The first thing tweens will want to do after seeing “Lemonade Mouth” is form a band. The Disney Channel original movie was released on DVD on May 24 and stars Bridgit Mendler, Adam Hicks, Hayley Kiyoko, Naomi Scott and Blake Michael as five contrasting teens, Olivia, Wen, Stella, Mohini and Charlie.
The group meets in detention and finds a common escape in making music together. It’s pretty good music, too. True to Disney’s standards, the tunes do not disappoint, featuring 10 original songs that speak to the message of “be heard, be strong, be proud.” “Somebody,” “Determinate” and “Don’t Ya Wish U Were Us” have each landed a spot in the Radio Disney Top 30.
The teens, in an unlikely twist of fate, are all banished to the former music room, which has been converted to the detention classroom. The room is in the lowest level of the high school in the farthest corner of the building, down a long hallway and with an irresistible lemonade machine at the end. All of the nonsport clubs have been moved to the basement, thanks to the evil Principal Brenigan and his push to make sports No. 1 at Mesa High. The art students, school newspaper, drama club and the chess club (with one member) have all been placed sight unseen.
It is here in the basement where magic happens when the five teens each take a sip of the organic lemonade. The sour drink seems to give them an instant pass to friendship, inspiration and the will to really want to be something. The five spend all their detention time together trying to find a way to express through music how to be treated like they matter. They stand up to the school principal, work hard to compete with the cool kids’ band, Mudslide Crush, and make a bold statement to bring back the arts to Mesa High.
And somewhere in all their hard work, they are heard.
The movie highlights issues that each of the five teens have with their parents, some of which will be relatable to the tween audience. In the end, the music mends the personal troubles of the kids and parents. Perhaps a little too easily, but hey, this is Disney.
Any girl watching this movie who has ever been hurt by an old boyfriend will appreciate the song “She’s So Gone,” sung by Mo. She lights up the pizzeria, singing at the top of her lungs about the new girl she has become.
Standout performances by Mendler and Hicks add to the feel-good atmosphere of this film. Mendler has a fresh, young voice that sounds just as good a cappella as it does with the band fully amped. Hicks unassumingly expresses himself, adding to his charm and likability factor.
This movie is fun to watch while offering message of standing up for what you believe in and forging friendships.
“Lemonade Mouth” is rated TV PG for mild bullying.
Amy Wilde is a writer living in Brigham City, Utah. You can read her blog at http://amywildeatmosphere.blogspot.com/, follow her on twitter at wildeatmosphere or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.