The main cast of High School Musical – minus Zac Efron – reunited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the popular made-for-TV Disney movie.

‘High School Musical’ Reunion

Vanessa Hudgens, Corbin Bleu, Ashley Tisdale, Lucas Grabeel and Monique Coleman all got together to shoot the reunion live telecast in Los Angeles earlier this week. Though Efron couldn’t make it due to making the promo rounds for Dirty Grandpa, he did appear in a video message for fans.

It came as a surprise to Disney and the young stars of High School Musical just what a phenomenon it became after premiering in 2006. That first movie impressively reached over 100 million unduplicated viewers in its first year.

“I think this movie resonated with audiences all over the world, because I think audiences could identify with the characters so much in every moment,” said Hudgens, who played Gabriella in the High School Musical movies. “You were either like Sharpay (Tisdale) in a moment, or like Gabriella in another. There was just always something to identify with.”

“It was literally the fans that made this whole thing happen,” Tisdale added. “They caught on to it, and it just started to grow.”

What Bleu finds most amazing about High School Musical is that it became a movie that young adults now associate with their childhood, a viewing experience filled with nostalgia.

“One of the most incredible things is how much the fans still love the film,” Blue said. “I know for me, there are those films that are part of my childhood. It doesn’t matter what time of day or what kind of mood I’m in, if it comes on, I watch it and it still resonates.”

Gabriel added, “It’s crazy that [High School Musical] was that movie for kids. We all remember the movie that was your go-to throughout your childhood.”

Ahead of the reunion, High School Musical casting agent Judy Taylor admitted that she had a hunch early on that High School Musical could exceed Disney’s expectations, mainly due to the talent they’d managed to assemble.

“The music wasn’t written yet, so as a warm-up for callbacks, we asked them to sing a song from Hairspray,” Taylor said. “The actors were all together surrounding the piano, and I remember gazing around that room thinking, “Oh my God…this could be big.”