High School Musical 2 is the first sequel in the ever-popular High School Musical franchise. It stars Zac Efron as Troy Bolton, Vanessa Anne Hudgens as Gabriella Montez, Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay Evans, Lucas Grabeel as Ryan Evans, and Corbin Bleu as Chad Danforth. It first aired on August 17, 2007 on the Disney Channel. The plot follows Troy, Gabriella and the others during their summer vacation. Miley Cyrus, the star of Hannah Montana makes a cameo appearance in the film, which centers around the cast's work at a country club while school is in summer recess. The same day the movie had its’ premiere, the soundtrack was released, but several songs, including “What Time Is It?” have been released as singles and have aired exclusively on Radio Disney. The original airing drew a basic cable record 17.2 million viewers in the USA according to Nielsen, which is the highest rating for a made-for cable movie.
It also received an Emmy Award Nomination in 2008 as “Best Children’s Program”, as well as one for Best Choeography.
The school year ends with everyone at East High School looking forward to summer vacation ("What Time Is It"). Troy Bolton is still dating Gabriella Montez, who decides to stay in Albuquerque with her mother. Troy eventually decides to look for a summer job to gain money for college.
Sharpay and Ryan Evans plan to spend part of the summer at their family's country club, Lava Springs ("Fabulous"), but Sharpay's summer plans also include pursuing Troy, whom she has arranged to be hired at the club. However, Troy convinces the club's manager, Mr. Fulton, into hiring Gabriella and their close group of friends as well; including Taylor and Chad. Sharpay is enraged upon learning that Gabriella is working as one of the lifeguards, but is unable to get her fired. So she orders Fulton to give them difficult tasks so they would be best to quit. Fulton attempts to intimidate the group, but Troy rebuilds their confidence and convinces them that they can persevere ("Work This Out").
Troy continues to worry about funding for college. Sharpay senses his need and arranges for Troy to be promoted, hoping that this will convince him to sing with her at the talent show. Meanwhile, Kelsi writes a ballad for Troy and Gabriella. Troy agrees to sing with his friends in the show ("You Are The Music In Me"), not knowing that Sharpay is vying for his attention. (In the extended version, Sharpay and Ryan trap Troy as he prepares for a date with Gabriella, and perform their potential show stopper ("Humuhumunukunukuapua'a").)
Ryan realizes he does not mean much to Sharpay anymore, as she is ready to blow her brother aside for the opportunity to perform with Troy. This leads to tension between the twin siblings and Ryan angrily informs Sharpay that he will no longer obey her orders. Taylor and Gabriella invite Ryan to the baseball game, where he persuades the Wildcats to take part in the talent show ("I Don't Dance").
Troy and Gabriella's relationship is strained when Troy sees Ryan with Gabriella, sparking jealousy. Owing to a "promise" from Troy, he and Sharpay practice their song for the Midsummer Night's Talent Show ("You Are The Music In Me (Sharpay Version)").
When Sharpay discovers that Ryan and the Wildcats are putting together their own performance in the show, she orders Mr. Fulton to ban all junior staff members from performing. Gabriella angrily confronts Sharpay about her interference and quits her job at Lava Springs. Troy overhears the exchange, and tries to persuade Gabriella to change her mind. Gabriella expresses her loss of trust with Troy ("Gotta Go My Own Way") and leaves Lava Springs, & gives him the necklace back. It also seems that they broke up.
Troy returns to work the next day to find that his friends refuse to talk to him. Kelsi silently shows Troy the notice from Mr. Fulton, causing Troy to question his own motivations ("Bet On It"). He begins to reconcile with Chad and his other friends. Then Troy confronts Sharpay, informing her that he will not sing with her. The Wildcats and Chad forgive Troy for his absence and convince him to sing in the talent show, which he does only under the condition that they are all allowed to perform as well.
At Sharpay's supposed instruction, Ryan gives Troy a new song to learn moments before the show. As Troy goes onstage, he asks Sharpay why she switched the song, and Sharpay is shocked to find that her brother tricked her. Troy sings the song ("Everyday") alone, until Gabriella surprisingly joins him onstage. In the end, Sharpay proudly presents her brother, Ryan, with the award for the talent show. After the talent show, all the Wildcats go to the golf course to enjoy the fireworks.
Everyone celebrates the end of the summer with a pool party ("All for One") which features a cameo appearance by Miley Cyrus.
- Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) is the most popular male student at East High School, and the captain of the varsity basketball team. For this movie, Efron did all of his own singing, whereas in the first High School Musical, his singing was blended with singer Drew Seeley's voice.
- Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) is Troy's girlfriend who is relieved that she will still be attending East High. She is the lifeguard at the Lava Springs Country Club.
- Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) is determined to win the talent show and sabotage Troy and Gabriella's relationship.
- Ryan Evans (Lucas Grabeel) is Sharpay's twin brother who lives in the shadow of his primadonna sister.
- Chad Danforth (Corbin Bleu) is Troy's best friend, and is very good friends with Jason and Zeke.
- Taylor McKessie (Monique Coleman) is Gabriella's best friend. She is also friends with Kelsi Nielsen and Martha Cox, and is dating Chad. She is captain of the school Scholastic Decathlon team. She has a summer job at Lava Springs as an Activities Coordinator.
- Thomas Fulton (Mark L. Taylor) is the manager of Lava Springs.
- Coach Jack Bolton (Bart Johnson) is Troy's father and East High's basketball coach.
- Vance Evans (Robert Curtis Brown) is Sharpay and Ryan's father.
- Darby Evans (Jessica Tuck) is Sharpay and Ryan's mother and president of the Lava Springs Board.
- Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) is the stern drama teacher at East High.
- Kelsi Nielsen (Olesya Rulin) is a pianist and composer.
- Zeke Baylor (Chris Warren Jr.) is friends with Troy and Chad, and plays for the basketball team.
- Jason Cross (Ryne Sanborn) is friends with Troy, Chad, and Zeke and plays on the basketball team.
- Martha Cox (Kaycee Stroh) is friends with Gabriella, Kelsi, and Taylor.
- Boi Evans (Manly "Little Pickles" Ortega) is Sharpay's Pet dog.
- Jackie (Tanya Chisholm) is one of Sharpay’s friends (a.k.a. The Sharpettes).
- Lea (Kelli Baker), another Sharpette.
- Emma (McCall Clark), another Sharpette.
- Unknown Wildcats player (Shane Harper), the principal dancer.
- Girl At Pool (Miley Cyrus), A unknown dancer at the end (cameo)
- Lucille Bolton (Leslie Wing Pomeroy) Troy's mother.