Typically, every Halloween I like to do my favorite segment Villains Profile.  It’s a simple concept,  look at four villains that fit a certain theme in the past, it has been things such as sea-based villains, hunters, or non-MCU supervillains.  This year, however,  I’ve decided to get a bit musical as we are looking at four villains from a Disney Channel franchise that I love and have loved since the first film debuted.  This October,  I’ve decided to look at the villains of the High School Musical franchise. Speaking of that, one category that I typically do in Villains Profile is Villain Songs, and well, that doesn’t exactly work for these particular sets of villains.  Instead, that category will be retitled Songs They Sing, and considering that I am looking at all three HSM movies for Sharpay’s entry, that’s going to be a long category.

 

Actor

 

Ashley Tisdale

 

 

 

Okay,  confession time but part of the reason I tuned in to watch the first High School Musical is that I had a crush on Ashley Tisdale.  You see at the time I knew as Maddie on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and casting Tisdale as Sharpay was an interesting but deliberate choice.

 

 

Maddie was a nice character that had a bit of snark to her whereas Sharpay is the most famous Disney Channel mean girl.  As I mentioned,  the casting of Tisdale as Sharpay was something she wanted and was even referenced when Suite Life did their HSM episode.

 

 

Mr. Blaine didn’t want to pick Maddie because she was too nice. The same thing happened during the actual auditions for the High School Musical film; the director, Kenny Ortega didn’t want to pick Ashley Tisdale because of her good girl image on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Ashley Tisdale had to watch Mean Girls to get the part.

 

I  do find it interesting that Ortega was hesitant to cast Tisdale because back then she was known more for Maddie and her good girl roles.  Whereas nowadays, I imagine more people that grew up watching live-action Disney Channel programs think of Tisdale more as Sharpay than they do as Maddie.  I mean fans of HSM recently have been re-evaluating her character and claiming that she is a villain that was right all along.

 

 

 

Where do I stand on that?   Read along and you’ll find out.  I will say that I hated her over-the-topness when I first became a fan but as I got older, I realized that was the point of Sharpay’s character.

 

 

First Appearance

We first get an impression of Sharpay and what she likes when the student body returns from winter break as she walks through the halls of East High texting on her phone as she doesn’t say a word but the students get out of her way acknowledging her queen bee status.  Or as Chad puts it, ice queen.  That is a small sense of who Sharpay is but there is a bigger sense later on in the film and what seems to be more of Sharpay’s true first appearance.

 

 

Look at how big Shrpay wrote her name on the sign-up sheet as it takes up most of the sheet.  This small detail speaks to highly Sharpay thinks of herself and how she believes that the world revolves around her and she will do anything to keep it that way.

 

Personality

 

There is one word, to sum up, Sharpay’s personality:

 

 

And I don’t mean the kind of divas that are celebrated on Drag Race but rather the type that believes they are the most important person in the world and will do anything and everything to let everyone around them know that.  That is who Sharpay is especially in the first two movies. She does mellow out somewhat in the third movie but mostly because the true villain of that film out divas her.  We will get to this when we look at her songs but even some of the titles of her songs reveal her diva-ish nature.  She has a song in the third movie titled “I Want It All” for crying out loud.  And going further into this, this exchange from “Stick to the Status Quo”  helps show off her diva nature.

 

[Sharpay:]
This is not what I want
This is not what I planned
And I just gotta say
I do not understand
Something is really

[Ryan:]
Something’s not right

[Sharpay:]
…really wrong

[Sharpay & Ryan:]
And we gotta get things
Back where they belong
We can do it

 

The fact that Sharpay believes the idea of Troy and Gabriella being in the winter musical will upend the hierarchy of East High that she is the queen of or that she believes she is that queen of.  This speaks to the idea of how something so insignificant seems like the biggest thing in high school. At least Sharpay didn’t go the Sarah Berry route. Yeesh!

 

Grand Desire(s)

 

You’ll notice that how I labeled this section and that is because she has different goals in each of the three main films and her spin-off movie.  Yes, she got a spin-off movie where she was the character we were meant to root for.  With her goal in the second movie perhaps her being at most mean girls. In the first movie, her grand desire is rather simple as she doesn’t Troy and Gabriella to get the leads in the winter musical and will do whatever it takes to stop them from landing those roles.  As I said this speaks to how something so insignificant can seem like the biggest thing in the world as a teenager.

 

I mentioned that grand desire/goal in the sequel is a bit worse as she plans on breaking up Troy and Gabriella and getting Troy to be with her.  She goes so far as getting him hired at her parent’s country club and for a brief period, it almost works as Gabriella breaks up with Troy as she doesn’t like who he’s become.  Sharpay is evil but smart.

 

 

Lackeys

 

Sharpay racked up quite a several people that followed her lead during the original trilogy.  Starting with her brother, Ryan.

 

First and foremost, is Sharpay’s twin brother, Ryan and I have written about him extensively as a part of the LGTBQ+ Disney Character Retrospective and how Kenny Ortega had always intended for Ryan to be gay but was afraid of the backlash that he’d receive in 2006 for including a gay character in the movie.  That’s disappointing but not surprising to consider when you look at how it’s taken until recently for gay characters in children’s media to be truly accepted.

 

Other than that, how is Ryan as a character?  In the first movie,  he comes across as dumb and as though he is just following his sister’s lead without any of his own motivation.  This could be to his detriment because as Taylor establishes if Sharpay could find a way to play both Romeo and Juliet, she’d have no problem cutting her brother out of her life.  In the second movie, he becomes a more developed character as he starts to step out of his sister’s shadow and befriend the other East High students. He isn’t as malicious or as dumb in the sequels,  which is a breath of fresh air.

