I did a couple of high school musicals growing up. South Pacific and Oklahoma. South Pacific I remembered much more fondly as sometimes I wanted to wash that man right outta my hair. Wait…umm…*taps fingers* *pause*. Oh, right, musicals. High School Musical was a low-budget Disney tv movie that would end up becoming one of Disney’s best successes in recent memory. It was only natural that due to its musical nature and teen fanbase that it would expand into a national tour that would encompass 51 dates over 6 months. The DVD is kinda cool in the sense that the show they used is footage from the December 18th performance in Houston, Tx at the Toyota Center since I happen to live in the Metro area. For those living here, it’s easy to tell that it is the Toyota Center from it’s sky boxes (and also the fact they mention it about half a dozen times). No I did not go. Let’s just make that perfectly clear. I think I had to wash my hair that night. *more taping*
I could sit here and pan the dvd for being hokey and being nauseating. However, in all reality; it’s not that bad if you go in expecting something that will appeal only to it’s fan base. I mean if I am a fan of High School Musical, this concert dvd is going to be great; first of all I get a whole 57 minutes of material. All the familiar songs are here from the movie and wait, 57 minutes? The shows usually ran 2 1/2 hours. Sure there is an intermission or two and you have to count the opening act, but the edits are obvious and it feels like a best of. High School Musical can not do a best of until they get at least two cds worth of material. Like Hilary Duff or Brittany Spears. The good thing about the concert is that they do have most of the original cast minus Zac Efron who went to go work on Hairspray (he liked standing in the shadows of a very big and scary John Travolta). It just feels like they rushed the dvd a bit in the editing process so that they could sell a few hundred thousand copies to the fanbase and say cha-ching.
Disney friendly was the video format here, so we got 1.33:1 fullscreen. I’ll have to say a bit of a boo there; concert footage always benefits from a widescreen performance. But the 1:33 is at least very good. All the actors and actresses look especially happy and the footage that is used is well presented. Some of the action for their musical numbers tends to look a bit busy and hard to keep up, but I blame that on the Toyota Center; I’ve watched basketball games there and think the same thing.
At least Disney did the audio right and provided us with 5.1 Dolby Digital. The sound is expansive and as with good concert footage we feel it from all angles. It’s not quite on par with concerts like Nine Inch Nails (work with me here) but it will have your woofer and speakers pumping all night long. (all night long with repeated viewings and a heavy dose of liquor) English Subs are also provided for those who are High School Musical high pitched impaired.
- Automatic Trailers: The Jungle Book, Underdog, Return to Halloweentown, and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody – Sweet Suite Victory.
- Jordan Pruitt: The opening act serves up four songs for us to enjoy. She actually has a good voice and is pretty to look at. Only bad part is no 5.1, they went strictly with 2.0 for her performance. The songs include: Jump to the Rhythm, Teenager, Outside Looking In, and Miss Popularity.
- High School Musical: On the Road 9:05: A decent but short segment that goes behind the scenes of the concert tour. They had something crazy like eight or nine buses and concert duties that took them into the early morning hours. Don’t these kids have school to go to or something?
- U Direct: A really confusing interactive piece where essentially all you do is control the action of a few songs with about four different camera angles. I guess the kids need something to do once they have watched it about twenty thousand times the same identical way.
- Sneak Peek at High School Musical 2 :32: A ridiculously short piece about the movie sequel that is coming out soon. I mean couldn’t they have spooned together a whole 3 or 4 minutes extra for this?
- Sneak Peaks: Meet the Robinsons, Bridge to Terabithia, High School Musical 2, Peter Pan Return to Neverland, Santa Claus 3 (Martin Short actually looks hilarious as Jack Frost).The second page of Sneak Peeks is the ones from the automatic trailers section.
I had the occasion to meet a couple of fans of High School Musical this weekend right before I watched it. One was about nine, and one was actually twenty years old. Both were female (as are most of the fan base) but there was a certain delight and twinkle in their eyes when talking about it. To be honest, I have nothing really bad to say about the movie. It’s well produced and doesn’t feel too hokey. However, the dvd and review concerns the concert footage. The concert itself isn’t bad but the dvd feels half finished. Certainly the audio is adequate and the video is very good despite being 1.33. However the concert set list is edited, the opening act is given the 2.0 treatment, and the extras were thrown together in less time than it took me to review this dvd. Fans or their parents will buy this anyway as it’s a fun hour. Anybody else? Well; they might go off and watch the Super Deluxe dvd of the original musical rather than stick to this. By the way, for all of those who passed my house on Sunday night; that wasn’t me dancing to Stick to the Status Quo…that was the cat. I really need to get out more often and drink more alcohol.
The Start of Something New
Stick to the Status Quo
I Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You
When There was Me & You
We’ll Be Together
Get’cha Head in the Game
Push it To The Limit
What I’ve Been Looking For Version A
What I’ve Been Looking For Version B
Bop to the Top
We’re All in this Together