ⓘ Radio Rebel


ⓘ Radio Rebel

Radio Rebel is a 2012 American/Canadian teen drama television film based on a novel titled Shrinking Violet. The movie premiered on Disney Channel in the United States on February 17, 2012 and YTV in Canada on March 9, 2012. The movie was produced by MarVista Entertainment and Two 4 Money Media, in association with YTV and Disney Channel. The movie was directed by Peter Howitt, written by Erik Patterson & Jessica Scott. It stars Debby Ryan, Merritt Patterson, Adam DiMarco, Sarena Parmar and Nancy Robertson.


1. Plot

Tara Adams is a very shy girl at Lincoln Bay High School who dreads speaking to anyone or getting called on in class. But in the privacy of her bedroom, she rocks out as a podcast DJ named "Radio Rebel." Her alter ego gives inspirational messages to her fellow high school students and in turn they become her protegees. The exception is Stacy, who despises Radio Rebel for her extreme popularity, and also Tara for her timid personality. Taras stepfather, Rob, runs SLAM FM, Seattle’s hottest FM radio station. When he finds out that Tara is Radio Rebel, he decides to let Tara fill in for the open DJ slot at SLAM FM.

Keeping her Radio Rebel alter ego a secret, Tara becomes an instant hit because her radio show encourages her classmates to be themselves. On one occasion, she hosts a dance party during lunch at her high school despite the efforts of Principal Moreno, who has banned her students from listening to Radio Rebels podcast. However, the principal cannot order DJ Cami Q to leave the campus, since she parked her car on public property the street and has the necessary permit.

Principal Moreno decides to cancel the prom until Radio Rebel reveals her true self. Her fellow students become disillusioned with Radio Rebel and call in her radio show to say that she crushed their dreams. Scared that she disappointed her listeners, Tara and SLAM FM decide to throw the Lincoln Bay students a MORP PROM spelled backwards. The students nominate and select Radio Rebel for MORP queen. Despite the fact that Principal Moreno will expel her, Tara goes onstage to accept the honor and reveals that she is Radio Rebel, much to the shock and surprise of the students.

In order to protect Tara, her best friend Audrey shouts, "Im Radio Rebel!" Taras love interest Gavin follows in and eventually all students continue shouting that they are Radio Rebel until Principal Moreno concedes defeat and storms off, knowing that she cannot expel all her students. Tara, brimming with confidence now that she has been accepted by the student body, gives her crown to Stacy, whos dreamed of winning it her entire life. Stacy reconciles with Tara and everyone else. Gavin and Tara finally embrace each other. The movie concludes with Tara dancing the night away with Gavin, both finally allowed to be themselves.


2. Cast

  • Mercedes de la Zerda as DJ Cami Q, the popular radio DJ who is Taras good friend at SLAM FM.
  • Sarena Parmar as Audrey Sharma, Taras best friend who helps hide her secret identity.
  • Allie Bertram as Kim, Stacys best friend.
  • Iain Belcher as Barry, one of Taras best friends and Larrys twin.
  • Adam DiMarco as Gavin, a member of The Gs and Stacys former prom date who is Taras love interest.
  • Martin Cummins as Rob Lynch-Adams, Taras stepfather who runs SLAM FM.
  • Merritt Patterson as Stacy DeBane, the schools queen bee and mean girl who is obsessed with being the Prom Queen.
  • Rowen Kahn as Larry, one of Taras best friends and Barrys twin.
  • Debby Ryan as Tara Adams, a shy schoolgirl who secretly adopts the radio personality Radio Rebel.
  • Atticus Mitchell as Gabe, the extremely ambitious and wannabe rockstar, lead singer of the band The Gs, who doesnt care who Tara is even though she played their CD.
  • April Telek as Delilah Adams, Taras mother.
  • Nancy Robertson as Principal Moreno.

3. Production

When Shrinking Violet was adapted into a movie, certain elements were altered, including the character Teresa being renamed Tara and her radio personality being changed from Sweet T to Radio Rebel.

The movie was directed by Peter Howitt and was shot in Canada, with principal photography taking place during the summer of 2011 in Vancouver. The scenes in the school, and some scenes at "SlamFM," were filmed at Meadowridge Independent School in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. The script was composed by Erik Patterson and Jessica Scott. Michael Jacobs, Robyn Snyder and MarVista CEO Fernando Szew executive produced the film with Kim Arnott and Oliver De Caigny. "We are confident that Radio Rebel features the same elements that made our first production a huge success including a tight, fast-paced and comedic script and an all-around talented cast, plus several original songs that will be sure to delight teens across the globe," Szew said.

Debby Ryan recorded two songs to promote the film: a cover of The Go-Gos "We Got the Beat" and a collaboration with Chase Ryan and Chad Hively called "We Ended Right".


4. Promotion

The movie was accompanied by a week-long lineup called We Got the Beat Week consisting of new music videos and music-themed Disney Channel series and movies.


5. Broadcast

Worldwide the film aired on Disney Channel. It premiered on March 9, 2012 in Canada on YTV, on June 1, 2012 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, on June 17, 2012 in Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, on July 6, 2012 in Australia and New Zealand, and on June 16, 2013 in South Africa. And on Netflix Australia in 2016.