High School Musical 3 takes the megapopular Disney Channel franchise to the big screen, and its director has “made the most of the move to the multiplex," writes Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. While the storyline is “instantly forgettable,” it’s still “the HSM we all know and (sometimes secretly) love,” she notes. “The cheese factor remains, and happily so.”
The film continues the “playful and high-spirited” HSM “formula,” maintaining “a refreshing emphasis on collective action and the importance of group effort over the individual,” observes Mark Olsen in the Los Angeles Times. Watching the unrealistically wholesome characters cavort their way through the film, “you want to leave the world behind and be one of them now and forever,” says Stephen Holden in the New York Times.