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UD's High School Musical Red Carpet Reports: High School Musical: Encore Edition - May 2007 • High School Musical 2: Extended Edition - November 2007

High School Musical 2: Extended Edition DVD Premiere Celebration
El Capitan Theatre - Hollywood, California
Sunday, November 19, 2007

On the red carpet with your at-large UD reporter, Pluto Region1

Who would have thought that a year after covering the DVD debut of High School Musical, I would return to the El Capitan Theatre for another red carpet event celebrating the DVD release of its sequel? Then again, no one expected High School Musical 2 to best its predecessor by shattering the cable viewership records set by the original. For those of you without children who don't keep track of the Emmy Awards, Nielsen ratings and Billboard's Hot 100, let's back up briefly and review the ascendancy of High School Musical to the international pop cultural phenomenon that it is today.

When High School Musical premiered on the Disney Channel back in January 2006, it brought in 7.7 million viewers, breaking the network record and becoming the month's top-rated non-sports cable broadcast. Since then, the TV movie is estimated to have been seen by over 160 million viewers worldwide, ranking #1 on its premiere telecast in 16 global markets.
The movie has spawned a sold-out 40-city concert tour, a 60-city theatrical tour, a global ice show tour, and has been licensed to approximately 2,000 schools and community theaters for local performances across the nation. The movie has generated $500 million in DVD, soundtrack and merchandise sales. The soundtrack was the best-selling album of 2006, with nine singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, earning it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. A recent showing on the Disney Channel (the movie's 21st to date) drew 5.8 million viewers, a remarkable 75% of its premiere audience size.

Although the film initially received lukewarm reviews, it has won numerous honors, including the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Children’s Programming, two Emmys, a DGA Award, an Imagen Award for Best Children’s Program and most recently, an ALMA (American Latino Media Arts Award). The soundtrack earned a Billboard Music Award for Soundtrack of the Year.

With that kind of pedigree, High School Musical 2 was easily among the most anticipated sequels of the year, earning an event status never before given to a basic cable telemovie. With the bar set that high, could the success of its predecessor ever be repeated? That question and an assortment of Disney's prayers were indeed answered on August 17th, when Musical 2 debuted on the Disney Channel and surpassed all reasonable expectations with a record-crushing 17.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched cable telecast of all time. In the few months since its debut, the sequel has already been seen by a reported 90 million viewers worldwide. The soundtrack has gone double-platinum and remained on the Billboard Top 200 chart for 11 consecutive weeks. And claiming yet another record, the album became the first soundtrack to debut on the Billboard 200 at number 1.

Traffic cones, tents, a photographer-lined red carpet... why it must be an important Hollywood event! Spectators are excited and close to the action, but barricaded in front of the Disney Fountain & Studio Store. The red carpet is seen in the calm before the storm of celebrity guests making their entrances.

In light of all that, it is no surprise Disney would roll out the red carpet once again, this time for High School Musical 2's DVD premiere. Like last year, the event took place at Disney's historic El Capitan Theatre in the heart of Hollywood, across the street from the Kodak Theater Complex and Grauman's Chinese Theater. Hollywood Boulevard was once again blocked off, with hundreds of screaming young fans standing behind barricades on either side of the street, anxiously awaiting the arrival of stars.

High School Musical cast members in attendance included Zac Efron (Troy), Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella), Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay), Corbin Bleu (Chad), Monique Coleman (Taylor), Kaycee Stroh (Martha), Olesya Rulin (Kelsi), Chris Warren Jr. (Zeke), and Ryne Sanborn (Jason).

Check out more available High School Musical posters and photos
Additional Disney television luminaries coming down the red carpet included Adrienne Bailon and Kiely Williams (The Cheetah Girls), Jason Earle and Moises Arias ("Hannah Montana"), Jake T. Austin and David Henrie ("Wizards of Waverly Place"), Meaghan Martin and Ana Maria Perez (upcoming movie Camp Rock). This year's event, which also included a screening of the movie and an after-party at the Kodak Theater Complex, was a benefit for the non-profit Teen Impact program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, a support group for young cancer patients.

Disney Channel Worldwide president Rich Ross, who has been instrumental in building HSM into an international franchise, was honored at the event for his continued commitment to quality kids' and family programming as well as his work with young patients at the Hospital. Disney Imagineers designed the facility's main lobby and Disney regularly provides DVDs, toys, blankets and visits from costumed characters to this and other children's hospitals worldwide. Last year, Disney donated $177 million in cash and in-kind support to various charities around the world. Since October 2006, the company has given over $16 million to children's hospitals nationwide, including a $5 million donation for a new hospital building at the Children's Hospitals Los Angeles.

A third installment of High School Musical is expected in late 2008 or early 2009, this time bringing the series to the big screen. Just last week, negotiations were finalized to allow the principal cast members to return.

This week saw Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment issuing High School Musical 2: Extended Edition on standard DVD and high-definition Blu-ray. Both versions offer a never-before-seen musical number, which has been seamlessly integrated into the film. Read our full review of the DVD.


