By: Valerie Milano
Cable Press Tour – Pasadena, CA (Hollywood Today) 4/11/11
Disney Channel, the kid-driven, family oriented television network has an original movie premiere coming this month called “Lemonade Mouth”, based on the novel by Mark Peter Hughes and the script was written by April Blair.
Directed by Patricia Riggen (“La Misma Luna” (“Under the Same Moon”) and starring Bridgit Mendler, Adam Hicks, Hayley Kiyoko, Blake Michael, Naomi Scott, Tisha Campbell-Martin and Christopher McDonald, the movie centers around 5 high schoolers who let’s say, aren’t really in with the “in crowd”. The kids meet by chance in detention one day to discover they share a powerful love of music and decide to form a band. Inspired by talk of the removal of an organic lemonade machine a school, the band takes up the cause and the name Lemonade Mouth for their band. It’s a tale for younger kids and tweens of finding yourself and building your confidence.
Gary Marsh, president of Entertainment for Disney Studios shared his feeling with Hollywood Today about executive producer Debra Martin Chase, “We call her our “queen of tween.” You know, she produced the three “Cheetah Girls” movies for us, “The Princess Diaries” movies, and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” movies. And as soon as she brought us “Lemonade Mouth,” we knew we were onto something very, very special.”
The stars of the movie are young teens and though they were fans of “High School Musical”, insisted “Lemonade Mouth” is a different story. Debra Martin Chase said “You know, we are a movie with music whereas, “High School Musical” was a much more traditional musical. This movie is really — it’s got a lot of emotion. It’s got a lot of heart. It is about friendship. It’s about all of these characters finding their voice and standing up for themselves and what they believe in.”
Patricia Riggen added “I think also one thing that you will notice that is different — that “Lemonade Mouth” is a little different from all the other movies from the Disney Channel, which I love — and I’m so flattered to be working with them — is that these songs are really kind of mature. Like they really stand on their own. They don’t need a movie, actually, behind them.”
I think one interesting thing about “Lemonade Mouth” is that it’s not the ordinary musical. It’s not really a musical. It’s a drama/comedy and a very moving story, funny, but it has songs. It has plenty of songs and plenty of music, but it’s not a choreographed drama. They are not singing the story. So, really, I think every song is special for them because they really all work from character. So each one gets to keep their individuality, and the choreographer, Chris Scott, did a really nice job.
“I feel like music motivates people. I mean, that’s personally why I write songs. I mean, music is a language that pretty much anyone can relate to. Whether they know the actual words of the song or not, they just get a feeling or a vibe or, you know, some type of subconscious connection,” explained Adam Hicks. “I guess you could say. That’s one of the reasons I love to write music. And as soon as I’m done, the first thing I want to do is go tell people and just expand and see their reactions or — because everyone’s got their own opinion, and that’s the greatest part about music.”
Whether or not “Lemonade Mouth” becomes the next big thing, there are memorable dance routines and songs. Gary Marsh assured reporters, “There will be a soundtrack. It will be coming out right around the time of the movie. And as I’ve always said, the audience tells us whether there will be a sequel or not. We made what we think is a tremendous film. At the end of the day, the audience is the ultimate arbiter about whether this should live beyond the film we made just now.” Lemonade Mouth airs this Friday, April 15.