Australian Council on Children and the Media

High School Musical 2

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 6 for potential lack of interest. Suitable for 6+.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for High School Musical 2
  • a review of High School Musical 2 completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 August 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance recommended due to potential lack of interest.
Children aged 6 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: High School Musical 2
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: The content is very mild in impact.
Length 104 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Basketball talent and high school musical star, Troy (Zac Efron), manages to get himself, his girlfriend Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens), and all of their friends from East High School a summer job at the local country club so they can save up for college and also enjoy the summer together. One major problem is that the country club is owned by Sharpay's (Ashley Tisdale) parents, and Sharpay has only one thing in mind: she wants handsome and talented Troy for herself, and she is not afraid to use tricks and bribery to get what she wants. Will Troy lose track of his values and betray his friends and his true self?

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Musical; comedy; teenage romance; coming of age; friendship; jealousy; teamwork; competition; staying true to oneself.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

  • There is no violence in this movie.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • There are no scenes in this movie that are likely to scare or disturb children in this age group.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

  • There are no scenes in this movie that are likely to scare or disturb children in this age group.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Some female characters are seen in cleavage-revealing clothes.
  • Troy is seen topless on several occasions.
  • There is some teenage romance, expressed in hand-holding and hugs.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “Jerk!”
  • Sharpay is frequently shouting and yelling at people in a very rude manner.

In a nutshell

High School Musical 2 is the sequel of the popular High School Musical and features many of the original cast. Like the first film, this musical movie is directed at a tween audience with a love for music, choreographed dance, and teenage romance. While the film contains positive messages of friendship, parents should be aware that some of the characters are very stereotypical, such as Sharpay, portraying the cliché of the superficial, manipulative, spoilt, peroxide-blonde rich girl, complete with pink outfits, glittery accessories, a lap dog, and an entourage of giggling, airheaded girlfriends, to name only a few examples.

The main messages from this movie are that one should stay true to oneself, and that mean and manipulative behaviour will not pay off in the long run.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Friendship.
  • Loyalty.
  • Standing up for oneself.
  • Keeping promises.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Selfish and manipulative behaviour.

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