The Cast of High School Musical and High School Musical 2:

Ashley Tisdale gives a nice smile while posing for this exclusive UltimateDisney.com photo. From right to left: Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, and this guy all look in different directions.
Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay in High School Musical 1 & 2, Maddie on "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody")
• On her character Sharpay: "I love that she is totally opposite from me. She's the mean girl and you have to a have a mean girl in a movie. It brings drama."
• On being followed by paparazzi: "It's weird, it's annoying. Today, Vanessa [Hudgens] and I decided to just put our purses in front of our faces and get in the car. It is ridiculous. You know, I find my life to not be so exciting. When I am just in sweats and running errands, I don't see what's exciting about that. Yet the paparazzi seem to think that is a big deal and want to be there to film us doing these types of things."
From right to left: Corbin Bleu (Chad), Monique Coleman (Taylor), and this guy see how many different directions they can look in at the same time.


Kaycee Stroh (Martha in "High School Musical") gives a big smile on the red carpet of the "High School Musical 2" red carpet event in Hollywood. Disney Channel movie veteran Olesya Rulin (Kelsi in "High School Musical" 1 and 2) poses for a red carpet photo with hand on hip. Chris Warren Jr. (Zeke in "High School Musical" 1 and 2) looks serious in a trench coat on the sequel's red carpet DVD event.
Kaycee Stroh (Martha in High School Musical)
• On charities close to her heart: "I love Make a Wish. I think it is so important, because these kids are fighting battles that we could never even imagine. To give them one thing to keep them fighting everyday is crucial."
• "On the set of High School Musical 2, we had some Make a Wish kids there. It was the best experience of the entire filming process. Those kids wanted to be there so bad, their energy was so positive and so great that it made us really want to work harder. When we were filming a dance scene, you could just tell that those kids would do anything to stand up and dance with us. So we danced for them."
Olesya Rulin (Kelsi the songwriter/piano player in High School Musical 1 & 2)
• On getting into acting: "I'm from Russia, I came here when I was 8. I was very shy, very Kelsi-like so it is kind of ironic that I play her. When I was 12, my mother made me participate in a mall talent search contest and through that, I got representation. I started acting as a hobby to make friends and work on my social skills and it has turned out to be so positive for me. I've made 5 other Disney Channel movies.
• On making her character more glamorous: "I kind of like Kelsi the way she is. She's kind of getting more social and confident. I'm hoping in the third one that she comes full circle and doesn't hide so much behind her hat and glasses, maybe with an attitude of, 'Hey this is me, take me as I am.'"
Click here to read more from Olesya Rulin
Chris Warren Jr. (Zeke in High School Musical)
• On being the only cast member actually still in high school: "I turn 18 in January. Everyone else is 19 or in their 20s."
• On dealing with fame in a public high school: "[Fellow students] are used to it because I've been doing this since I was about 6 years old. Everyone at my school knows exactly who I am. But when the freshmen come in, I have to go through that stage of getting to know everyone and getting them to not freak out. But I like it because I get to live two separate lives."
• Chris is working on an album and plans to come back for two more HSM sequels.

The Young Stars of Disney Channel Sitcoms:

Is he 19? Is he 22? Is he 30? No one seems to know for sure how old Jason Earles is, but one look at his smile and early-'90s JTT hairdo clarifies that he doesn't mind. Sixteen-year-old Jason Dolley is currently on "Cory in the House", his third and most successful TV series. He gets top billing in next month's DCOM "Minutemen." Jake T. Austin has quite the resume for a kid who just turned 13, having done a variety of live-action and voiceover work.
Jason Earles (Miley's brother Jackson on "Hannah Montana")
• On Disney Channel original series: "A lot of the Disney shows are good family fun and there is a huge void for that type of programming on TV. I think anytime you can find stuff that you're not scared to put your kids in front and it's not unbearable for a parent to watch, you're in good shape."
• On acting being a long-term career: "My whole goal is just to work and if I'm lucky enough to be in a situation where I can, where I love everyone I work with and we have a ton of fun everyday, then that is icing on the cake. I'm always asked if I worry about being typecast. I'll worry about that stuff once it happens."
Jason Dolley (Newt Livingston on "Cory in the House" and star of next month's Disney Channel Original movie Minutemen)
• On his "Cory" character: "Newt is a rocker born into a political dynasty. He's the first one in his family not into politics. He has a bit of a screw loose."
• Comparing himself to Newt: "I actually have Newt moments. He's influenced the way I dress now and we both play guitar."
• His dream guitar: "Before I die, I plan to own a Gibson SG, no question."
• On Minutemen: "It's about time travel, basically. A couple of kids figure out how to go back in time but they can only go back two days and stay up to 10 minutes. So what they decide to do is correct the social injustices of high school."
Jake T. Austin (Max on "Wizards of Waverly Place" and the voice of Diego on "Dora the Explorer" spin-off "Go, Diego, Go!")
• On balancing filming schedule with school: "I'm still in public school and they are really very cooperative. They mail me out my work and I send it back. So far it has worked out pretty good."
• On acting as a career: "I want to continue to do some acting, but I am writing a screenplay right now and I want to direct, produce, and write."


