|Hot because: Who ever would have thought a little made-for-tv musical would strike such a chord among the coveted tween set? Disney may not have expected the first High School Musical to become the Next Big Thing, but they sure knew how to capitalize on the appeal of hottie Zac Efron (he sings! he dances! and in the second film, he sings all on his own!) and the too-cute-for-words Vanessa Anne Hudgens, who plays the brainy-science-geek-turned-singer in the films. Parents of young daughters lacking Barbie-esque figures appreciated Disney giving the plus-size hip-hop dancer a more prominent role in the second film as well, and showing girls everywhere that you don't have to be size 0 to sing, dance, and act. Our favorite characters, though, are brother-and-sister Broadway wannabes Sharpay and Ryan -- Ashley Tisdale's spoiled-rotten bad girl almost steals the show.
How to keep it hot: We know you want to keep churning out the sequels (and aiming for the big screen), but keep it simple and stick to the formula the tween set loves. You're aiming at kids, not snooty cinephiles, so give them what they want and they'll keep coming back for more. What do they want? Zac and Vanessa together, Sharpay doing her thing (but learning her lesson by the end, of course) and lots of rocking, sing-along song-and-dance numbers. Oh, and get Vanessa Hudgens to keep her clothes on -- or at least not to take any more pics of herself undressed. Parents want their kids role models to maintain the illusion of wholesome, even if we know ourselves that these kids have, uh, personal lives. As for Efron, he rocked in Hairspray, and now we're ready to see what he does with Footloose and that Big remake. Will he continue to impress? No pressure, Zac ... we just don't want to see you on the "Lame" list next year.
|Next up: Ferrell, McKay and Apatow get busy!|