West Side Story is Brady (Ross Lynch) and his girlfriend Mack’s (Maia Mitchell) favorite movie. There’s plenty of teen soap opera romance to spare, all polished appropriately squeaky clean for the Disney Channel tween audience. The soundtrack, load with songs performed by the cast members, was a big deal (it made the top ten on Billboard’s album chart and topped their soundtrack chart). It’s full of frothy but forgettable pop baubles with titles like “Twist Your Frown Upside Down” and “Best Summer Ever.” The 105-minute running time ultimately left me with a headache, however competent the singing and dancing by the gung-ho cast might be.
At any rate, this’ll work as a High School Musical for the current crop of preteens, I guess. I don’t see a breakout star like a Zac Efron or Vanessa Hudgens here, but that won’t keep your 10 year old from enjoying its easy-going energy. The DVD contains several minutes of rehearsal footage as a bonus feature. There’s also a replica of Mack’s necklace from the movie included in the DVD case.