Hannah Montana: Pop Star Profileby Lisa Perkis, staff writer
- DVD Release Date: June 26, 2007
- Running Time: 92 minutes (4 episodes)
- 1.33:1 Fullscreen (Original Broadcast Ratio)
- Dolby Digital 5.1 (English)
- Episodes originally aired between Aug. 18, 2006 and Nov. 3, 2006
- Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
The show Hannah Montana has taken the Disney Channel by storm—the show airs several times daily, and child star Miley Cyrus and her dad, country singer and actor Billy Ray Cyrus, are laughing all the way to the bank.
The show chronicles the young teenage life of Miley Stewart, who spends her mornings in school, her afternoons at the beach, and evenings rocking out as pop superstar Hannah Montana. Sounds like the perfect life for any 15-year-old. The fly in the ointment is the lengths Miley and her family will go to keep her stardom a secret—so she can have a relatively normal childhood. This means a lot of silly wigs and mustaches, running behind bushes, and hand-wringing over who can know the "secret."
As cheesy as the show sounds, it's actually entertaining by Disney Channel standards. The cast have a likable quality, especially her brother Jackson (Jason Earles) and her best friend, Lilly (Emily Osmet, sister of famous former child star Haley Joel Osmet). The plot lines may be lame, but the kids make the most of them. The tunes used in the show are catchy. Miley's outfits are cute and pretty darn modest, which I applaud as a parent looking for positive examples for my kids.
While I don't have anything against the show I am puzzled as to how Disney is releasing the episodes onto DVD. Last year Hannah Montana: Living the Rock Star Life came out on DVD with a paltry four episodes, and this new release does the same. In this set, all of the four episodes follow the same general storyline having to do with Miley's love/hate relationship with movie star and fellow student Jake Ryan (Cody Linley). Since there are only four episodes on the DVD, there must be some smokin' extras, right? Right?
"New Kid in School" (23:39) – Originally airing on Aug. 18, 2006, this episode debuts Jake Ryan, who joins Miley's school as a big-time television star. Miley gets fed up with the star treatment he is receiving at school from teachers and other kids, and decides to "come out" as Hannah Montana to the world. Her plan soon backfires, so bring out the crazy wigs and mustaches!
"More Than A Zombie To Me" (22:39) – Originally airing on Sept. 8, 2006, this episode continues with the Jake Ryan theme, "Hannah" guest stars as a Zombie girl on his television show and learns that Jake really likes a girl at his school named Miley Stewart. Zoinks!
Cast of Hannah Montana. Image © Disney. All Rights Reserved.
"Good Golly, Miss Dolly" (22:39) – Originally airing on Sept. 29, 2006, Dolly Parton guest stars in this episode as Miley's godmother, sings an "impromptu" song with Miley and Robby, and encourages Miley to go after her dreams, especially if her dreams include a certain boy named Jake. Because of an unfortunate mix up with a camcorder, Miley is in danger of telling the whole school about her crush on Jake. Double zoinks!
"People Who Use People" (22:39) – Originally airing on Nov. 3, 2006, Miley finally works up the courage to tell Jake how she feels, but sees him holding hands with his TV co-star and is crushed. She decides to try to make him jealous by dating an "older man," who sadly turns out to be a very tall 11-year-old.
"Nobody's Perfect" (3:32) – Hannah performs the song "Nobody's Perfect" for a few hundred extras. Short clips of this performance are often used as intros to episodes, so it was fairly interesting to watch the whole song. However, after watching her perform, I realized that Cyrus is much more appealing as Miley Stewart. Maybe it's the spray-on tan or the giant hands-free microphone, I don't know. I like the more natural look and actions of Miley and would prefer seeing her in some concert footage instead.
"The Real Miley Cyrus" (5:25) – For some fans, this bonus is the only reason fans of the show would pick up this DVD. Sadly, it's nothing groundbreaking or even interesting. More of the typical, "Gee, we love working with each other so much we even go out to movies together!" I did enjoy seeing the rest of the Cyrus siblings, but they were only shown sitting in a studio—nothing close to "real" life. I also found it interesting that the whole Cyrus clan moved from Nashville to Los Angeles for Billy Ray and Miley to do the television show.
So, to answer my own question; there are exactly two extras and none of them are smokin'.
Audio, Video and Interface
The DVD is presented in the original broadcast ratio of 1.33:1 and looks just like the television show that it is; bright, crisp and all on a sound stage. The sound is Dolby Digital 5.1 and is fine as well. The main interface is surprisingly animated, with lots of clips of Hannah and songs from the show.
The Final Evaluation
Is anyone a big enough fan of any TV show to shell out $19.99 for four 22-minute episodes and nine minutes of extras? I wouldn't even buy episodes of The Office packaged like this. If your child must see the special features, rent the disc and call it a day. If Disney ever comes out with the whole first season on one or two discs with some good behind the scenes footage, I would consider buying it; my kids genuinely like the show. Until then, the Disney Channel always has Hannah Montana in their heavy rotation.