Sky High (2005 film): Wikis


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Sky High

Theatrical release poster (L-R: Kelly Vitz, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Michael Angarano, Kurt Russell, Kelly Preston, Steven Strait, Danielle Panabaker)
Directed by Mike Mitchell
Produced by Andrew Gunn
Written by Mark McCorkle
Bob Schooley
Paul Hernandez
Starring Michael Angarano
Kevin Heffernan
Danielle Panabaker
Kurt Russell
Kelly Preston
Steven Strait
Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Linda Carter
Bruce Campell
Cloris Leachman
Dave Foley
Kevin McDonald
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Shelly Johnson
Editing by Peter Amundson
Distributed by Walt Disney Pictures
Release date(s) July 27, 2005 (2005-07-27)
Running time 100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million
Gross revenue $86,369,815

Sky High is a 2005 comedic superhero family film from Walt Disney Pictures. It was directed by Mike Mitchell and was written by Paul Hernandez, Robert Schooley, and Mark McCorkle.



The Commander and Jetstream are two superheroes, but who also live a suburban lifestyle and work as real estate agents under the names Steve and Josie Stronghold in the city of Maxville. Their son, Will, tries to live up to the family name, but has yet to reveal any powers.

In the airborne high school, "Sky High", Will fails the Power Placement test, and is assigned to be a "Sidekick". At the end of his first day at high school, the Commander entrusts him with the 'key' to the family's Secret Sanctum (after promising that he will never bring anyone else there); the place where all the family's trophies of past victories are kept, including a strange device called the "Pacifier". The Commander tells Will about how the Pacifier was taken from an arch-enemy supervillain named Royal Pain, but little else is mentioned of Royal Pain's demise or the Pacifier's powers. Will had intended to confess that he is just a "Sidekick", but as his dad is daydreaming of Will growing up to fight crime beside his parents, Will doesn't have the heart to tell him the truth. Both of them are unaware that a mysterious eavesdropper is spying on them via the eye of a giant robot that Will's parents defeated earlier.

Will manages to cope through his school experience, spending all his time with his fellow sidekicks, and his best friend Layla, however, they suffer bullying from the students classified as "Hero" - Will in particular is hazed by the pyrokinetic Warren Peace, the son of supervillain Baron Battle (whom the Commander sent to prison). Layla has the mysterious ability to manipulate plants; but as she refused to show it in Power Placement, she has also been ranked as a sidekick. Will finally reveals to his father that he is only a sidekick and admits that he has no superpowers. After his parents had a brief argument, even though they still maintain the belief that Will will yet turn out to be a great superhero, they've decided that if Will is unable to follow their footsteps as a champion, he can always pursue the family's other business in real estate.

The next day, Will is tripped into Warren by school bullies Lash and Speed, leading to a fight in the cafeteria and, when his friends are threatened, Will's dormanted ability reveals itself and discovers that he has superhuman strength. As a result, he is re-classified as a "Hero" and made to leave Sidekick Class and his friends. Will becomes friends with the gorgeous Gwen Grayson — who has the power to control machines with her mind — and their relationship is mistaken for love by Layla. Unknown to Will, Layla secretly fancies him and, after Will forgets to go to a restaurant with Layla because Gwen comes to the Stronghold house for dinner, Layla pretends to be dating Warren to get back at Will.

Gwen convinces Will to let her planning committee for the school homecoming dance meet at his house while his parents are on a mission. However, Gwen actually invites almost every Hero from Sky High and it becomes a house party. Gwen seduces Will to let her into the Secret Sanctum (in order to be alone while they kiss) - Speed sneaks in at the same time and steals the Pacifier.

Layla comes in to see what's going on and Gwen takes the opportunity to convince her that Will no longer likes her or any of the other Sidekicks. Disgusted at Gwen for driving away his best friend, Will dumps her and ends the party — just as his parents get home. Will tells his parents that he won't go to homecoming and tries, unsuccessfully, to get in touch with Layla. He runs into Warren, who informs her that Layla isn't dating him and actually loves Will.

The Commander and Jetstream head to the homecoming without Will. While putting away his dad's old yearbook, Will notices that a girl named Sue Tenny, who went to school at the same time as his parents, looks just like Gwen and is holding what looks like a prototype Pacifier in one of the photos. Realising that the Pacifier has been stolen, Will comes to the conclusion that Gwen is Royal Pains daughter and she is getting revenge on The Commander, and heads to Sky High with the aid of Ron Wilson, Bus Driver.

