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Toon Talk: High School Musical:: The Concert
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As stated previously, the one stand-out performance is Drew Seeley, a young singer-songwriter who's connection to the material is deeper then at first glance ... and now we come to HSM's biggest dirty little secret (that everyone knows anyway): Zac Efron, he who has received the biggest boost as a result of starring (as BMOC Troy Bolton) in the movie and, as teen message boards all over the net exclaim, is just the "dreamiest guy everâ€?, did not do his own singing! Yep, Zac actually only sung about three whole lines in the entire movie; it was Drew who sung the bulk of the songs (and even co-wrote "Getcha Head in the Gameâ€?). Zac was conveniently off shooting the film version of the Broadway musical Hairspray (in which he actually does do his own singing, as he will in the upcoming HSM sequel), so Drew was recruited to fill the vacancy in the cast for the tour. Seeley takes to the stage with an energy and a personality that makes you wonder why he doesn't have his own solo album to promote. His talent is not lost on the crowd: seen in the audience is a sign which states "We love Mr. Seeley's vocal chords!â€?. His enthusiasm is especially apparent as he leads the cast in the celebratory finale, "We're All in This Togetherâ€?, ending the show with a requisite blast of confetti.
There is, after all, some additional concert footage in the bonus features, but it is only the show's opening act, Jordan Pruitt, one of the many indistinguishable girl singers out there these days. Lucas returns to host the "On the Roadâ€? featurette, which takes you backstage and on the tour bus during the tour's forty-one city nationwide journey. The disc's most fun bonus is "U Directâ€?, a set-top interactive activity that allows you the viewer to control what camera angles you want to see of five songs from the concert. If you tire of the rampant editing in the main feature, this is where you want to go. You even have the option of watching what goes on backstage, including a hilarious bit where Corbin and Monique goof on the show's climactic love duet, "Breaking Freeâ€?.
The most enticing feature would seem to be a "sneak peekâ€? of the upcoming High School Musical 2. Alas, all you get is an incredibly brief thirty-seconds (!) that serves only to ensure that Zac will be back ... even if it appears he used too much of that hairspray from his other movie.
Toon Talk Rating: C+
On the Road Edition
In this â€˜Toon Talk' feature, I will briefly highlight a recommended film or DVD, outside of the Disney universe, of similar interest to the main subject.
1998 - Vestron Pictures
Just like HSM, the success of Dirty Dancing: The Movie and Dirty Dancing: The Soundtrack led to Dirty Dancing: The Concert Tour, which featured such performers as Bill Medley, Eric Carmen and The Contours recreating their hit songs live on stage along with a troupe of bumping-and-grinding dancers.
Footage from the concert can be found on the 2003 "Ultimate Editionâ€? DVD of Dirty Dancing, available from Lions Gate Home Video. Rated PG-13.
- See a rat become a celebrated French chef in Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille (June 29).
- The boy wizard returns in Warner's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (July 11).
- D'oh! That yellow-skinned dysfunctional family from Springfield finally makes it the big screen with The Simpsons Movie (Fox, July 27).
TOON TALK AWARDS WATCH
The first computer animated feature film joined the first animated feature film on the American Film Institute's "100 Years ... 100 Movies: 10th Anniversary Editionâ€?.
Disney/Pixar's Toy Story ranked #99 on AFI's newest list of the greatest American films of all time, while Walt Disney's crowning glory, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, rose an impressive 15 spots, from #49 to #34. The two films, which were the only animated films to make the final cut, were honored for their popularity, historical significance and cultural impact, among other criteria.
Two other films from Disney production companies made the list as well. Pulp Fiction, the gritty and daring multi-story crime drama from Miramax, rose slightly from #94 to #95, while The Sixth Sense, the spooky thriller with that infamous twist ending (released by Disney's Hollywood Pictures branch) debuted on the list at #89.
Unfortunately, with new films moving up, some films move down - and off - the list. Such was the case for Disney's Fantasia, which sat at #58 on the original countdown.
The AFI, which celebrates its own 40th anniversary this year, is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film. Their "100 Yearsâ€? series began in 1998 as an annual television event with their first ranking of the 100 greatest American movies. AFI has announced that they will repeat this poll of their members, film historians and critics, and movie makers every ten years to provide a fresh view each decade on the best in film.
For more information on the AFI, and to view the full list of winners, go to afi.com.
-- Kirby C. Holt
-- Logos by William C. Searcy, Magic Bear Graphics, http://www.cafepress.com/MagicBear
Kirby is a lifelong Disney fan and film buff. He is also an avid list maker and chronic ellipsis user ...
Took Talk: Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt is posted whenever there's something new to review.
The opinions expressed by our Kirby C. Holt, and all of our columnists, do not necessarily represent the feelings of LaughingPlace.com or any of its employees or advertisers. All speculation and rumors about the future plans of the Walt Disney Company are just that - speculation and rumors - and should be treated as such.
-- Posted June 26, 2007