High School Musical is a Disney film that came out in 2005. For my generation, this was the movie that we watched everyday when we got home from school. Personally, I know all the lines in all three of the movies and I have all the dance routines memorized. It would be an understatement to say that I watched this movie a lot. As a kid, I looked up to the characters and thought they did no wrong. This movie displays the positive message of being true to yourself and that being different is okay and the negative message of an unlikely, too perfect, happy ending.
This movie demonstrates to kids that it is okay to be interested in different things than your friends. At the beginning of the movie, the main character, Troy, is the captain of the basketball team and all he can think about is sports. Throughout the movie he realizes that he has a passion for musical theater. At first he feels like he has to hide it because he is embarrassed of what his friends would think. He feels like he won't be accepted by his friends if they knew the real him. By the end of the movie he realizes that they aren't really his friends if they don't accept him for who he is. There is one scene in particular where the school has just found out that Troy auditioned for the musical and everybody confesses their secret hobbies. Even though by the end of the scene their friends are weirded out, by the end of the movie everyone is accepted and loved for who they are despite their differences. This shows kids to be themselves and not to worry about what other people around them think. At the end of the movie, all of the characters sing a song called "We're All In This Together" where they all come together despite their differences and become friends. While this plot sounds cheesy, it actually shows kids that they should be themselves above all else.
The movie ends with everyone becoming friends and Troy kissing Gabriella (the nerd who discovers her love for musical theater along with Troy) on the cheek, which insinuates the beginning of a romantic relationship. One could say that this movie has a picture perfect ending. There are no loose ends and everybody ends up happy. This demonstrates an unrealistic ideal for children. In real life, not everything ends up the way you want it to. You don't always get the girl and not everyone can become friends with each other. High School Musical gives children unreasonable expectations for life.
In my opinion, the positives far out weigh the negatives for High School Musical. First of all, most movies end in an unrealistic way. This is not a quality specific to High School Musical. If kids don't see it here, they're going to see it somewhere else. Secondly, this is a really strong positive message. In school, children are always comparing themselves to others and putting themselves down for what makes them unique. Seeing their favorite characters embrace their differences will inspire them to do the same.