At the school, Gwen shocks everybody by revealing she has taken the form of Royal Pain. More to the Commander's surprise is that his arch enemy was a girl. Royal Pain uses the repaired Pacifier to shoot the Commander, who instead of being killed is turned into a baby, she then starts to turn everyone, except Warren, Layla, Zack, Ethan and Magenta who escape down a vent, into infants. Zack's seemingly useless power to glow proves itself by allowing the gang to see where they're going. Will arrives at the school, and meets up with his friends, who begin to tell him about Royal Pain. He reconciles completely with Layla even kissing her, then takes on Royal Pain alone. Will Meets up with Royal Pain and apoligizes to her that his dad killed Gwen's mom (believing that was her reason for turning everyone into babies). She reveals that she is in fact Sue Tenny — she was believed to have no powers the first time she attended Sky High (as her power wasn't officially recognised at the time) and vowed to take revenge by turning everyone there into babies and raising them again as supervillains. During her first battle with Will's parents the exploding Pacifier actually turned her into a baby and she was brought up again by her sidekick Stitches as Gwen Grayson. Will enrages Royal Pain when he says that he can't believe he made out with an old lady. Will and Royal Pain battle in the gym while his friends defeat Gwen' gang. is flung though a window, but discovers he can also fly and defeats Royal Pain.

Will's friends take on the bullies. Lash is defeated by Ethan, Speed is defeated by the combined forces of Warren and Ethan and Layla easily defeats Penny once Penny makes her mad enough to fight back by punching her. Stitches tries to get away with the babies but is stopped by Ron Wilson. Penny reveals that Royal Pain sabotaged the anti-gravity device that keeps the school airborne and the sidekicks convince Magenta to use her ability to become a guinea pig to climb down a pipe and deactivate Royal Pain's device.

The defeated Royal Pain triggers the sabotaged anti-gravity device, causing Sky High to fall. Will flies out of the window and prevents the school from touching down while Magenta quickly works to repair the device. The device is repaired, and the school returns into the sky. The infants are all returned to their adult state by reversal of the Pacifier's powers, and Royal Pain and her minions are given time to cool off in the detention room. The Homecoming dance proceeds and Will and Layla (while floating in the air just outside of the school due to Will's flying power) are shown sharing a kiss.

A comic-book like sequence at the end, narrated by Will, shows that Gwen and her gang are now in prison, Ron Wilson the bus driver (who like Will had superhero parents but no powers) fell into a vat of toxic waste and grew into a giant, as said by Will "He now works for the mayor defending the city against giant robots", showing a picture of him fighting a giant robot with an equally large broom stick. Will and Layla are dating and Warren is Will's new best friend. Magenta and Zach also apparently start dating after they dance together at Homecoming.



