- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz/16-bit), French DTS 5.1 (1.5Mbps), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (640kbps)
- Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
- Region: A
- Discs: 3
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Release Date: August 18, 2009
- List Price: $44.99
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I had an epiphany after watching Hannah Montana the Movie — Miley Cyrus, err, Stewart, Miley Stewart is a Superheroine! No, seriously! She’s like Superman or something. Remember how Clark Kent would put on his glasses, don a suit and tie, and no one would recognize that he was in fact Superman? Well, that’s just like Miley Stewart — she puts on a blonde wig, candy-colored clothing, and the whole world sees her as Hannah Montana, but once she takes that stuff off, they can’t recognize she’s the same person. Like Superman could leap tall buildings in a single bound, Miley can sell a million downloads in a single week. Superman got his power from the Earth’s yellow sun, Miley from Hannah’s blonde wig.
It’s “the best of both worlds” for Miley; she gets to live the life of a famous pop star and keep her life as a plain ol’ country girl too. But things start getting a little complicated and her personas cross, that’s when dad, Robby Ray (Billy Ray Cyrus), decides Miley needs a forced trip back to Tennessee for her grandma Ruby’s birthday so she can get back to her roots; get a little downtime from Hannah.
Back in her hometown, however, a reporter trying to find out her “secret” and expose it to the world is pursuing Miley. Meanwhile, she’s striking up a cute little romance with her old crush, cowboy and farmhand, Travis (Lucas Till). When Miley’s BFF, Lilly (Emily Osment), gets “Hannah” involved in trying to save a large swathe of her hometown’s land from developers looking to put up a shopping mall, she risks exposing Miley’s double identity and Miley must choose which means more to her.
Yes, it’s all silliness and absolutely cliché. Hannah Montana the Movie falls prey to the standard stereotypes that “country folk” are happier and more real whilst “city folk” are shallow, selfish, and bad influences. Best get on back to the country to “find yourself” Miley; please.
Oddly enough, having never seen Miley Cyrus-cum-Hannah Montana perform ever in my life, I was surprised that I did not hate her music as much as I thought I would. I can see why the kids like her, and if she pursues more material like “The Climb,” she may actually have some longevity. Still Hannah Montana the Movie is a forgettable film. It’s palatable for an afternoon of family fun, but once the credits start to roll, it will be quickly pushed from the mind.
Hannah Montana the Movie’s 1.85:1 framing arrives with a solid looking AVC/MPEG-4 encoding. “Hannah’s” Skittle-colored world is vibrant and Miley’s more down home, subdued palette looks organic and well textured. Film grain is preserved nicely; the source is clean, as should be expected with a film this new. Overall detail is strong with good contrast, excellent shadow delineation and deep blacks. Occasionally, things look a little more flat than three-dimensional due to the sometimes hyper-realistic color palette. There are also some moments where the grain looks a little more grungy than others, but that is rare.
Hannah Montana the Movie comes with a fine DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz/16-bit) audio presentation from Walt Disney. Although a 7.1 mix may be overkill in this case, it does open up quite nicely during the musical sequences, providing a big, lively, and dynamic soundstage. There are some instances of discrete sound effects in the surround left/right and back channels that help to give a good, engulfing soundfield. Dialogue is clean and intelligible, high frequencies are smooth and bass is deep yet musical during the performance sequences.
Walt Disney has typically gone all-out with one of their largest brand names for this release, and Hannah Montana the Movie has been maxed out with an abundance of bonus features, even if some of them are just obviously commercial marketing ploys.
The supplements available on this release are:
- Audio Commentary by director Peter Chelsom
- Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1):
- Jackson: “I’m Pretending to Be at University”
- “How Are We Going to Get Hannah Down to Crowley Corners?”
- Oswald and the Hannah Wigs
- Oswald, the Ostrich, and the Alligator
- Music Video:
- “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus (1.33:1; 480i/60; Dolby Digital 5.1)
- “Back to Tennessee” by Billy Ray Cyrus (1.33:1; 480i/60; Dolby Digital 5.1)
- “You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” by Hannah Montana (1.78:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1)
- “Let’s Get Crazy” by Hanna Montana (1.78:1; 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1)
- Backstage Disney:
- The Hoedown Throwdown Home Experience:
- Everybody Now… (1.78:1. 1080p/24; Dolby Digital 5.1) — Choreographer Jamal Sims discusses and demonstrates the dance moves for Miley’s hip-hop hoedown sequence from the film.
- The Hoedown Throwdown Home Experience:
- Country Store — This feature can either be accessed directly or turned on for access during movie playback. It allows you to purchase Hannah Montana items from the “Country Store” while watching the movie. Amongst the items that young viewers will be tempted to purchase are sparkly pink ballet slippers and lavender rollerblades.
- Radio Disney — This feature was not yet available at the time of this review, but will most likely be turned on, on the title’s release date.
- Bonus DVD and Digital Copy
The Definitive Word
There’s no denying that Miley Cyrus and her alter ego Hannah Montana are a cultural phenomenon. Walt Disney seems to be able to find these young folks every few years and churn out moneymaking machines. Miley Cyrus is certainly one of them. Truth be told, Hannah Montana the Movie, despite its obvious social clichés and made for Radio Disney music is wholesome family entertainment; nothing more, nothing less. The tweeners should enjoy it and mom and dad won’t have to worry that the little ones are having their minds warped.