Zac Efron Film Roles In Musicals Ranked

Ranking Zac Efron’s Movie Musicals: From Teen Heartthrob to Broadway Sensation

Zac Efron, the charismatic actor who shot to fame with his breakout role as Troy Bolton in High School Musical, has had an impressive career that spans various genres. However, it’s his ventures into the world of movie musicals that truly showcase his versatility. From animated adventures to Broadway adaptations, Efron has left his mark on the musical landscape. Let’s take a closer look at all six of Zac Efron’s movie musicals, ranked from the least to the absolute best.

6. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (2012): A Musical Miss

Character: Ted

Zac Efron’s lowest-ranked musical venture takes an unexpected turn into the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. In Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, Efron voices the protagonist, Ted, alongside Taylor Swift. While the film technically qualifies as a musical, the disappointment comes from the fact that neither Efron nor Swift lend their vocal talents to the musical numbers. This, coupled with the film’s overall quality, places it at the bottom of our list.

5. High School Musical (2006): The Start of Something New

Character: Troy Bolton

The one that started it all! High School Musical catapulted Zac Efron into stardom, but it ranks lower on our list for a couple of reasons. The film’s success is undeniably rooted in its cultural impact and the organic rise of Efron’s career. However, the use of Drew Seeley as Efron’s singing voice in the first movie and its more modest production scale place it as the runner-up to the sequels.

4. The Greatest Showman (2017): A Dazzling Spectacle

Character: Phillip Carlyle

A decade after his musical debut, Efron returned to the genre in The Greatest Showman, portraying Phillip Carlyle, P.T. Barnum’s business partner. While Efron’s performance is commendable, the film lacks the lasting impact seen in his other musical ventures. Despite this, The Greatest Showman stands out for its ensemble numbers and breathtaking acrobatic sequences, earning it a solid middle spot.

3. High School Musical 2 (2007): Summer Fun with a Twist

Character: Troy Bolton

The pressure was on for the sequel, and High School Musical 2 delivered. Shifting from the high school setting to a summer country club, this installment showcased Efron embracing his inner theater kid. While the story may not have matched the highs of the first and third movies, the fresh batch of original songs and Efron’s fully realized singing voice elevate this sequel.

2. High School Musical 3: Senior Year (2008): A Theatrical Farewell

Character: Troy Bolton

The final chapter in the High School Musical trilogy takes second place. Senior Year benefits from a theatrical release and a higher production budget, allowing the cast, especially Efron, to shine. The meta-musical aspect, blending on-stage performances with the base story, adds a layer of sophistication. Efron’s heartfelt portrayal of Troy Bolton in his senior year solidifies this film as a standout in his musical career.

1. Hairspray (2007): The Broadway Triumph

Character: Link Larkin

Topping our list is Hairspray, a film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical. Efron takes on the role of Link Larkin, a teen heartthrob, and delivers a masterful performance. The film captures the magic of the Broadway show through polished musical and dance numbers, stellar comedic delivery, and impeccable casting. Hairspray showcases Efron’s musical prowess and secures its place as the best movie musical in his repertoire.


Zac Efron’s journey through movie musicals reflects not only his evolution as an actor but also the diverse range of stories the genre can tell. From the halls of high school to the dazzling circus and the vibrant world of Broadway, Efron’s musical legacy is a testament to his enduring talent and charisma. As fans eagerly await his return to the musical stage, these rankings serve as a celebration of the delightful moments he has brought to the world of song and dance.

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