Teen Beach Movie DVD / Blu-ray Review . . .
Teen Beach Movie is a light-hearted musical that tweens from ages 8-12 are sure to (secretly) enjoy and is now available on Blu-Ray / DVD. This Disney Channel original movie is full of peppy musicals, colorful dance numbers, and very distinct characters. It’s like a sugar-infused High School Musical . . . in 1962 on the beach. The package also includes a surfboard zipper pull that’s practically the same size as pictured.
The storyline is pretty basic but interesting.
“Teen Beach Movie,” part of the Disney Channel Original Movie franchise which introduced a generation to movie musicals, follows teen surfing sweethearts Brady and McKenzie, who together ride the last wave of summer, one that mysteriously takes them into a classic beach party movie, “Wet Side Story.” There, it’s surfers versus bikers for control of the beach hangout…and everyone spontaneously breaks into song and dance.
Now, Brady and McKenzie must try to return to present day, but their lives may be changed forever when they inadvertently alter the movie’s romantic storyline — and the handsome leading man, surfer Tanner is falling for McKenzie while biker girl Lela is swooning for Brady.
The storyline is pretty basic but interesting. The ‘movie’ that the two surfers are stuck in is a 1962 musical, a corny one, which happens to be Brady’s favorite film. He’s more than thrilled to participate in the iconic musical numbers he knows by heart but McKenzie wants nothing to do with it. She wants to get back to the real world as soon as possible so she can fulfill her late mother’s dream of being successful, even if that means leaving her home and Brady.
Despite all her cynicism, she begins to morph into one of the movie characters, singing and dancing against her will. On top of that, she actually comes to care about the characters. McKenzie (aka ‘Mack’) even gives them advice and inadvertently learns about herself in the process.
There’s no bad language or innuendo. The young couples do hang on each other a lot but they never actually kiss. Most of the clothing is pretty modest aside from some short-shorts the biker girls wear and one tassle-shaking surfer girl. Most of the musical numbers are fun and bouncy, again similar to High School Musical but not as catchy.
Bonus features include footage of dance rehearsal for several of the musical numbers. Watching these kids perform in plain clothes in a bare studio gave me a whole new appreciation for the amount of hard work they put in for each performance. You’ll also get to see one number that didn’t end up making it into the movie.
When I asked my daughter if she liked it, she cooly said, “It was okay”. However, when I pointed out that she actually enjoyed it a lot, a shy grin appeared across her face. I found Teen Beach Movie to be silly and corny but almost to an extreme. It’s as if it was so corny that I couldn’t help but laugh through my nose a little. If you’re looking for a non-animated movie suited to pre-teens, this is a great choice to pop in the DVD / Blu-ray player.