  • Michael Angarano as William "Will" Theodore Stronghold: the protagonist of the film. a freshman at Sky High. His parents are the two most famous superheroes — Commander and Jetstream — of the day as well as Maxville's top real estate agents in their secret identities. It is not revealed that he has superpowers until later on in the movie. He has both super strength and flight. A good-hearted kid and a loyal friend, although can succumbs to peer pressure, he eventually would risk his "hero" status in Sky High to be with his best friends, who are all labelled as "sidekicks." He and his best friend Layla become a couple at the end of the movie. His color code is red, blue and white.
  • Danielle Panabaker as Layla Williams: Will's best friend since childhood. She is a pacifist and a vegetarian and is able to animate and control plant life. She also has trouble making lemons, as shown in a scene on Will's roof, where she says, "When life gives you lemons...," and Will says "You make apple juice?" as an apple drops into the hand instead. She has a crush on Will throughout the movie, and in the end the pair share a kiss, floating outside the school. Her color code is mostly green, but can sometimes be seen having floral patterns on her outfits.
  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Gwendolyn "Gwen" Grayson/Royal Pain/Sue Tenny: A senior at Sky High whom Will has a crush on. She is the main antagonist of the film. Her power is technopathy. Her color code is pink and white. Winstead said of her role, "I bounced around. I was either the hero of the sidekicks or the sidekick to the heroes."[1]
  • Steven Strait as Warren Peace (a play on the novel War and Peace): the son of an unnamed superheroine and a supervillain known as Barron Battle (who is mentioned to be in jail with several life sentences, and whose name is a homophone for barren battle). He is pyrokinetic, meaning he can control and manipulate fire. He becomes best friends with Will at the end of the movie, and is seen holding hands with a girl who controls ice. Warren's color code is black and red. Warren has a job at a Chinese restaurant called the "Paper Lantern" as shown he can speak a bit of Chinese from working there, and has flame tattos over his wrists, no doubt to go with his ability to shoot fire from his hands. Warren at first had a personal vendetta against Will, as Will's father the Commander put his own father Baron Battle in jail. Warren appears to have remarkable control over his flame powers, as he can intensify them to the point that there so bright it's hard to look at them, but keep them from burning his clothes. Warren might also have super durability and resistant to pain, as in his battle with Will in the cafeteria he is flung into the air, hits a wall, and crash down through a table. He is then knocked through a wall and into a support column, only to get back up and keep attacking.
  • Dee Jay Daniels as Ethan: A Hero Support who is friends with Will, he can melt into a small orange puddle (which earned him the nickname "Popsicle"). His color code is mostly red, orange and yellow.
  • Kelly Vitz as Magenta/Maj: Will's friend whose ability is to shapeshift into a guinea pig complete with purple highlights/streaks in her fur. Her color code is purple (giving her the name "Magenta") and black.
  • Nicholas Braun as Zach Braun/Zack Attack: Will's spacey childhood friend, who has the ability to glow in the dark. He always wears white/fluorescent colors. He is also shown to like Magenta.
  • Malika Haqq and Khadijah Haqq as Penny: Gwen's best friend, who can duplicate herself and is therefore the entire cheerleading team. Her color code is red.
  • Jake Sandvig as Lash and Will Harris as Speed: the resident bullies at Sky High. Lash is skinny, and has Elastisity and can stretch his body parts far, while Speed is overweight yet can run at super speed. Their color code is primarily black and white.


  • Kurt Russell as Steve Stronghold/The Commander: Will's father. As the Commander, he is one of the world's strongest superheroes, displaying superhuman strength and durability, and a successful businessman in his secret identity. His color code is red, white and blue. As shown numerously he has a tendency to break household items with his super strength when he is mad, such as crushing a phone in his hand and taking one of six others out of a drawer.
  • Kelly Preston as Josie Stronghold/Jetstream: Will's mother, Josie Stronghold, a successful real estate agent. As Jetstream, she can fly and is touted as being an expert in hand-to-hand combat. Her color code is red, white and blue (before marrying the Commander her color code was turquoise, gold, and white).
  • Lynda Carter as Principal Powers: the principal of Sky High. She appears to have the power to transform into a comet and back at will. She mainly uses her power as a form of transportation. Her color code is white and black.
  • Bruce Campbell as Coach Boomer/Sonic Boom: the gym teacher at Sky High, also known as Sonic Boom due to his ability to release sonic waves from his vocal cords, which he conveniently uses to bark at any student who doesn't live up to his expectations. His power is known as sonic screaming. His real name is Tommy Boomowski as seen in the Commander's Sky High Yearbook. Boomer's color code is black and white, and is usually in the form of a track suit.
  • Kevin Heffernan as Ron Wilson, Bus Driver: the Sky High bus driver/pilot. Ron is the son of two superheroes but does not have any powers himself. He feels a great sense of pride in driving the "superheroes of tomorrow" to school. In the end of the movie, he is said to have been in contact with toxic waste and gains the power of growing really large.
  • Cloris Leachman as Nurse Spex: a kind and eccentric elderly lady that serves as Sky High's single known nurse, with the ability of X-ray vision.
  • Jim Rash as Mr. Grayson/Stitches: Royal Pain's bumbling sidekick. He raised her as his daughter after she was turned into a baby by the Pacifier. Gwen really hates it when he refers to himself as her 'daddy' and grabs him by the neck until he shouts "Uncle! Uncle!" several times during the movie.
  • Dave Foley as All American Boy/Mr. Jonathan Boy: The Commander and Jetstream's old Hero Support. He now works as Hero Support teacher at Sky High. His first name is Jonathan. He also has a secret crush on Will's mother. His color code is also red, white and blue.
  • Kevin McDonald as Professor Medulla: the Mad Science teacher, with super brainpower – so much that even as a baby he is still smarter than the average adult. Like many of the adults, his name, Profesor Medulla, as in Medulla Oblongata (a part of the brain) reflects his super power (brainpower). His color code is white.
  • Kim Rhodes as Elastically/Professor Elast : she is a very competitive and kind, she has a crush on Coach Boomer, she is only shown in the deleted scenes of the movie. Her first name is Jeannie.
  • Tom Kenny as Chester Timmerman makes a small cameo in the movie. His new house is almost crushed by Sky High. He is best known as the voice of SpongeBob SquarePants.


