Teen Beach Movie


Quick Stats

Genre: , ,
Actors: , ,
MPAA Rating:
Release Date: 19th July 2013
Length: 1 hour 50 minutes
Storyline: Two surfer teens are about to be pulled apart by adult responsibilities when a wave transports them into the world of Wet Side Story, a musical romance from the 1960s.
Studio: Disney Channel, Rainforest Productions
Producer: David Buelow, Robert F. Phillips, Jasmine Kosovic
Written By: Story: Vince Marcello, Mark Landry Teleplay: Vince Marcello, Mark Landry, and Robert Horn
Plot / Story






Total Score

User Rating
4 total ratings


What We Liked

The movie is entertaining and has an ultimately nice message. It also adds a new twist to standard Disney fare by incorporating dimension-jumping and a Pleasantville-esque approach.

What We Disliked

The acting is very obviously directed at young kids, making it a little hard to watch with any enthusiasm as an adult. The songs are fairly derivative, too.

Bottom Line

This is a great film for younger audiences; it’s fun, it’s harmless, and a few of the songs will get stuck in your head. If you’re an adult, though, you might prefer to put on a double bill of Pleasantville and West Side Story.

Posted April 4, 2015 by

Buy, Rent or Cinema

Full Review

Teen Beach Movie is an enjoyable offering from the Disney Channel, featuring an adorable cast who have already made some appearances in other Disney productions. It’s pretty inoffensive, and the plot is a little more original than the standard boy-meets-girl-and-they-sing-about-it storyline we are all used to seeing from the people who made High School Musical.

Surfer couple Brady and Mack are having the time of their lives until Mack’s aunt shows up and tells her that, in accordance with her late mother’s wishes, she will be taking Mack away to enrol in a private prep school. Devastated, Mack goes for one last surf. With Brady following her, she is swept up by a 40-foot wave and they pair find themselves in the world of hit movie “Wet Side Story”, a musical about the rivalry between a gang of bikers and a gang of surfers. As they accidentally change the movie’s plot and characters, the world of the movie begins to change them. Together, they have to find a way to get the film back on track and return home.

There are some great elements to this movie. For one, the film does a good job of touching on the way gender roles have changed in movies since the 1960s, offering some positive messages to a young audience. For another, the film has a consistently happy vibe; even the villains can’t mess with the joyful atmosphere. There is a consistent thread of family-friendly humour throughout, particularly when things start getting meta between the “real world” protagonists Mack and Brady and movie characters Lela and Tanner. It also looks great, with no expense spared on choreography and some great shots of the Wet Side Story world. Brady’s adorable enthusiasm for the world of Wet Side Story never gets old, and Mack does an apt job of showcasing an old dilemma: love or responsibility?

This movie does have a few downsides that will bother adults in particular. With touches of Grease, West Side Story (obviously), Pleasantville, and Back to the Future, this film doesn’t offer much in the way of originality. Though catchy, most of the songs have a familiar feel, and nothing seems especially new or unique. The young cast are talented singers, but the acting often comes over as forced or unnatural. Even by Disney movie standards, which it could be argued are usually quite low when it comes to convincing character portrayals, the film can get a little cringeworthy.

Another issue is that while songs such as “Like Me” explore the differences between male-female relationships in old movies and now, there isn’t much a film like this can really do with the topic. It’s arguably too heavy-handed a subject for younger viewers, and doesn’t fit well in the confines of a reality-hopping romantic musical. Teen Beach Movie tries to draw on Pleasantville, with our modern-day protagonists attempting to bring more enlightenment to the stars of Wet Side Story, but ultimately there aren’t many places to go with that topic while still keeping a U rating. The film’s other message, “chase your dreams and be yourself”, is handled much better, with just the right combination of touching moments and opposition from an ultimately well-meaning antagonist in the form of Mack’s aunt.

If you like teen movies, the Disney Channel, or making your kids happy by watching bouncy, U-rated romances, then this movie is for you. From an adult perspective, it is at best a relatively pleasant diversion from the real world and at worst a shiny, over-the-top singalong. If you prefer more adult fare, or would rather watch Frozen for the hundredth time, then skip Teen Beach Movie. But remember that you can’t avoid it for long: a sequel is set to be released later on in 2015.

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Mary D

Mary D


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