Can Disney Bring Back the Cool to Beach Party Films?

Jun 26, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Disney Channel is bringing back a movie genre that hasn’t been popular since today’s grandparents were teens: the beach party film, reports The New York Times.

"Teen Beach Movie" is slated for a marketing push that’s on par with the network’s successful "High School Musical" series, the piece notes.

"But will Disney’s efforts result in a franchise-spawning hit? Or will ‘Teen Beach Movie’ and its surfing, singing, super-silly characters end up, well, high and dry?," the story asks.

"We will find out," Disney Channels Worldwide President Gary Marsh told The Times. "We’re certainly rolling the dice to some degree.”

Beach party movies, such as "Beach Blanket Bingo," were popular from about 1959 to the mid-1960s, when social change altered young moviegoers’ tastes.

"With all of the social upheaval, these films became impossible to sell by about 1970,” Jeanine Basinger, the chairwoman of Wesleyan University’s film studies department, told the newspaper. “The wholesome, innocent, endless summers became utterly unrelatable.”

In Disney Channel’s take on the genre, two modern-day teens are transported into "Wet Side Story," a 1962 film about surfers versus bikers, the story says. The characters in the film within the film welcome the travelers.

The movie will air July 19.

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