This is musical about the experiences of students during senior year in high school. Zac Efron plays the lead character of Troy Bolton. Troy's team is playing basketball for the state championship, singing a song “Now or Never” while they play. He is the team leader for the “Wildcats.” They are behind in the score at halftime. He fires his team up and they catch up in the score. A teammate, Jimmie (played by Matt Prokop), who hardly ever plays is the last to be put in the game. In the final play of the game, Troy drives in to the net, but instead of shooting, passes the ball to Jimmie. Jimmie is completely unguarded. Jimmie shoots the winning shot at the last second, and they win the championship. Troy and his friend Chad (played by Corbin Bleu) who is also on the basketball team, go to an after game party. They have to push Troy's beat up old truck the final way to arrive at the party. At the party, Troy meets with his girlfriend Gabriella (played by Vanessa Hudgens) up in a tree house in the backyard. They sing a love song “Right Here Right Now” together.
At the high school, Sharpay Evans (played by Ashley Tisdale) flirts with Troy in the hallway. All the boys react as Sharpay walks by, at how beautiful she is. Sharpay is a spoiled rich girl. She has a double-locker painted pink with her initials on it. The theater group plans to put on a play. In the group are Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Chad, Sharpay's brother Ryan Evans (played by Lucas Grabeel), and a bunch of the other kids. Their teacher tells Sharpay , Gabriella and Troy, they have a chance to get in Julliard Acting School. In the cafeteria, Sharpay and her brother Ryan sing the song “I Want it All” about how they plan to become stars which turns into a fantasy Broadway stage number. In the roof garden, Troy and Gabriella sing the song “Can I Have This Dance” as they dance across the rooftop under the pouring rain.
In the men's locker, Troy and Chad tease the youngest members of the basketball team, Jimmie and Donny (played by Justin Martin) by stealing their clothes from their lockers. The two young guys, wearing only towels run after Troy and Chad to get back their clothes. They run through the gym, where the girls are playing volleyball and end on the stage in the theater, where the theater group is practicing. After a laugh, and a photo of them is taken, they get back their clothes. In the cafeteria, Troy encourages his friend Chad to ask a girl Taylor (played by Monique Coleman) to go to prom. Troy stops everyone from talking so everyone can listen to Chad's proposal to Taylor. She says yes. The students all sing “A Night to Remember” about planning for the prom. On the stage, Ryan and Kelsi (played by Olesya Rulin) sing the song “Just Wanna Be With You” and they are joined by the rest of the theater group in the song.
Troy and Chad go to a junk yard to get parts to repair his old truck. They sing “The Boys Are Back” dancing around the junk yard. They are joined by a group of guys dancing on top of the cars. Troy and Gabriella sign another verse of “Right Here Right Now” to each other on the balcony at night. Sharpay tells Troy, Gabriella plans to leave him to go to Stanford University. Troy and Gabriella meet again to share a pizza. Troy asks her about Stanford. They are both sad because they realize they may be separated when they go to college. Gabriella sings “Walk Away” about how she has to leave and not look back. Troy goes to the gym in a sad mood then sings “Scream” and they use the effect, first used in a film by Freda Astaire long ago, so he can dance up the walls of the hallway and on to the ceiling. He dances and sings all over the school alone, reflecting on what is happening in his life.
Troy picks up Gabriella to take her to the prom. They sing “Last Chance” together in the garden of her house and at the prom. On the night of the school play called “Senior Year”, the Julliard scouts are in the audience. Ryan and Kelis open the show by singing a bit of “Last Chance.” Ryan sings “I Want it All.” Jimmie is the last minute substitute as the stand-in, sings “Just Wanna Be With You” with Sharpay. Sharpay has a weird reaction when he arrives late on stage in strange costume and sneezes at the cologne he is wearing. She gets upset, rushes off stage, but the audience thinks it is funny. Troy and Gabriella continue to sing the song, joined by the rest of the group. Another stand-in Tiara (played by Jemma McKenzie-Brown) goes on stage to sing “A Night to Remember” because Sharpay stays in her dressing room, but Sharpay changes her mind at the last minute and goes on stage. They both fight to perform the lead. The students line up on stage to tell which university they will attend. They all sing “We're All In This Together.”
At the graduation ceremony, Troy gives the valedictorian speech saying, no matter where they all go after they leave high school “Once a Wildcat always a Wildcat”. They perform the finale huge dance number “High School Musical” on the football field.
Best part of story, including ending:
This is a fun movie and works well as a musical because the songs are integrated with the storyline.
Best scene in story:
I like the scene when Sharpay and her brother Ryan do the fantasy dance number about becoming famous stars called "I Want it All", because the dancing is really good.
Opinion about the main character:
Troy is too perfect. He is the top athlete, the star of the school play, has a beautiful girlfriend, is kind, sensitive, sings well, dances well and is popular without being a jerk.