Starring: Holden Halgerberger as Trevor.
Directed By: Robin Abrams
Where I Watched It: Disney Plus
English Audio Description Available?: yes
Description Provided By: Descriptive Video Works
Narrated By: Diane Newman
The Plot: A filmed version of a stage musical, Trevor is a young boy who has big dreams and loves Diana Ross. Unfortunately, he’s growing up in the early 80’s and is not understood or appreciated. Things start looking up when he volunteers to help choreograph the football team’s routine for the talent show so they look a little more john Travolta, than silly. But, when Trevor’s secret unfortunately gets out, his world becomes a little hard to deal with.
What Does and Doesn’t Work: So, why does this have such a low IMDB score? Are the trolls winning? This is not a 4.8 film. I sat through Diana The Musical, so i know what a failed musical adaptation feels like, and this wasn’t that. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but in this very specific case, those imperfections were actually preferable to the perfect alternative.
For whatever reason, the casting team behind Trevor found one decent singer to play Trevor, and the rest of the kids were just. Found… elsewhere? So, what you have is a lot of off pitch singing coming from the supporting youth. They’re right at that age where puberty is making it super hard for their voice to transition through their uppper and lower registers. But, I would rather listen to imperfect and NOT AUTOTUNED singing than I *EVER* would one more overly produced, fully autotuned bullshit musical adaptation that has no soul. Either find people that can sing, and let them sing, or at the bare minimum, stop using auto tune in a format that would never actually use it. Broadway shows are not auto tuned, so why would a filmed adaptation be?
So, in a weird way, it was refreshing to have kids missing notes, because everyone else is running around trying to make Emma Watson sound like T-Pain so the soundtrack can be supposedly technically flawless, because they are selling it to a generation that has gotten so used to listening to pop singers who can’t sing, and are constantly using pitch correction that some people actually can’t hear it anymore. They can’t tell the difference. I still can.
Aside from the singing, I did really love the 10 Years song, just on first listen alone, and I love how it came back around in the reprise. Both times really worked for me, and I thought that was the strongest song of the show. I didn’t hate the music here like i did Diana The Musical, and Trevor was delightful. It’s a tough story to tell, and maybe it felt preachy to those who can’t relate, but to those who can relate, this subject matter has been working for years. There was an original show that went around back in the day, that even had a short film made from it, and that inspire The Trevor Project, and later this musical. Trevor has always been an idea. Instead of making a musical about one youth that tried to end his life, they made a show about a character who could stand in for all of those youth who have tried and failed, or worse, succeeded.
4.8 my ass. Get your shit together IMDB.
The Blind Perspective: I heard the blind community bitching quite loudly about the audio description for Hamilton. hThat show is non-stop singing, and almost impossible to interject any narration. Trevor is a little like that, because of the format, but there are more breaks, and a few times to hear narration. So, it really does make the best of it. And Diane Newman did a great job here.
Final Thoughts: Trevor may not be you, but he should be relatable. This might not be for you, but it doesn’t mean you can’t watch it. Some kids will get a lot more out of this than others, and I’m happy that Disney is putting stuff like this on their service. Plus, it’s a lesser known musical being given a chance to shine. And that’s always a win in my book.
Final Grade: A- (I like musicals, so this was likely always going to skew a bit in its favor… unless it was Diana.)