How High School Musical 2 Shaped Pop Culture

 

2007 was a defining year for pop culture, from Britney Spears’ public meltdown to the final Harry Potter book’s release, but one event stood the test of time: High School Musical 2. The High School Musical trilogy is one of the most successful franchises to come out of Disney Channel, and the second was a film masterpiece. In it, we follow the East High “Wildcats” as their summer begins and they all somehow get jobs at an extremely fancy resort.  The movie is filled with timeless references, songs, and choreography. 

 

The movie focuses on tension as friendships are lost and relationships are broken up while the characters strive to win the talent show, which is the ultimate goal of the summer. Unlikely friendships are formed on the baseball field as Chad and Ryan have one of the greatest moments in cinematic history, performing “I Don’t Dance”. 

Photo Credit: Disney 

Director Kenny Ortega outdid most of the other films by the sheer production value for a Disney Channel original movie sequel. Having Gabriella break up with Troy then her leaving in her mom’s minivan, Sharpay singing on a piano in a pool, and Troy having an identity crisis running through a golf course have proven to be cinema excellency. 

 As a society, we are not worthy of witnessing a masterpiece at such a young age. The movie created pop culture phenomena such as Gabriella’s famous “T” necklace, the ultimate breakup song “Gotta Go My Own Way.” and the desire to drive golf carts. The ending pool party scene even casually featured a cameo from Disney Channel pop princess Miley Cyrus. 

 

It also spawned classic merchandise that made everyone feel like a part of the Wildcat group. Children everywhere wanted to immediately drop out of school and work at a golf resort for less than minimum wage. High School Musical 2 set the standard for what a sequel was supposed to be. 

 

Since its release in August 2007, High School Musical 2 has been inspiring the generation that viewed its premier by reminding everyone that there is nothing wrong with needing a little fabulousness in life. The movie also reminds us to stay true to ourselves and not get caught up in getting recruited for a college basketball team over your true friends. 

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