Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On the Job Training - Motherhood: When Your Elementary Schooler Wants To Be in a High School Musical

For those of you who don't know Zac Efron or believe Sharpay is just a breed of a dog, see this first: High School Musical.

Now, I get this movie. It's the "Grease" for this generation of tweens. Gabriella is smart and sweet dark-haired beauty and Troy has to cross clique barriers to be with her. And, there's lots of Kool-Aid flavored, Disney Channel singing and dancing. With the first one, Disney expected this to be just another made-for-TV movie. They did not foresee the live stadium tour, ice tour, book series, documentary, awards, and overall international success. (Side note: Director Kenny Ortega was the choreographer for "Dirty Dancing" and "Footloose")

Anyway, I do not have a tween. I have a 6-year-old.

I know my daughter knew about the music and we had burned a CD of the songs awhile back. But she hardly listened to it, and I don't know if she even watched the movie in full. Yet, she knew who Gabriella was and wanted to "be" her when acting and singing.

Her BFF Allison comes over for a play date and I had proposed watching one of the Barbie movies ("Fairytopia", "Mermaidia", etc.). Instead, they were so excited because Allison brought along her HSM DVD. The girls danced and sang along to the movie. I watched a bit until I got bored with the bad acting and just took pictures of the two girls who were wearing tiaras and tutus.

So, last weekend HSM2 premiered and we watched it together. I checked with our friends and they all had HSM2 viewing parties/sleep overs. We had friends visiting and the girls watched it together.

Anyway, it was definitely cute and you can tell Disney execs put more effort into making this movie transferable to the stage.

Now, Annika cannot stop talking about HSM! On Sunday, I thought she was watching "Annie" on cable, which is one of her favorite movies. She later told me she was watching HSM again. We went to dinner with friends and her only contributions to the discussion were about HSM. I told her I did not want to hear this and would take off points if she spoke about this anymore. (Yes, I'm adopting Hogwarts point system - arbitrarily declaring the addition and subtraction of points, maintained on a magical invisible scorecard)

On Monday, the camp teachers said the kids were singing and dancing to HSM. Of course.

I'm mixed on this whole thing because I was 8 or 9 during the whole "Grease" hysteria. My sister remembers being 5 and in love with John Travolta. Now when I watch the movie, I see all the double entrendres and innuendos. However, majority of that went over our heads at that age. So, in one way, the Disney movie is a lot simpler and cleaner. Plus, Troy Bolton in his gym shorts is no match for Danny Zuko in his black leather!

I do want "Annie" and "Barbie" to stay in the picture right now. I want to take her to see Disney shows this fall and am torn between HSM on Ice, Doodlebops and Playhouse Disney -- she enjoys all three right now, but I can only tolerate one show.

Yes, this is the start of something new..

1 comment:

ZenDenizen said...

I am so not ready for that stage. I can hardly tolerate 15 minutes of cartoons with my (almost 4 year old) niece.