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Top 10 Best Teen Movie Musicals

Top 10 Best Teen Movie Musicals
VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Tal Fox
Our teen years would have been nothing without these movie musicals. These teen movie musicals make us wish our high school years were set in a musical... can you imagine?! We're looking at movies that have a great soundtrack and center around teenage characters. So, while we love the “Step Up” and “Pitch Perfect” movies, they will not be considered for this list. Join MsMojo as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Best Teen Musical Movies.

Top 10 Best Teen Musical Movies

Our teen years would have been nothing without these movie musicals. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Teen Musical Movies.

For this list, we’ll be looking at movies that have a great soundtrack and center around teenage characters. So, while we love the “Step Up” and “Pitch Perfect” movies, they will not be considered for this list.

#10: “Teen Beach Movie” franchise (2013-)

Surf’s up on Mack and Brady’s relationship until a freak wave transports them into the 60s flick, “Wet Side Story.” It’s bikers versus surfers, but with the addition of two unexpected characters, the storyline goes off its tracks and it’s up to Mack and Brady to set things back on course. We love the crossover between the real world and the musical world, which is why we were delighted when the wave rolled in the other direction for the sequel.

#9: “The Cheetah Girls” franchise (2003-08)

If you didn’t dream of being a Cheetah Girl, did you even grow up in the noughties? Throughout this franchise, the group gets several shots at stardom, but has to decide if it’s worth sacrificing friendship for fame. The sequels take the group to Barcelona and Bollywood where the songs and choreography take inspiration from their surroundings. While life throws plenty of hurdles their way and their friendship is often put to the test, there is nothing that can come between a Cheetah and her sisters. It’s all about that growl power.

#8: “Camp Rock” franchise (2008-10)

If you’re a fan of Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers, you’re in for a treat. Mitchie goes to Camp Rock to find her voice and unknowingly attracts the attention of teen idol, Shane. We get plenty of drama teamed up with a soundtrack that you’ll still be singing long after the credits roll. The movie carries the valuable lesson of staying true to yourself, something Mitchie learns during her time at camp. While sequels often risk being a flop, (xref) “Camp Rock 2” holds its own with jams that will make you want to rock out.

#7: “Fame” (1980)

Time to put on your leotards and pull up those leg warmers. We follow several teenagers navigating their way through life and a high school for gifted performing arts students. This movie was such a hit that it was turned into a TV series in 1982, adapted for the stage in 1988, and even got a remake in 2009. Fun fact: when they filmed the iconic scene for the title song, Irene Cara hadn’t written it yet so the cast danced to Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” due to its similar beat.

#6: “Descendants” franchise (2015-19)

Can you believe that this franchise wasn’t originally intended to be a musical? We just can’t imagine the series without “Rotten to the Core” or “Ways to Be Wicked.” Trouble-making teens Carlos, Jay, Evie, and Mal are given a chance to attend prep school in the kingdom of Auradon, where they learn that the concept of good and evil isn’t so black and white. It’s no wonder this franchise has become an instant classic and with “Descendants 3” taking the cast to whole new places, we’ve never had such a good time being bad.

#5: “High School Musical” franchise (2006-08)

An early version of the “High School Musical” script has been around since 1999, but back then it was titled “Grease 3.” Yeah, our minds are blown too. The story hasn't changed much, but we wonder if it would have seen the same success as the groundbreaking Disney Channel movie. We’re grateful that Disney took on this project as they brought us three undeniably great movies with strong soundtracks we could listen to all day. If “We’re All in This Together” doesn’t make you want to dance, you’re only lying to yourself.

#4: “Footloose” (1984)

Ok, so maybe this one technically isn’t a musical in the traditional sense, but the music is iconic and so integral to the story that we couldn’t resist. Ren and his mom move to Bomont, a small town where rock music and dancing are banned, which doesn’t sit well with this rebellious teen. He decides to shake things up and challenges the authorities at every opportunity. You come for the music but stay for the story, which is as heartfelt and emotional as it is entertaining and charming. Time to “cut footloose!”

#3: “Grease” (1978)

It comes as no surprise that this was the highest-grossing movie of 1978. Everything about it is iconic with themes that resonate with generations of teen audiences. However, it also kind of implies that you should change yourself to get the guy or girl, hardly a good message for impressionable minds, right? While certain aspects of “Grease” are admittedly dated, the amazing music remains timeless, especially the Academy Award-nominated, “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” And who among us didn’t wish they had a leather jacket so they could strut through the halls like they rule the school?

#2: “West Side Story” (1961)

This is nothing short of a masterpiece from directors Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. A modernized “Romeo and Juliet,” set on the mean streets of New York, with an infectiously catchy soundtrack. Our star-crossed lovers, Tony and Maria fall instantly in love despite their loyalties to rival gangs. And this might have been set more than 50 years ago, but the themes of immigration and racism remain relevant. To keep tensions high, the producers tried to keep the actors from each gang separate and pranks were encouraged, talk about committing to the role!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions.

“Hannah Montana: The Movie” (2009)

“Lemonade Mouth” (2011)

“Bye Bye Birdie” (1963)

“Another Cinderella Story” (2008)

“Starstruck” (2010)

#1: “Hairspray” (2007)

Welcome to the 60s, where the winds of change are starting to blow. You would certainly call this a feel-good movie and we just want to shimmy and shake from start to end. However, that doesn’t take away from the movie’s more serious themes of acceptance, tolerance, segregation, and the civil rights movement. Whether it’s defying expectations, following her heart, or speaking out for what is right, Tracy teaches us all to march to the beat of our own drum, even if it’s not the beat everyone else is dancing to.