According to, Disney was attracted by the "original concept" of "children of superheroes going to high school.", originally conceived by screenwriter Paul Hernandez in the 1990s.[2] After recruiting comedy writers Mark McCorkle and Bob Schooley for polishing Hernandez's script, Disney hired several comedians like Kevin McDonald, Dave Foley and Kevin Heffernan for supporting roles.[2] For the main roles, the casting was a mix of established and new teenager actors: while Michael Angarano and Mary Elizabeth Winstead were already successful, Danielle Panabaker was little-known and Steven Strait (a former model) was hired after his first audition ever.[2]

Producer Mike Mitchell said that Sky High functions on two premises: "the adults are all insane" and "the girls are smarter than the boys":[3] Therefore, all the adults portrayed in the film tend to be caricatured, while the teenage girls are written as more assertive and powerful than the boys. For the treatment of the teenage actors, Mitchell also stated that the actors all had their own trailer and were generally kept separated, because "we did not want them to date after the second week and break up after the fourth", which would have made filming difficult.[3]

Mitchell, a science fiction fan, admitted that this project "was a dream", because it brought him together with four of his favorite SF cult heroes: namely Wonder Woman (popularized in the eponymous 1970s series by actress Lynda Carter), Snake Plissken (portrayed by Kurt Russell), Ash Williams (from Evil Dead, played by Bruce Campbell) and Cloris Leachman, who earned fame as Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein.[2]

Oviatt Library at CSU Northridge

Exterior shots of the Sky High school were filmed at the Oviatt Library[4] at California State University in Northridge.[5]

Notes About the Movie

Reception and box office figures

Sky High was reviewed favorably in general. On Rotten Tomatoes,[6] it earned a "fresh" rating of 72% positive reviews (85 positive, 33 negative). Critics on this website were generally favorable on the firmly tongue-in-cheek nature of the film, which knowingly spoofed comic clichés, but others found it too cheesy. Commercially it was a success, on an estimated budget of US$35 million, it earned just under $64 million in the US alone,[7] and another $22 million internationally bringing the total to just over $86 million dollars.


Sky High (Original Soundtrack)
Soundtrack by Various Artists
Released July 26, 2005
Genre Soundtrack
Label Hollywood Records
Professional reviews
Singles from Sky High (Original Soundtrack)
  1. "I Melt with You"
    Released: 2005

Sky High Original Soundtrack was released by Hollywood Records on July 26, 2005, and is composed of covers of songs from the 1980s.

Track listing

  1. "I Melt with You" – Bowling for Soup (Originally by: Modern English)
  2. "Through Being Cool" – They Might Be Giants (Originally by: Devo)
  3. "Save It For Later" – Flashlight Brown (Originally by: The Beat)
  4. "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" – Christian Burns (Originally by: Tears for Fears)
  5. "One Thing Leads To Another" – Steven Strait (Originally by: The Fixx)
  6. "Lies" – The Click Five (Originally by: Thompson Twins)
  7. "Voices Carry" – Vitamin C (Originally by: 'Til Tuesday)
  8. "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" – Elefant (Originally by: The Smiths)
  9. "True" – Cary Brothers (Originally by: Spandau Ballet)
  10. "Just What I Needed" – Caleigh Peters (Originally by: The Cars)
  11. "Can't Stop The World" – Ginger Sling (Originally by: The Go-Go's)
  12. "And She Was" – Keaton Simons (Originally by: Talking Heads)
  13. "Twist And Crawl" – Skindred (Originally by: The Beat)


External links

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