-ups with kids), and we laugh at how silly it must sound to others (especially our husbands, both of whom have no desire to even be near the theater that plays HSM.) But, you are never too old to be captured by a movie, especially one that brings such a warm, beautiful message.