High School Musical 3: Senior Year

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Short takes

Parental guidance recommended under 5 due to potential lack of interest.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for High School Musical 3: Senior Year
  • a review of High School Musical 3: Senior Year completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 December 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Parental guidance recommended due to potential lack of interest
Children aged 5 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. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: High School Musical 3: Senior Year
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length: 111 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

It’s the final year of school at East High, Albuquerque, and the Wildcats narrowly beat their opponents in the final basketball match for the year. It’s time to think about graduation, the prom and the final school production. School prima donna, Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) wants to take centre stage but Kelsi (Olesya Rulin), the composer,  persuades everyone to make a collaborative effort and put on a great show for their last year. Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and his girlfriend Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) are given lead roles, much to the disgust of Sharpay.
The end of high school also means that many difficult decisions have to be made regarding what the future holds and, for most of the students, this means deciding which college to attend. Gabriella is offered a prestigious honours course at Stanford University which is a long way from Albuquerque and would mean giving up her role in the performance, missing her prom and separating from Troy.  Troy is also torn between basketball, the path his father wants him to take, or the performing arts, which is where his drama teacher thinks he should go.


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.

Stage rivalry; career choices

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 some violence in this movie including:

  • some rough play on the basketball court
  • Troy slaps another boy on the face

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • noise and shouting on the basketball court
  • two boys have a bad collision on the basketball court

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.

Children over five are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

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.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

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

  • hand holding and gentle kissing

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

High School Musical 3: Senior Year is a family-friendly musical aimed at the tween and teen market. It is the first in this series to be released for the big screen. Although lacking a complex plot or developed characters, it has some great song and dance sequences and features talented performers.

The main messages from this movie are about finding yourself and deciding what is important in life.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include the importance of working as a team.