 

Mr.  Fulton

 

 

Fulton is interesting as the HSM WIki says that he appears as the main villain of HSM2 but no, it’s still Sharpay.  He is the manager of the Lava Springs Club that her parents own and basically does whatever fancies Sharpay including hiring Troy in the hopes of getting him to be all hers. What I like about Fulton is that even though he is ding all this, you can tell that he hates it and only does it to stay employed.  There is a scene early on in the movie where after Sharpay and Ryan, you can see him spraying mouthwash in his mouth after telling Sharpay she will get what she wants. It’s small but it speaks volumes to how much he hates kissing up to the Evans family, especially Sharpay.

 

 

The Sharpettes

 

 

I’ve seen this trilogy more times than I count and if I’m honest, I didn’t even know these characters existed until writing this article.  I kinda get the idea as Sharpay is a mean girl and mean girls have cliques a la Heathers or the Plastics but The Sharpettes are so forgettable. Sure, they have names but they matter none.  They are just there to be backup fodder for Sharpay.

 

 

Tiara Gold

 

 

 

This one as you’ll see in the next entry is kind of a cheat but in the third movie, she starts out as someone that worships and follows Sharpay’s every order. That’s all I say now as she’ll be getting her own entry in this series.

 

 

Songs Sung by Sharpay

 

 

What I’ve Been Looking For

 

Something that should be taken into consideration when looking at Sharpay’s songs and starting with this one is you can get the sense that it is overproduced and that ties into the well-polished image that Sharpay likes to present herself.  This is such a great look at it as she takes a quiet number written by Kelsi and overproduces it to the point where it is no longer recognizable.

 

Stick to the Status Quo

 

I already touched upon this moment when discussing Sharpay’s personality and this video here from the One Villainous Scene playlist did inspire my decision to look at the HSM villains this year. 

 

One great point that this video brings up that I hadn’t even considered is how this number presents the cliques as being socially segerated and Sharpay cannot stand the idea of them interacting with one another.

 

… all cliques in East High must be socially segregated yet ensuring that equal opportunities arise to all clicks and her only real goal in the film is to protect the balance of power within a cruel and unforgiving social hierarchy
This is an excellent point and also speaks to how Sharpay tries to rule East High with a bedazzled grip and can’t accept when things change or are not what she had wanted.  We already discussed this but it tracks in showing how much control she has or thinks she has.
Bop To The Top
Yet again, another song that’s fun but doesn’t give you much insight other than being a fun and silly number.  FYI,  Ashley Tisdale did a version of this song with Kermit that is just adorable.
Fabulous
This ad Sharpay’s opening number in the third movie help to establish what Sharpay wants.  She wants the best and nothing less will suffice.  This is also where I noticed that mean/popular girls seem to love the color pink. Tried Googling this and that only brought up Mean Girls, which didn’t help but it is interesting as that is a color that is associated with innocent but as we’ve seen with Sharpay, that is far from the case.
Humuhumunukunukuapua’a
I hate this song so much!  It is the worst song in the entire trilogy. It seems to be inspired by songs such as Annette Funicello’s “Pineapple Princess”
But whereas that has a charm to it and feels sweet and fits Annette’s voice, Tisdale just looks so foolish singing this number.  As Troy asks at the end of the number,  has she ever tried just singing?   There is over-the-top and then there’s this. And this is painful.  There is a reason that this song was not included in the original Disney Channel airing but has been included in the extended edition and the version on Disney+.  I hate this number as it stops the movie and doesn’t serve the story at all.
You  Are The Music In Me (Sharpay Version)
Remember what I said about how Sharpay overproduces songs that were originally much quieter as this song that was originally written to be a quieter and simpler piece but Sharpay couldn’t have that, so she stole the song and had it rearranged to fit her personality.
I Want It All
I mentioned that the third movie also featured a song from Sharpay showing how much she wants the world to bend to whims.  This is even more evident with this song, this whole dream sequence shows the East High body serving Sharpay doing whatever she wants because she believes that is all life will be when she’s famous.
Perhaps the thing that is most indicative of this is how in her fantasy Gabriella is her maid.  Yeesh, that just shows how much she looks down upon the world she has created.
Most Evil Deed
This is hard to pin down, one could go with how she gets the callbacks changed in the first movie so that Troy and Gabriella wouldn’t be able to audition.  Or how she can convince Fulton to forbade the staff from performing in the Lava Springs Talent show.  However,  I’d have to go with what she does to Troy in the third movie as she is one of the first to find out Gabriella has been accepted to Standford and uses this to get the lead role in the Senior Musical and tells Troy that he is holding Gabriella back.
This might not seem that big but it takes quite the psychological toll on Troy and almost breaks him amongst other things.
That is an underappreciated part of Sharpay’s villainy as she is deceptive and will manipulate things to get what she wants.
Demise
The weird thing is Sharpay loses in every film but she never loses as a whole.  Sure, she may lose out on the lead role in the school musical but by the end of her spin-off film, she has become the star of a Broadway musical.
Is Sharpay Evans A Good Villain?
Sharpay works as a villain for the type of movies that the HSM trilogy is, which are fun teen musicals. She is not the most evil or diabolical Disney villain, not even from Disney Channel but she is enjoyable and is one of the most fun parts of these movies I love.  Join me next time as we look at the true villain of the third movie.
Tiara Gold

By Moviefan12

Disney Geek, Oncer, Brony, and Expressionist

6 thoughts on “A Look at Disney: Villains Profile: Sharpay Evans”
    1. That’s what Kenny Ortega thought as well, when she auditioned to play Sharpay because he thought she seemed too nice but she wanted a role that was different from what she was known for aka playing Maddie on Suite Life.

          1. Yeah. Though now I can’t help but think of her character saying “MOOOOOOOMMMMMM! Phineas and Ferb are hiding chemical weapons!”

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