Disney’s Teen Beach Movie is set to premiere tonight on the Disney Channel at 8pm (ET).
Yesterday, I sat down with my 10 year old daughter and took advantage of an early screening that has been available to select cable TV subscribers since Monday.
As a regular watcher of the Disney Channel, my daughter jumped at the chance to watch it. Teen Beach Movie has been heavily promoted on the channel.
Due to the promos, I knew a few things going into this: 1) that it was a take-off on the early 1960’s teen beach flicks, 2) there was a reference to “Wet Side Story,” and 3) that, as home-schoolers, we gotta make everything…. educational!
So before we watched Teen Beach Movie, we headed to YouTube and watched some clips of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon kicking up sand in Beach Blanket Bingo.
We also took a look at a few clips of West Side Story and talked briefly about the play. After watching Teen Beach Movie, I wish I had brought up the precursor to West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet, as well.
With a little background on what Teen Beach Movie ss based on, we settled in to watch it.
Somewhat to my surprise – we BOTH enjoyed it thoroughly!
I knew she would like it, she’s been primed by all the Disney promos and was predisposed to like it. Good or bad – she was going to like it!
But it actually is good. And the movie is something that the whole family can easily watch and enjoy.
It’s fun. Not particularly deep. But healthy themes and, of course, Disney’s standard “follow your heart” message. There is also a minor theme of female empowerment.
The music is good. Fun. But not particularly sticky. After the show, neither of us were humming the tunes and now, a day later, I can’t remember any tunes from it at all.
That’s odd. Usually musicals stick with us for a while afterwards. I remember enjoying the final number in the movie, and my daughter was impressed by the geometric shapes and color combos formed by the dancers. But I don’t remember the tune at all.
Besides the 60’s beach movies, West Side Story, and Romeo and Juliet, adult viewers will catch little snippets borrowed from other shows as well. There are shades of Buffy, The Musical (as the stars begin singing out of control) and Back To The Future, amongst others.
So, overall review: fun, enjoyable, family friendly (though lots of boyfriend/girlfriend drama). Very worth watching. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing any Teen Beach Movie 2 or 3.
Have you seen it yet and what did you think?
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