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High School Musical: El Desafío (The Challenge) is a spin-off of the American film High School Musical for the Mexican market, based on the book Battle of the Bands. It began filming in February 2008 and it is the third Disney-branded feature film made in Latin America, The first was Una Pelicula de Huevos and the second is El Arca.

The movie has a script created specifically for the cinema and an original plotline. Eight new songs have been produced exclusively for the movie.

The roles in the movie are played by the winners and finalists of the Mexican TV program High School Musical: La Selección: Mariana, Cristobal, Fernando, Jorge, Cesar, Fabiola, Stephie and Carolina. It also has the special participation of the music duet, Jesse & Joy, the Zapping Zone gang, Paulina, Roger and Carla and the outstanding actors, Lumi Cavazos, Juan Manuel Bernal, Lisa Owen, Victor Hugo Martin, Alvaro Guerrero and Carmen Beato. The movie arrived in Mexican theaters on August 24, 2008.

Plot

A new school year begins at the High School Mexico (HSM), and the students return from the summer vacations. Cristobal, the captain of the school soccer team, the Lambs, discovers that Mariana, his neighbor and classmate, has changed a lot over the summer. Luli, however, continues being vain and wastes her time dominating her poor brother, Fer, and her associates Paulina, Carolina and Fabiola, or, as she prefers to call them, "The Invisibles".

The principal of the school and the art teacher, invite the students to take part in the school's first battle of the bands, where the kids will have a chance to be showcased as true music stars. Jesse & Joy, former students and now famous singers, come to the school as advisers to the contest.

Working against the clock and with limited resources, the kids put all the forces for the big day. Cristobal and Mariana, together with Cesar, Juan Carlos, Jorge, Stephie and Fer participate in the contest, forming a band called Fair Play. At the same time, Luli participates with her friends, and she tries the impossible task of separating Fer from his new friends. But only one band will be the winner, the one which can understand that teamwork, personal development, and study will make them better artists and also better people.

Characters

Main

  • Cristobal (Cristobal Orellana) is the male protagonist of the movie. He is the most popular male student at High School Mexico, and the captain of the soccer team, the Lambs. He faces a new challenge this year in the school: forming a band for the Battle of the Bands, where he will show, despite of the difficulties, his true leadership. (The equivalent of Troy Bolton.)
  • Mariana (Mariana Magaña) is the female protagonist of the movie. She is the shy and studious student who, under the astonished eyes of all her peers, suddenly becomes an attractive young girl with a talent for singing. (The equivalent of Gabriella Montez.)
  • Luli (Mar Contreras) is the antagonist of the film. She is the typical "rich girl", vain, selfish, who does not spare a second for the others, even for her brother Fer, except to get what she wants: to be the absolute and undisputed star of the school. But at the end, she learns a valuable lesson and redeems herself. (The equivalent of Sharpay Evans.)
  • Fer (Fernando Soberanes) is Luli's brother, who must use all his ingenuity to evade the surveillance of his sister to be the coach of Cristobal's band, Fair Play. With Mariana's help, and with his perseverance and recklessness, Fer manages to become independent and show his true artistic abilities. (The equivalent of Ryan Evans.)

Other students

  • Juan Carlos (Juan Carlos Flores) is Cristobal's best friend. When there is a funny comment or sudden laughter, that is Juan Carlos, the guy who never loses his sense of humor (The equivalent of Chad Danforth.)
  • Cesar (Cesar Viramontes) is the best DJ at school and he loves cooking (The equivalent of Zeke Baylor.)
  • Jorge (Jorge Blanco) He does what he can with his guitar ... literally because the instrument has the unfortunate habit of falling down! (The equivalent of Jason Cross.)
  • Stephie (Stephie Camarena) is the talented composer of the band. She also demonstrates her positive attitude when time is their principal enemy. (The equivalent of Kelsi Nielsen.)
  • Faby (Fabiola Paulin) is a great singer, but because she joins Luli's musical group, she is always overshadowed by the "star". (The equivalent of Taylor McKessie.)
  • Pau and Caro (Paulina Holguin and Carolina Ayala) are Luli's unconditional allies and members of her band. The two girls are completely subordinated to the whims and arrogance of the "star". (The equivalent of The Sharpettes.)

Supporting

  • Angelina (Carmen Beato) is HSM's art teacher, who, together with the principal, convenes the Battle of the Bands. (The equivalent of Ms. Darbus.)
  • The High School Principal (Alvaro Guerrero)
  • Mariana's Mum (Lumi Cavazos)
  • Cristobal's Dad (Juan Manuel Bernal) soccer coach of the team, pushes them hard. (the equivalent of Coach Bolton)
  • Luli & Fer's Dad (Victor Hugo Martin)
  • Luli & Fer's Mum (Lisa Owen)
  • Marifer (Carla Medina)
  • Cook (Roger Gonzalez)

Premiere

The special premiere took place on August 24, 2008 at Auditorio Nacional de Mexico, D.F.

The film debuted in cinemas throughout Mexico on August 24, 2008.

Soundtrack

High School Musical El Desafio

Before the release of the movie, the film's soundtrack CD was released, featuring eight new songs produced by Fernando Lopez Rossi. The album has a bonus track with the song "'Doo up"

List of songs

# Song Performed by
1 El Verano Terminó (Summer Has Ended) All
2 Siempre Juntos (Forever Together) The Lambs
3 La Vida es una Aventura (Life is an Adventure) Mariana and Fer
4 Yo sabía... (I Knew...) Mariana and Cristobal
5 A Buscar el Sol (Look for the Sun) Mariana
6 Hoy Todo es Mejor (Today Everything is Better) Cristobal
7 Dime Ven All
8 Superstar Luli and The Invisibles (Faby, Pau and Caro)
9 Mejor Hacerlo Todo Juntos (It's Better Doing It All Together) Mariana, Cristobal, Cesar, Juan Carlos, Jorge and Stephie
10 Actuar, Bailar, Cantar (Act, Dance, Sing) All
BT Doo up Luli and Fer

Other international versions

This movie is a remake of High School Musical: El Desafio, the film was also remade for Brazil

  • In Argentina, as in Mexico, the winners were chosen by a contest (HSM: La Selección), from which Fernando Dente and Agustina Vera emerged to play the leads. The antagonists were played by Walter Bruno and Delfina Peña. This version generally used the same dialogue (although the wording varied to reflect the Argentine version of Spanish) and songs as the Mexican version, although the songs were not adapted with a reggaeton and hip hop style unlike the Mexican version. Ironically, the Mexican version was also filmed in Argentina. The Argentine version premiered on July 17, 2008.
  • In Brazil, the finalists were chosen on HSM - A Seleção. From there emerged Renata Pinto Gomes Ferreira and Olavo Setembro Cavalheiro as the leads, along with Paula Pereia Barbosa and Fellipe Ferreira Guadanucci as the antagonists.
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