High School Musical 3: Senior Year is the third installment in Disney's High School Musical film franchise. Its theatrical release in the United States began on October 24, 2008. Kenny Ortega returns as director and choreographer, as do all six primary actors.
This latest sequel follows high school seniors Troy and Gabriella, who are faced with the ultimate prospect of being separated from one another as they go off in different directions after graduating from East High. Joined by the rest of their Wildcat friends, they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes, and fears about the future.
In its first 3 days, High School Musical 3: Senior Year grossed $42 million in North America and an additional $40 million overseas, breaking the record for the largest opening weekend for a musical film. On November 7, 2008, High School Musical 3: Senior Year: The Sing-Along Edition with lyrics highlighted on the screen was released in select theaters.
The movie opens with the Wildcats and the West High Knights playing against each other for the basketball championships. The Wildcats are behind on points, partly because the Knights continue to foul them. In the locker rooms during half time, Coach Bolton gives the Wildcats a pep talk. Immediately after, Troy and Chad, the co-captains of the team, give another pep talk, and WIldcats emerge triumphant for the second half. Troy makes the decision to put the untested player Jimmie "The Rocket" Zara in the game (as he had been warming the bench prior to this along with his friend Donny Fox), and Jimmie scores the last goal.
("Now or Never") Back at the Bolton's house, the Wildcats celebrate. Troy talks to Gabriella and takes her up to his tree house. They discuss their future and the looming possibility of leaving each other, as their choice colleges are more than a thousand miles apart. ("Right Here, Right Now")
The next day, Sharpay arrives at school with her usual grand entrance, and is approached by the new British exchange student, Tiara Gold, who wants to be Sharpay's personal assisant. After proving that she is already ahead of the game by ordering Sharpay's favorite drink and coordinating her schedule, Tiara gets the job.
During homeroom, Ms. Darbus announces that there are very few signups for the upcoming Spring Musicale, and Sharpay suggests a very simple musical - maybe even a one-woman show. Kelsi, alarmed at the thought of a Sharpay-only show, signs everyone her her homeroom up. Despite the protests of the Wildcats, Ms. Darbus decides that the theme of the show will be "Senior Year", and that everyone will be playing themselves. She asks everyone what they want in their future, and only Troy is unsure of what he wants. Ms. Darbus reveals that the world-famous music college, Julliard, will be coming to the show to choose one of four applicants for their scholarship: Kelsi, Ryan, Sharpay, and Troy. Troy has never heard of Julliard, but apparently Julliard has heard of him.
At lunch, Sharpay attempts to persuade Ryan to think like her: to focus on the future and get rid of anyone who stands in his way. Ryan is reluctant to do so, worrying that Sharpay will get all the limelight and he will be ignored, but Sharpay assures him that "with you we can win". ("I Want It All") After ending a fantasy sequence where Ryan is finally the center of attention, Sharpay tells Ryan to befriend Kelsi in order to steal the best songs, telling him to even take her prom if he has to.
Meanwhile, Troy and Gabriella have returned to the rooftop garden from the first movie, and Gabriella teaches Troy how to waltz ("Can I Have This Dance?"). Afterwards, Troy and Chad steal Jimmie's and Donny's clothes, thus forcing them to volunteer to be understudies.
At the yearbook staff's headquarters, Chad asks Taylor to prom. She refuses from his lack of romance, but accepts after he asks her (flowers from the Garden Club in hand) in front of the whole cafeteria. This transitions into a rehearsal ("A Night To Remember"), and Ryan and Kelsi are given their own entrance during the song. Back at the yearbook HQ, Gabriella shows Taylor her acceptance letter to Stanford - she is to have an early orientation, and thus miss the show, prom, and graduation. Tiara overhears and reports back to Sharpay,
Early the next morning, Ryan visits Kelsi in the music room, and walks in on her playing. As he practices with her, he asks her to prom, and the scene transitions into a rehearsal of the song that Ryan and Kelsi practiced. ("Just Wanna Be With You") Sharpay asks for the song she thinks Ryan has stolen, but Ryan tells her that while he does not have the song, he is taking Kelsi to prom. Sharpay takes this to mean that Ryan is taking Kelsi to prom as part of the plan. She orders Ryan to get the song for her, but when he tries to protest and says that she isn't Gabriella, she shuts him up.
Later that evening, Chad and Troy go to the junkyard in an effort to fix Troy's truck. They remember when they were little kids pretending to be super-heroes, and enter a dream sequence with younger versions of themselves. ("The Boys Are Back")
The next day, Sharpay approaches Troy and informs him of Gabriella's Stanford opportunity. She tells Troy that he is the only person holding her back from accepting the honor, and tells him to encourage Gabriella to go. Troy shows up to Gabriella's house that evening with pizza and strawberries, and he tells her she should go. Gabriella leaves the next day. ("Walk Away")
Ms. Darbus informs the seniors that Gabriella has left, and that Sharpay will take her place and Tiara will take Sharpay's. Everyone but Sharpay and Tiara is crushed.
