The Disney Channel Original Movie tells the story of five high school students who meet in detention and form a band to stand up for their beliefs and to overcome their individual and collective struggles. It premiered on April 15, 2011 on the Disney Channel.
It has been met with generally positive reviews, with some praising it for its many positive themes of honesty, integrity, and self-expression, and for its emphasis on the importance of the arts and of family and friendship. Other reviews have described it as a "typically innocuous Disney channel flick." The soundtrack was released on April 12, 2011. According to The View on Monday August 15, 2011, Lemonade Mouth was said to have a sequel to be in the making.
Five high school freshmen: Olivia White (Bridgit Mendler), Mohini "Mo" Banjaree (Naomi Scott), Charles "Charlie" Delgado (Blake Michael), Stella Yamada (Hayley Kiyoko), and Wendell "Wen" Gifford (Adam Hicks) all meet in detention, where the supervisor and music teacher Ms. Reznik (Tisha Campbell-Martin) rants over the school principal Brenigan (Christopher McDonald) having moved all extracurricular activities to the school basement to make room for a new gymnasium. While in detention, the students start tapping out a beat and play instruments, and Olivia sings "Turn Up the Music".
The next day, they all meet at a pizza parlor, where Stella reveals she signed them up to perform at the high school's Halloween bash. The band forms with Olivia as lead vocalist, Stella as lead guitarist, Mo as bass guitarist, Wen as keyboardist, and Charlie as drummer, but they are unable to choose a band name. At school, Olivia gets cornered by Ray Beech (Chris Brochu), lead singer of rival band, Mudslide Crush. The rest of the band interferes in an effort to defend Olivia and Stella spits her lemonade onto Ray. Ray refers to Stella as "lemonade mouth" and Olivia, the narrator, states: "And that is how we got our band name."
The band is later shocked to see that the unique lemonade machine, "Mel's Organic Lemonade", is scheduled for removal. When Mo sees her boyfriend, Scott Picket (Nick Roux), the guitarist of Mudslide Crush, with another girl, she is devastated and leaves him. Meanwhile, Olivia and Wen meet to work on a song together and bond. At the Halloween bash, Lemonade Mouth performs "Determinate." After the performance, Stella makes a speech opposing Brenigan's decisions and encouraging self-expression to the supportive crowd. Angered, Principal Brenigan shuts them down and calls them to his office the following day. He compliments their talent as a band, but forbids them from playing at school again. The next day, the band sees posters and banners all around the school supporting Lemonade Mouth, which raises their spirits. They also discover that "Determinate" is playing on the local radio. Shortly after though, things go downhill: Mo gets sick, Charlie breaks his fingers, Wen injures his eye, and Olivia loses her voice.
Stella calls everyone to the school, where she is protesting the removal of the lemonade machine. The group gets into a heated argument with one another and fight with the men removing the lemonade machine. Police arrive and they are brought to a holding cell to wait for their parents. After contemplating giving up, the band agrees to stick together and perform at Rising Star (an upcoming "battle of the bands" where the winner wins a record deal), even though they realize that they will not win the competition.
At Rising Star, Mudslide Crush performs "Don't Ya Wish U Were Us". Lemonade Mouth takes the stage and tries to perform "Determinate," but no one except Stella can play, due to their injuries. Discouraged, they start to leave. The audience then begins to sing "Determinate" together in support of the band. Fed up with Ray, Scott leaves Mudslide Crush and plays with Stella, joining Lemonade Mouth as they stand together in tears, watching the audience sing for them. In narration, Olivia reveals that although they did not win the competition, they won something bigger that night. Things start patching up again for the band. Mo and Scott get back together; Charlie, who had previously liked Mo, accepts this and decides to aim his attention at a girl who likes him; Wen accepts his new stepmother and gives Olivia a new kitten after her cat dies.
At Wen's father's wedding, the man sitting next to Stella tells her that he was in a band once and now runs an organic lemonade company that has recently become very successful. Stella recognizes him as Mel, and he agrees to donate a music hall for Ms. Reznik and everything works out after all. Olivia mails the entire story to her father, whom she has not seen in years because he is in prison. The film closes with Lemonade Mouth performing "Breakthrough" at Madison Square Garden, with Scott as their new additional guitarist.
- Bridgit Mendler as Olivia White
- Adam Hicks as Wendell "Wen" Gifford
- Hayley Kiyoko as Stella Yamada
- Naomi Scott as Mohini "Mo" Banjaree
- Blake Michael as Charles "Charlie" Delgado
- Nick Roux as Scott Pickett
- Chris Brochu as Ray Beech
- Tisha Campbell-Martin as Miss Jenny Reznick
- Christopher McDonald as Principal Stanley Brenigan
- Author Mark Peter Hughes has a cameo appearance as an extra, dressed as a bee at the Halloween Bash.
- Shishir Kurup as Mo's father
The movie was filmed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The names of eight characters in the book were changed for the film: the character of "Olivia Whitehead" was shortened to "Olivia White", "Wendel Gifford" changed by one letter to "Wendell Gifford", "Stella Penn" changed to "Stella Yamada", "Mohini Banerjee" changed to "Mohini Banjaree", and "Charlie Hirsh" changed to "Charlie Delgado".
Family-oriented reviewers at Common Sense Media praised the film for its themes of honesty, empowerment, overcoming adversity, self-expression, and standing up for what one believes in, and for its emphasis on the importance of the arts and of friendship and family. Other reviews were not so kind, with some critics (mainly more "traditional" fans of The Walt Disney Company itself) claiming that Lemonade Mouth is a "typically innocuous Disney Channel flick" that is a "hopelessly dumbed-down endeavor." The film holds an 6.7 rating, making "Fair" (based on 17 votes) on TV.com.
Lemonade Mouth was watched by 5.7 million viewers on its premiere night. ranking as the No. 1 TV Telecast among Kids 6–11 (2.3 million/9.4 rating) and Tweens 9–14 (2.1 million/8.5 rating), and cable's No. 1 original movie of 2011 among Total Viewers. With DVR viewing included, its total was 7.1 million viewers.
In 2011, the author of Lemonade Mouth announced that he had been working on a sequel. Also, Blake Michael has said: "It’s all up to the fans, it’s in their hands. If people enjoy it and they love it and they want more, they’ll get it. I think Disney is just a great organization in general and they’re always one step ahead of the game. So you never really know what’s gonna happen." It was announced during the 2011 Licensing International Expo that Lemonade Mouth 2 was in the works, but it was cancelled due to them being unable to come up with a plot for it and as well as thinking that the story had already been told enough.
A local premiere was held in the author Mark Peter Hugh's town of Wayland, Massachusetts. It was broadcast live by the town public access station, WayCAM.TV, by local students. The cast from the film have performed on The View, Good Morning America, So Random! and UK's Daybreak.