Hannah Montana: The Movie
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Miley Cyrus' legions of tween fans will be dying to see this big-screen comedy based on Disney's hit TV show. Like the small-screen version, the movie is upbeat and perfectly G rated ... if yet another marketing tool in Hannah's merchandise-rich world. The sexuality is completely innocent -- flirting, slow dancing, conversations about relationships, and three really short kisses -- and there's no language, drinking, or smoking. Expect frequent physical comedy (pratfalls, getting hit with a ball, bitten by an animal, etc.) and one scene in which Hannah and Tyra Banks fight over a pair of shoes.
What's the story?
Anyone familiar with the hugely popular Disney show will instantly understand HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE. Miley Cyrus stars as Miley Stewart, a "regular" teenager who also happens to be world-famous pop sensation Hannah Montana. Without the platinum-blond wig and designer outfits, Hannah is "just Miley," but when her publicist, Vita (Vanessa Williams), starts offering Hannah more opportunities, Miley forgets her priorities. After Miley ruins her best friend Lilly's (Emily Osment) sweet 16 and misses her chance to say goodbye to her college-bound brother Jackson (Jason Earles), disappointed dad Robby Ray (Billy Ray Cyrus) drags her back to Crowley Meadows, the tiny Tennessee town they used to call home. While staying in her grandma Ruby's (Margo Martindale) farmhouse, Miley rediscovers Travis (Lucas Till), an old friend who's grown up into an adorable farmhand. All of a sudden small-town life starts to have considerable charms for Miley ... but Hannah eventually resurfaces and threatens the newfound country tranquility.
Is it any good?
Thanks to a cast of veteran supporting actors like Williams, Martindale, and Melora Hardin (The Office) as Robby Ray's potential love interest, Lorelai, the Cyruses and their TV crew are in good company on the big screen. The heart of the story is Miley reattaching to her roots, growing closer to her grandma, falling for Travis, and realizing how much her father has sacrificed (including romance) to keep her double identity a secret. There's not much of Oliver (Mitchel Musso) and Rico (Moises Arias), but hard-core Hannah fans shouldn't fret, because the movie has plenty of gags -- and chances for Cyrus to rock out as her alter ego.
Speaking of the soundtrack, it's surprisingly well connected to the story and enhances -- rather than distracts from -- the plot. It not only includes catchy Hannah and Miley songs (the show-stopping single "The Climb" and the tribute to her father, "Buttefly Fly Away," are particularly sweet) but also contributions from the elder Cyrus, Rascal Flatts (the beautiful "Bless the Broken Road"), and Miley's close friend Taylor Swift ("Crazier"). With a CD's worth of new songs, a cast full of likable characters, and a puppy-love romance at its core, Hannah Montana: The Movie should leave tween fans feeling like they've gotten the best of, well, both worlds.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the movie's messages. What does Miley/Hannah learn about family and herself? Do you think she's a good role model? Why or why not? Does your answer change depending on whether she's being Hannah or Miley?
Why do you think Hannah is so popular? Do kids really love the show for itself, or are they caught up in the Miley/Hannah phenomenon and marketing messages? Do you think Cyrus will be as successful once she steps out from under her Hannah wig?