That night, Troy argues with his dad about his future, so he runs away to East High during a thunderstorm. He walks the halls of East High, starting in the locker room and ending screaming on the stage. He turns and sees Ms. Darbus, who has been sitting in the audience the whole time. She reveals that she was the one who put his name in for the Julliard scholarship, and gives him some valuable advice. ("Scream")
Gabriella calls a few days later, telling Troy that she won't be coming back for prom, as she is tired of saying goodbye. Chad comforts Troy, but Troy surprises Gabriella by showing up to Stanford in his tux. They have their own prom in Stanford, waltzing under a tree, culminating in a kiss. ("Can I Have This Dance? (Reprise)")
Troy texts Jimmie to say that he won't be there for the first act, and so Jimmie panics at the realization that he'll actually be acting on stage as Troy. The play begins despite the fact that Jimmie doesn't appear to be breathing. ("Last Chance"), ("Senior Year").
As each song in the medley plays, the scouts from Julliard comment on each of the four applicants. Sharpay appears onstage as Gabriella, expecting Troy to come out on cue. She sings the cue line three times, until Jimmie (having gotten over his stage fright) arrives dressed in a motley assortment of costumes, inadvertently receiving a standing ovation. To add insult to injury, Tiara visits Sharpay in her dressing room to gloat, revealing that she was an exchange student from the London Academy of Dramatic Arts and only became her assistant to familiarize herself with East High before taking over the Drama Club.
Cutting back to the play, the entire cast and audience is dancing and singing "I Just Wanna be With You". The play transitions into the next song, and Tiara, while initially singing triumphantly alone, is interrupted by Sharpay, and both blondes are lowered into the stage through a trapdoor.
The last scene of the play presents the seniors and their choice of college and major. ("We're All In This Together") Kelsi is revealed to be the Julliard scholarship recipient, but because of the talent displayed, Ryan is also given a scholarship to Julliard. Troy, instead of choosing between U of A and Stanford, chooses the University of California, Berkeley, which has both basketball and drama.
At graduation, Troy gives the senior speech, and the students form a Wildcat before singing one last song. ("High School Musical (song)") The six stars (Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Taylor, and Chad) do their trademark jump in front of the logo before each having a close up, and the curtain falls, closing the movie.
- Zac Efron as Troy Bolton
- Vanessa Hudgens as Gabriella Montez
- Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay Evans
- Lucas Grabeel as Ryan Evans
- Corbin Bleu as Chad Danforth
- Monique Coleman as Taylor McKessie
- Bart Johnson as Coach Bolton
- Alyson Reed as Ms. Darbus
- Olesya Rulin as Kelsi Nielsen
- Chris Warren Jr. as Zeke Baylor
- Ryne Sanborn as Jason Cross
- Kaycee Stroth as Martha Cox
- Manly "Little Pickles" Ortega as Sharpay's Dog Boi
- Matthew "Matt" Prokop as Jimmie "The Rocket" Zara
- Justin Martin as Donny Fox
- Jemma McKenzie-Brown as Tiara Gold
The Couples of High School Musical 3: Senior Year
- Troy Bolton & Gabriella Montez (Zac Efron and Vanessa Anne Hudgens)
- Chad Danforth & Taylor McKessie (Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman)
- Sharpay Evans & Zeke Baylor (Ashley Tisdale and Chris Warren Jr.)
- Ryan Evans & Kelsi Nielsen (Lucas Grabeel and Olesya Rulin)
|Song||Chiefly Sung By||Other Singers||Scene|
|Now Or Never||Troy, Gabriella & Chad||Company||East High School Gym|
|Right Here, Right Now||Troy & Gabriella||Company||Troy's Tree House|
|I Want It All||Sharpay & Ryan||Company||Cafeteria|
|Can I Have This Dance?||Troy & Gabriella||None||Rooftop Garden|
|Just Want To Be With You||Ryan, Kelsi, Troy & Gabriella||Sharpay, Jimmie, Tiara||Auditorium|
|A Night To Remember||Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad, Taylor, Kelsi, Zeke, Martha and Jason||Company||Auditorium|
|The Boys Are Back||Troy & Chad||Jason, Zeke & The Wildcats||Junkyard|
|Walk Away||Gabriella||None||Gabriella's Home/Stanford University|
|Scream||Troy||None||East High Areas|
|Senior Year Spring Musical Medley||Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad, Taylor, Kelsi, Zeke, Martha, Jason, Tiara and Jimmie||Company||Auditorium|
|High School Musical||Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, Ryan, Chad and Taylor||Company||Football Field|
Behind the Scenes
- The title for this film was originally rumoured to be "Haunted High School Musical".
- This movie covers the Wildcats' senior year of high school.