Posted: 02/13/2008


Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour


by Laura Tucker

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If you have a young daughter under the age of 16, you know who Hannah Montana is, and if you yourself are under the age of 55, you know who her dad is, both on screen and off. Billy Ray Cyrus has taken his career, which started out 18 years ago as a joke with a novelty song called “Achy Breaky Heart,” and parlayed it into a more serious artist, both as a singer and actor. Much of it has been done with the help of daughter, Miley. She strikes out on her own this week in a concert movie for the teen set, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds.

We all know what marketing geniuses Disney have turned into. Once just a popular animation studio, they now have theme parks across the world, as well as their own television channel. The beauty of it is that everything works together very well. It is impossible for parents today to avoid feeding that money-making machine, not that I’ve tried all that hard.

It starts when your children are young and begin watching the movies. Before long, you’re buying them the merchandise from the Disney store. Once they start to get a little older, they begin watching the television shows aimed at them, and later the pre-teen shows, such as Hannah Montana, That’s So Raven, and The Suite Life of Zach and Cody. My daughter even cleverly figured out she can watch even more of these shows if she cathes both the east and west coast feeds on the satellite.

As soon as Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds started, she saw the name on the screen of Kenny Ortega, and told me that was the guy who did High School Musical. That was a movie shown on the Disney Channel that became so successful, kids were buying the movie even though they could watch it on Disney several times a week. Now, Ortega is taking his success to the Cyruses. It was my 11-year-old, not me, who noticed the connection, as Ortega appeared onscreen, choreographing the whole show, lighting, dancers, musicians, etc. I think he could be replacing Dick Clark as the world’s oldest teenager.

I felt like I was being dragged to see this film, but by the end, I was glad I experienced it with my daughter. After all, I know the songs nearly as well as she does, having them piped through my house either on TV, her iPod, her DVD player, or her CD player every day. The whole idea of the concert was that it wasn’t just Miley Cyrus or her character, Hannah Montana, presenting the concert, but the two of them together. And while they are both actually the same person, the very real Miley seems to be just a little hipper than her created character, both in musical choices as well as dress.

Watching this concert movie, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many glow sticks in one place before in my life, and each one of the girls attending the concert know all the words to all the songs, just as my daughter and all the other girls watching the movie did. Even I found myself singing along to a couple of songs. Again, it’s piped into my house on a daily occurrence, and sometimes I don’t even realize this is what I’m singing when I do it at home, but here I was in the theatre doing it. Many of the girls in the concert film are wearing long blonde Hannah wigs, and a few are even wearing purple wigs like Hannah’s best friend. Nearly every girl in the movie theatre tonight was wearing a Hannah Montana T-shirt.

The actual concert is interspersed with interview bits with Miley and both her mother and her father. Mom explains she had a hard time watching her daughter do all this last year, so this year they are keeping her busy changing Miley between sets. Dad seems to really appreciate the musician his daughter has turned into, even having her teach him some of her music at one point. It does seem as if they keep their daughter pretty grounded, and the obvious hope is that she doesn’t take the turn of some other recent young celebrities.

As far as the 3D aspect of Best of Both Worlds, I can’t see where it added all that much. Sure, it was interesting to see the people onstage in perspective, and the random drumstick toss, microphone jab, or arm stretched out while dancing made you sit back a little and say, “Whoa,” but it really didn’t add that much to the overall enjoyment of the film. It was pretty much like watching Meet the Robinsons last year in 3D. Added just a little, but not enough.

Overall, for any adult, it’s a movie you have to see with the young girl in your life. They will love it. Miley Cyrus could get up onstage and sing “I’m a Little Teapot,” and every girl out there would think it was the best thing she ever saw. Chalk one up for the Disney people for once again figuring out how to keep the kids happy and spend our money.

Laura Tucker is a freelance writer providing reviews of movies and television, among other things, at Viewpoints and Reality Shack, and operates a celebrity gossip blog, Troubled Hollywood.

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