It’s crazy to think that “Hannah Montana” has only been on air for three years. Three years later and “Hannah Montana” star Miley Cyrus is already a household name with a large fan base and a new “Hannah Montana" movie coming out. Maybe it’s just another example of Disney magic, but whatever it is, it’s clear that “Hannah Montana” was an overnight success.
For those who still aren’t sure what “Hannah Montana” is, it’s a fluffy bit of wish fulfillment starring Miley Cyrus (daughter of singer Billy Ray, who also stars) as Miley Stewart, a teenager who moves to California from Tennessee to become a pop star. By day, she’s an average student who lives a normal life with friends and homework. At night, she’s Hannah Montana, a pop star who sells out huge concerts and looks oddly like a younger Hilary Duff.
The episodes are often centered around Miley and her friends - Oliver Oken (Mitchel Musso) and Lilly Truscott (Emily Osment) - getting into adventures or Miley trying to keep her pop star identity a secret. The series doesn't exactly look slick, even for a cable series (the school sets look like they were taken from "Saved by the Bell"), but the show offers some fun plots and energetic performances (Billy Ray Cyrus is entertaining as Hannah/Miley's father/manager.)
Disney has released several “best of” volumes for “Hannah Montana” and the most recent release is: “Hannah Montana: Keeping It Real” featuring four episodes from the series. In “The Test of My Love” Miley develops a crush on a wealthy boy named Trey whose parents don’t approve of her because she doesn’t come from money (of course, they don’t know she’s Hannah Montana). In “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get the Phone”, Miley wants the newest high-tech phone but her dad won’t let her get it. To pay for the phone herself, Miley decides to sell a picture of Hannah to the paparazzi, but after realizing the picture might reveal her true identity, she agrees to take a picture of The Rock in exchange for her picture.
In “Yet Another Side of Me” after meeting one of her idols, Miley starts to worry that her sweet image will hinder her career. In “We’re All on this Date Together”, at a charity bidding event, Hannah Montana’s crush Johnny Collins (Corbin Bleu, “High School Musical”) and Rico (Moises Arias) bid against each other for a date with Hannah. Ray Romano and Donny Osmond also appear in episodes on this DVD. “Ready, Set Don’t Drive” is an additional episode featured in the bonus section.
The main benefit for fans of buying this "best of" is that there is a free ticket (up to $7.50) for the "Hannah Montana" movie, coming soon to theatres.
Group Date (film)
The New Hannah (film)
VIDEO: The series is presented by Disney in 1.33:1 full-frame, the show's original aspect ratio. The series looks bright, crisp and colorful on this DVD presentation, which is likely similar to how the show looks when broadcast. Aside from some minor shimmer, the picture appeared crisp and clean. Colors are bright, well-saturated and clean, with no smearing.
SOUND: The Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation offers crisp, clear music, dialogue and effects, but certainly doesn't put the surrounds to much use.
EXTRAS: "Miley’s Makeover: Hannah Gets a New Look!” is a behind the scenes look with Miley Cyrus sharing some of the new looks for Hannah Montana. At nearly five minutes, this feature offers footage from her concerts and details about her new style. Fans should enjoy this feature. “Ready, Set Don’t Drive” is an additional episode featured in the bonus section. Sneak Peeks - “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Up”, Disney Movie Rewards, Disney Blu-ray: Magic in High-Def, “Princess Protection Program”, “Monsters Inc.”, “High School Musical 3”, “Bedtime Stories”, Disney DVD Games, “Disney XD”.
Final Thoughts: While fans will likely enjoy these episodes, a main reason for fan interest in this "best of" DVD is likely the free movie ticket to "Hannah Montana: The Movie".