Cover Art and Menus: 8/10
Both the cover to Hannah Montana The Movie and the menu are well done. The cover shows Miley Cyrus as her both her Hollywood alter ego Hannah Montana, and her down-home country side. The dichotomy of the two characters is the main part of the Hannah Montana experience, where she is Miley Stewart, and she dons a blond wig to become the superstar Hannah Montana. The cover is nicely done, but the menu is excellent. At first I thought the colorful, high contrast menu was nice to look at, but it is really the side of a chicken coop that Miley paints in the movie. It is bright and colorful and works really well with this movie.
- The Hoedown Throwdown Dance-Along – I was a bit nervous about what this extra could include, as the name is a bit much, but it ends up that this 15 minute feature is all about learning a dance that is central to the movie. There is an interview section with the choreographer, and then you are shown the dance moves. I am not sure that I would be able to pick up this dance even with years of practice, but it is a nice extra for those who are able to dance. (Ascully, please do not try this one at home.)
- The Dance Experience With The Cast – This is a behind the scenes piece about teaching the cast how to do the above mentioned “Hoedown Throwdown.”
- 7 Music Videos – There are music videos from Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Rascal Flats. The huge hit “the Climb” is included here, and the rest of the videos are not bad either. I am not a huge country fan, but to me these are country/pop anyway, and therefore not too bad.
- Cast Bloopers – As blooper reels go, this one is not bad. It fits with the movie itself, and is cute.
- Deleted Scenes – There are four deleted scenes that are included, and Peter Chelsom explains the scenes and why they were cut.
- Audio Commentary On The Film With Director Peter Chelsom – The commentary is pretty standard fare, but Peter Chelsom does talk at length about the changes made to the movie and working with the stars. It is a bit slow in parts, but overall it is adequate.
- Find Your Way Back Home – In a nice section we have several of the cast members giving a short overview of their actual home towns. Miley and her mother take a tour of Franklin, Tennessee, and Emily Osment takes us on a tour of Hollywood, California. A very nicely done extra.
- “I Should Have Gone To Film School” – Behind The Scenes – Featuring Jason Earles (Miley’s brother on the show), this extra includes a nice behind the scenes interview piece. Jason interviews different members of the crew on what duties they perform for the movie.
- DVD Version Of The Movie – Disney is good about including the DVD and a digital copy of most of its Blu-ray releases. While I am not keen on the extra pricing for these “extras,” I am a big fan of having the standard DVD of my kid movies. There are times and places that having the regular copy is a necessity, as Blu-ray players are still kind of scarce. I love having the regular DVD for trips or for my kids to watch at Grandma’s house, or their friends who don’t have a Blu-Ray player.
- Digital Copy – Another Disney inclusion is the almost standard digital copy of the movie. I have a feeling that while this movie will not end up on my iPhone, there is a certain 17 year-old stepdaughter that might want this. I may even get some “cool points” for letting her have the movie on her iPod. (I need all the help I can get.)
The Movie: 7/10
Hannah Montana The Movie is a Disney release that I was frankly unaware of. When I was told by Ascully that I had another Hannah Montana movie to review on Blu-ray, I thought it was the live concert movie that I have already viewed, and so I was shocked to learn that there had been a movie release in the last year that I somehow (not surprisingly) had no clue about.
This release sees Miley Cyrus reprise her semi-autobiographical role as Miley Stewart, the young teenager who is also the hugely popular superstar Hannah Montana. Miley transforms into the star for her concerts and the world somehow is fooled by the simple addition of a blond wig. While it sounds to unbelievable to follow, the same thing can be said about Superman, so I guess we will let it slide.
Miley is forced to deal with the new found super-stardom at a time when her father Bobby Ray (her real life father Billy Ray Cyrus) is worried that the fame and stardom has gone to Miley’s head, and she has forgotten her country roots as well as the real meaning of family. At the same time that Miley is trying to deal with her stardom, a British paparazzi stalker is out to uncover her secret, and he will go to extreme lengths to get his story.
Miley’s father tricks her into coming to Tennessee for her Grandmother’s birthday instead of jetting off to New York for a show, and it is apparent that she has lost touch with her roots. The movie then transitions into a nice story about Miley finding her country roots (and a teenage cowboy) that help realise that she has let the fame and her secret get in the way of her friends and family, who have sacrificed a lot for her to get to where she is.
Miley Cyrus and the rest of the crew do a pretty good job in the movie, and the father/daughter relationship is heartfelt and obviously genuine. Overall the movie is not a bad little story, and the music mixed in throughout does not break the flow of the movie or overstep its spot. As much as I hate to admit it, Hannah Montana The Movie was a nice little movie that was short and sweet and will obviously be adored by the Hannah Montana fans. I have only seen the television show a few time, and this presentation without canned laughter and many of the little jokes and gags felt a lot more grown up and relevant. I thought it was a nice change of pace.
While I will admit I liked the movie for what it was, it again was not really made with me in mind. Both my wife and my step-daughter loved the movie and can’t wait to see it again, so it therefore has to be good, right?
Audio & Video: 7/10
The best way for me to describe the audio and video of this Blu-ray is pretty good. I am used to being blown away by Disney Blu-rays at this point, so maybe I expect too much, but the video and audio were both clean and clear, they were not the “over the top” audio and video that I am used to from Disney.
That being said, the video is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen, 1080p, and it is pretty sharp and the colors are excellent. The video looks almost to be made slightly softer than it could be, which appears to be done on purpose but it really could be sharper.
The audio is extremely rich during the music segments of the movie, but the Surround Sound is only sparingly used for ambient sounds in the rest of the film. The dialogue is front and center, and is well done.
Hannah Montana The Movie is a well packaged Blu-ray from Disney. Real Hannah Montana fans are surely going to view this movie over and over again, and there is enough here for casual fans (and parents) to enjoy watching this at least once. I will admit that this movie is not something I would normally view on my own, but I made it through it, and actually thought it was a pretty fun little film. I also will admit that I am a bit worried that I have reviewed two Hannah Montana releases in that last year or so, and I liked both of them. I officially have handed in my “man card” and I now have to accept that I like Hannah Montana. Please don’t tell anyone.
Overall Score 7/10