Still more Disney Channel stars...

An actor since she was 7, 9-year-old Madison Pettis starred in one of the year's biggest comedies, playing The Rock's daughter in "The Game Plan." She is a regular cast member on Disney Channel's presidential sitcom "Cory in the House." Moises Arias, 13, joined the core cast of the Disney Channel's top-rated comedy series "Hannah Montana" in its second season. Having acted longer than many of her co-stars have been alive, Maria Canals Barrera plays the role of mother Theresa Russo in the new Disney Channel sitcom "Wizards of Waverly Place."
Madison Pettis (Sophie on "Cory in the House" and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's daughter in The Game Plan)
• If not an actress, what would she like to do when she grows up: "I would probably either write or illustrate books, because I like to write and draw. Or I'd be a fashion designer, because I love fashion."
Moises Arias (Rico on "Hannah Montana")
• On his "Hannah Montana" role: "I'm Rico, a devious character. I torture people kind of in a good way. I torture Jackson, Miley, and everyone else. It's definitely a fun character to portray."
• What's next: "I just finished a movie in Utah called Dadnapped, appearing with Emily Osment and Jason Earles from 'Hannah Montana.'" It's scheduled to debut on Disney Channel in the summer of 2008.
Maria Canals Barrera (Theresa on "Wizards of Waverly Place")
• On voice acting (she provided vocals for Hawkgirl on Cartoon Network's "Justice League" cartoon series): "It challenges your imagination, which is great fun. I did it during both of my pregnancies, which is a blessing because you can be very pregnant and still do voice work."
• On cancelled TV series: "One of the things I love about Disney is that they really support and stand behind the people they believe in. I was in a pilot for Disney before that didn't get picked up and they still brought me back. The girl that plays my daughter, Selena [Gomez], did a few pilots that didn't get picked up [including unaired "Suite Life" spin-off "Arwin!"], but they still brought her back. If they really like and believe in someone or a concept, they will keep working with it."


Zac + Vanessa.... Zanessa

The difference a year and a half makes... Zac Efron is now too hot to pose for a proper photo for us. As are apparently The Cheetah Girls (Kiely Williams' back, Adrienne Bailon in profile), who instead talk with Access Hollywood's website.
Zac Efron (Troy Bolton in High School Musical 1 & 2, Link Larkin in Hairspray)
• On the DVD: "My favorite part has to be the bloopers. It's great to see what happens behind-the-scenes -- you can see how much fun we're having. Really, that's what I'm all about, just being with my friends, just filming a movie and in between, goofing off."
• On the bonus features: "There's a song called 'Humuhumunukunukuapua'a' that I can't believe wasn't in the original movie. It's great, starring Ashley Tisdale. It's a trip."
Our not so up-close look at The Cheetah Girls (Kiely Williams' back, Adrienne Bailon in profile), as they talk to Access Hollywood.

Efron's on-screen and off-screen girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez in High School Musical 1 & 2; unpictured)
• On High School Musical's popularity: "I think people can really connect to our characters, the music is a lot of fun, and there's a lot of drama, which teenagers like. It's just an overall feel-good movie."

A Complete Guide to
All Things High School Musical on UltimateDisney.com

High School Musical (2006):
• Encore Edition DVD Review
• Soundtrack CD Review
• Red Carpet Report from the Hollywood DVD Premiere at the El Capitan
• 2-Disc Special Edition Soundtrack CD Review
• Remix: 2-Disc Special Edition DVD Review
• Karaoke Series CD Review

High School Musical: The Concert (2006-07):
• DVD Review
• CD Review

High School Musical 2 (2007):
• Extended Edition DVD Review
• Soundtrack CD Review
• "What Time is It?" Single CD Review

Other Projects Featuring the High School Musical cast/crew:
• Disneymania 5 CD Review (featuring songs by Corbin Bleu, Ashley Tisdale,
Vanessa Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel, and Drew Seeley)
• DVD reviews of films directed by Kenny Ortega: Newsies, Hocus Pocus, The Cheetah Girls 2
• DVD reviews of "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" starring Ashley Tisdale: Taking Over the Tipton (guest-starring Zac Efron), Sweet Suite Victory (guest-starring Vanessa Anne Hudgens), Disney Channel Holiday, That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana, Wish Gone Amiss, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior (bonus episode)
• Jump In! Freestyle Edition DVD Review starring Corbin Bleu
• DVD reviews: Halloweentown High, Return to Halloweentown featuring Lucas Grabeel

UltimateDisney.com | High School Musical 2 DVD Review | Disney Channel Original Movies (DCOMs) List | Search UltimateDisney.com

UD's High School Musical Red Carpet Reports: High School Musical: Encore Edition - May 2007 • High School Musical 2: Extended Edition - November 2007

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Posted December 15, 2007.