FREAKY FRIDAY is a franchise that we never really knew was a franchise and now the book-turned-movie-turned-stage-musical-readapted-into-a-musical-tv-movie is going to be available for home release. The end result? Something that perhaps might enchant new audiences but otherwise is pretty standard for what you might expect from a Disney Channel Original Movie.
I’m always down for a movie musical and the songs here on par delivering a peppy dose of a High School Musical with a tinge of relatable teen angst. Cozi Zuehlsdorff as teenager Ellie Blake and Heidi Blickenstaff as her mom Katherin revive the mother-daughter role of two women who can’t relate to each other and realize just how difficult their respective roles are once they step into each other’s shoes. As perhaps you might anticipate, each is actually better at portraying their awkward role-swapped characters than they are their normal selves; each playing lovably awkward quite well.
Diversity of cast has been super important on the Disney Channel for some time now but FREAKY FRIDAY really makes important strides casting Asian actor Ricky He as romantic love interest Adam. But it doesn’t stop there, Katherin’s fiance Mike Harper is black, portrayed by Alex Désert, showcasing a positive healthy mixed-race relationship. Kahyun Kim as assistant Torrey Min also brings quirky and hilarious energy to the ensemble.
Other than a few minor detail changes for the specifics of the plot, the basic story mechanics are in tact with a widowed mom soon-to-be getting married, swapping with angsty daughter trying to survive high school. The cause for the switches are thanks to a magical hour-glass.
Bonus features include a Blooper Reel which show hijinx and flubs on set that showcase just how much it seems to be on the set for these types of films. Other features include the “bonus track” of the song “Not Myself Today” which plays double duty as a deleted scene, too. The last feature is a short clip featuring audition footage of Zuehlsdorff and Blickenstaff singing the pivotal finale song “Today and Ev’ry Day.“
FREAKY FRIDAY is available on DVD starting September 25, 2018!