Australian Council on Children and the Media

Hannah Montana: The Movie

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Short takes

Not recommended under 5 (Scenes of fighting and accidental harm)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Hannah Montana: The Movie
  • a review of Hannah Montana: The Movie completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 25 June 2009.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to scenes of fighting and accidental harm.
Children over 5 OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Hannah Montana: The Movie
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Hannah Montana: The Movie explores a fictionalised account of the conflicting roles faced by child star “Hannah Montana”/Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus).  This lightweight musical-comedy centres around Miley’s enforced retreat from Los Angeles to spend some time with her grandmother, Ruby (Margo Martindale), who lives in rural Tennessee.  Miley’s father, Robbie Ray (played by her real-life father Billy Ray Cyrus) insists that the family goes for this brief holiday after noting the arrogant, self-centred attitudes his daughter is developing in her life as a musical celebrity. 
At first, Miley protests vehemently and has difficulty shedding her Hollywood image and adjusting to the slow pace of life in Crowley Meadows.  While there, however, she has the opportunity to reflect on her notions of self and others and eventually begins to develop more meaningful relationships with those around her.  Such friendships, however, are made difficult by her need to keep her superstar identity as “Hannah” a secret.  Toward the end of her holiday, Miley attends a fundraising event aimed at raising capital to save Crowley Meadows from greedy shopping-mall developers.  During the evening, farmhand Travis (Lucas Till), with whom Miley has become smitten, suggests (over the P.A. system) that she ask her “friend” Hannah Montana to become involved in the town’s struggle for independence.  This leads to an ultimately unsuccessful attempt by Miley to simultaneously play the role of both Miley Stewart and celebrity Hannah Montana.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Teenage rebellion; effects of celebrity

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

Violence is minimal, although there are a number of incidents of cartoon-like accidental harm.  These include:

  • Miley’s friend Lily falls from the top of a skating ramp and lands heavily but gets up with no serious injuries;
  • An unpleasant roving reporter seeking a scoop about Hannah falls down after Miley releases a pick-up truck full of potatoes onto the street;
  • The same reporter, following a false-lead, falls through the rotted wooden porch of an abandoned farm-house, knocks his head and falls down a muddy embankment;
  • Miley’s brother falls off a ladder into the vegetable garden, staggering off with a giant squash on his head.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Apart from the scenes of accidental harm described above, children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Apart from the scenes of accidental harm described above, children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

This film is a vehicle to promote Hannah Montana merchandise, CDs and DVDs.

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is no nudity or sexual activity in this movie, however, there is one scene where an escaped pet ferret runs up the Mayor’s trousers, which he promptly drops, revealing oversized boxer shorts.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • adults attending the Crowley Meadows fundraising event drink alcohol

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • “wretched, soulless succubus”

In a nutshell

Hannah Montana: The Movie is a lightweight musical comedy which unashamedly promotes Hannah Montana music, DVDs and merchandise.
The intended message of this film is confusing.  On the one hand, Miley’s struggle with her dual identity seems to suggest that audiences should have the courage to be themselves.  However, on the other hand, the final scenes of the movie seem to promote an entirely different point of view.  At the end of the film, after Miley breaks down on stage and tells her fans that she can no longer keep up the façade of being a superstar, the crowds begin chanting that they want her to resume her identity as “Hannah”.   Following a brief period of deliberation, Miley puts her blonde wig back on and continues the concert, and then the film ends. 
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • honesty
  • concern for the wellbeing of others

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