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Toon Talk: Prom Blu-Ray and DVD
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by Kirby Holt (archives)
September 1, 2011
Kirby reviews the home release of Disney's high school-focused release Prom.
Toon Talk: Disney Film and DVD Reviews
by Kirby C. Holt


Disney Blu-Ray and DVD
MPAA Rating: PG

The Dance at the Gym

A time-honored rite of passage for every high schooler, the annual event known as "prom night" has also frequently figured prominently in the cinematic genre known as the "high school movie." From the celebratory (High School Musical 3: Senior Year) to the disastrous (Carrie), proms make ideal backdrops for such typical high school movie tropes as first loves, youthful heartbreak and plenty of teenaged angst. All that and more is on display in the new Disney high school nonmusical titled Prom, now available on Disney Blu-ray and DVD.

Despite initial appearances, Prom is a touch more realistic (and a whole lot less obnoxious) than your average Disney Channel movie. That is, if you can overlook the fact that, a la Grease, half the cast looks well past their high school years. And, hewing closely to its Disney pedigree, such real world teen hijinks as smoking, drinking, cursing and "getting to third base" are nowhere in sight. Which, let's face it, is hardly true to life but hardly unexpected in a wholesome family friendly enterprise such as what we have here. Furthermore, one is not likely to expect Prom to remake the high school movie wheel, and it is more then safe to say that it doesn't.

The simplistic script (by Katie Wech) weaves together several stories revolving around various students' lives leading up to the "big night," such as the lovable loser's quest for a date and the romantic entanglements of the BMOC. But the bulk of Prom focuses on the main story of Nova Prescott (Aimee Teegarden of Friday Night Lights), the blonde over-achieving girl-next-door, who is stuck with the school's resident rebel without a cause when she needs some emergency help in setting up for the rapidly approaching "One Starry Night." Naturally, said rebel - a brooding hunk named Jesse (Thomas McDonell) with long hair and a motorcycle (think Heath Ledger, circa 10 Things I Hate About You) - and Miss Class President are "hate at first sight." It doesn't take a high school graduate to figure out where this is leading, and the film dutifully trods along to its inevitable "happily ever after."

The cast of fresh-faced newcomers (literally: no acne in sight) offer up mostly serviceable performances in this cast of character cliches; only a Jeff Spicoli-like misfit nicknamed "Rolo," played by Joe Adler, proves memorable. Director Joe Nussbaum (creator of the infamous short film George Lucas in Love), in an attempt to keep the interlocking stories moving along, employs lots of montage tricks, mostly to no avail as the subplots drag.

Disney has often mined the teen years for entertainment, dating all the way back to the days of Annette all the way up to Hannah Montana. Some have hit, like the eternally franchisable HSM brand; some have been all but forgotten (remember Sky High?). And while most proms are unforgettable, this Prom isn't one of them.

Blu-ray bonus features lead off with the new short Last Chance Lloyd, which is basically even more scenes of Nicholas Braun's Lloyd (a nod to Lloyd Dobler?) in his desperate attempts to get a girl to go with him to the prom; plays like a set of deleted scenes united by a central theme. Other bonuses include a brief "Putting on Prom" making of featurette, a blooper reel, another set of deleted scenes (including extended prom sequences) and seven music videos featuring songs from the soundtrack. Viewers will recognize Thomas McDonell (Jesse) as the lead singer of the band Moon, while Nolan Sotillo (Lucas) provides a Bieberish pop ditty in both English and Spanish.

Toon Talk Rating: C+

Coming Soon:

  • Also available this week: The Nightmare Before Christmas on 3D Blu-ray!

  • More 3D fun as The Lion King roars back into theaters September 16.

  • And it's back to the big top for the 70th anniversary DVD edition of Dumbo on September 20.

- Kirby C. Holt
- Logos by William C. Searcy, Magic Bear Graphics

Discuss It

-- Kirby C. Holt
-- Logos by William C. Searcy, Magic Bear Graphics

Kirby is a lifelong Disney fan and film buff. He is also an avid list maker and chronic ellipsis user ... In addition to his Toon Talk reviews, Kirby is the creator of Movie Dearest, a blog for movie fans.

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 September 1, 2011