try to participate in both basketball and the musical, and the
stereotypical parent-teacher conflict develops between the drama
teacher Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) and Coach Bolton. Although this
conflict helps advance the plot by enhancing Troy’s struggle to find a
balance between his passion for basketball and his passion for the
upcoming musical, it leaves many possibilities un-explored in terms of
what would happen if, for once, the typical Hollywood portrayal was
fractured, allowing teachers and parents to work together.
When examining what could have been if Bolton and Darbus
worked together, one must keep in mind an important fact: this movie
is aimed at children, which is clear because it first premiered on the
Disney Channel. The conflict depicted exposes young viewers to
disrespect between two types of role models children are supposed to
regard highly, parents and teachers. In addition, despite the fact that our
nation has come so far in recent decades to shatter gender stereotypes,
the sad truth is that children are often still raised to categorize items and
activities into “boys” and “girls.” Boys tend to think they all must play
sports, be tough, and play with race cars over Barbie dolls, and they also
tend to put singing and musicals into the “girl’s” category, failing to
realize the importance of men in the arts. Although High School Musical
is positive in terms of showing a star athlete getting involved in a
musical, it still promotes the image of a father not supporting his son in
the endeavor. This adversarial relationship undermines the message of
pursuing passions regardless of others and accepting limitations; Troy’s
own father never takes the time to accept his son as both a star athlete
and a star performer.
Continuing to push the envelope in terms of stereotypes
presented to young viewers, one scene depicts Troy’s father saying he
was made for basketball, perpetuating the idea that children can only be
involved in certain activities. The film goes on to expand the already
intense conflict between Darbus and Bolton when the coach storms
into the drama teacher’s office to let her know Troy is not a signer while
patronizing her and ridiculing the theme of musical. Although this
movie does break the stereotype of an athlete being defined by a single
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