High School Musical Trilogy Ranked

2. High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008)

The only movie of the three that made it to cinematic release was High School Musical 3: Senior Year.

Bringing in $252.9 million at the box office, HSM 3 follows Troy and the gang through their final year of high school as they are faced with the prospects of college and going their separate ways. Additionally, Troy is having to make a tough decision as he battles between ball and song, deciding on either performing arts at The Juilliard or taking up the basketball scholarship he had always dreamed of – a full circle moment that brings him back to his initial battle between basketball and singing in the first movie. 

Musically, the songs are more challenging and the movie is jam-packed with hit after hit that clearly illustrates the growth from the first instalment of the franchise in 2006. “Now or Never” is a strong opener and is a hit that you’ll find yourself bopping to over and over. “Scream”, Troy’s solo which comes after a tense fight with his dad over his college choices, is a visual treat featuring incredible effects and some top choreography. 

The sickly sweet narrative is very predictable but this is to be expected. As Troy is chosen to give a speech at the class’ graduation ceremony, where he reflects on his time at East High School, it is a bittersweet ending to the trilogy which undoubtedly became a big part of many young teenage lives.

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1. High School Musical (2006)

The top spot has to go to none other than the original High School Musical.

New Year’s Eve is where it all began when Troy and Gabriella met at a ski lodge and sang a duet on karaoke – “Start of Something New”. After returning to school following the winter break, Troy spots Gabriella in his homeroom and she explains that she has recently transferred to East High. Then begins the romance and the drama as the two begin to fall for each other while auditioning and rehearsing for the school’s musical, “Twinkle Town”. 

With a simple narrative that was described as a modern day adaptation of “Romeo & Juliet”, High School Musical is a classic love story that leaves you rooting for the characters and wanting to know more. 

The catchy soundtrack will have you bopping to the top and all the original HSM fans will probably still know every single lyric – “Get’cha Head In The Game” and the incorporation of basketballs into the beat is so clever that you wish that you would have written it yourself; “We’re All in This Together” is of course the classic finale that we all know and love, showing off the Wildcats’ team spirit perfectly; but, the best of them all has to be “Breaking Free”, Troy and Gabriella’s iconic “Twinkle Town” duet.

The Wildcats may have long graduated, but High School Musical set the tone for an unforgettable franchise. This Disney Channel original movie will always remain as one of the best they ever released, becoming the most commercially successful DCOM ever generated. In the US alone, the movie was watched by 7.7 million upon its premiere broadcast and, as of 2019, the movie has been viewed approximately 225 million times.

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Written by Emma Kershaw

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