UltimateDisney.com | DVD Review Index | Disney CD Review Index | Upcoming Disney DVDs | Recent Disney DVDs | Search UltimateDisney.com

Radio Disney Party Jams: The Concert DVD Review

Buy Radio Disney Party Jams: The Concert on DVD from Amazon.com Radio Disney Party Jams: The Concert
Concert & DVD Details

Director: Jim Yukich

Performers: Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana, Everlife, Aly & AJ, Bowling For Soup, The Cheetah Girls, Jesse McCartney

Running Time: 63 Minutes / Rating: Not Rated
1.33:1 Fullscreen, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English); Subtitles: None
Studio: Walt Disney Records
DVD Release Date: October 10, 2006
Single-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-5); Black Keepcase
Suggested Retail Price: $14.98

Buy from Amazon.com


By Aaron Wallace

1996 marked Disney's entry to one of the last remaining media markets it had not previously dominated: radio. With the purchase of ABC and ESPN came both TV networks' radio divisions, followed by the November launch of the Radio Disney network.
The latter depended primarily on catchy songs from the Disney canon's expansive musical library and family-friendly renditions of mainstream radio successes.

Carried only by a handful of AM stations, the network was originally hampered by its limited accessibility. Somewhere along the way, though, Radio Disney transitioned from low-profile children's programming to influential industry player. Added to Music Choice and satellite radio in the mid-2000s, the network found larger (and somewhat older) audiences, establishing itself as a breeding ground for major mainstream talent like Hilary Duff, Jesse McCartney, and Aly & AJ, among others.

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Disney held the "Totally 10 Birthday Concert" in Anaheim, an event that spawned an online broadcast, the Radio Disney Party Jams CD (read our review), and Radio Disney Party Jams: The Concert. The latter, a DVD release of the anniversary concert's hour-long live recording, features eighteen performances from six artists, five of them among the network's most popular.

Hannah Montana (a.k.a. Miley Cyrus) sings about her identity crisis. Everlife gives a quick backstage interview.

Miley Cyrus (or, as she is better known, Hannah Montana) opens the show with "I Got Nerve" and follows it up with three more juvenile performances, closing her set with her hit TV show's theme song, "Best of Both Worlds". Everlife raise the standard with their three songs, making way for Aly & AJ, whose set is one of the show's two highlights.

At the mid-point, Bowling For Soup, a band whose average age sets them apart from the night's other featured performers, show up for a rather odd tribute to Radio Disney, their one and only contribution to the concert. They seem out of place, but you'll quickly be wishing they'd stayed put when The Cheetah Girls take their spot on the stage, embarrassing themselves with bad singing, bad dancing, and clichιd commentary. Fortunately, Jesse McCartney emerges before too long, singing more than anyone else (a total of five songs) to close the show and save the day.

Much of the show will seem familiar to those who have already purchased the Radio Disney Party Jams CD, which included a DVD sampler that featured eight of these very same performances. Curiously, that release also included footage of two songs that are not included on this "full" DVD: "Cheetah Sisters" by The Cheetah Girls and "Beautiful Soul" by Jesse McCartney. This, along with a few awkwardly forced cuts, demonstrates that the DVD inexplicably neglects to present the "full-length concert" that the packaging promises, despite having more than ample disc space to do so. I can understand the desire to limit Cheetah Girls exposure, but "Beautiful Soul" was a huge mainstream hit and surely of great interest to the DVD's potential buyers. Other songs may well have been omitted as well.

Alyson Michalka (the Aly in Aly & AJ) sings before waxing philosophical in between songs. Chris Burney of Bowling For Soup doesn't quite look the part of Radio Disney teen idol.

Most of the tunes are clearly performed live, though some rely on supporting background vocals and a couple demand viewer scrutiny. Intermixed throughout the show are very short backstage interviews with some of the featured performers. As expected, the show is fast-cut, flashy, and at times heavily choreographed. The songs that actually made the cut are listed in order below.

Set List

Miley Cyrus as Hannah Montana
"I Got Nerve"




"Who Said"
"Pumpin' Up the Party"
"Best of Both Worlds"

Everlife
"Find Yourself in You"
"Look Through My Eyes"
"Real Wild Child"

Aly & AJ
"Rush"
"No One"

Bowling For Soup
"BFS Birthday Song"

The Cheetah Girls
"The Party's Just Begun"
"Shake a Tail Feather"
"Cinderella"

Jesse McCartney
"Good Life"
"We Can Go Anywhere"
"Get Your Shine On"
"Right Where You Want Me"
"What's Your Name?"

Well, if the singing thing ever falls through, at least The Cheetah Girls can mop. Jesse McCartney reaches out to fans during a show-closing five song sweat fest. His "Beautiful Soul" is sadly nowhere to be found.

VIDEO and AUDIO

The concert is presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen. It's unclear if it was actually filmed in this ratio and this ratio alone, but concerts -- especially those reliant on showy choreography and sweeping crowd shots -- almost always benefit from a widescreen presentation. Therefore, it's a shame that one wasn't created at least as an alternative. There's nothing especially remarkable about the video quality -- no problems stand out but you won't be amazed beyond your day-to-day television experience either.

The show can be viewed with either Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound or Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, neither of which exhibit any problems in the clarity or volume department. The surround track definitely creates a more concert-like experience,
but the rear channels are occupied almost entirely by an overbearing cheering track from the audience of screaming girls while the music is split pretty evenly amongst the front channels. Vocals and music are both a little more easily heard in the stereo track, which is essentially the same, only with the audience subdued. One isn't clearly better than other; it's a matter of listener preference.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, and DESIGN

The disc's silent main menu features a few clips from the show in the background and offers only two options: Play Show with Stereo Audio and Play Show with 5.1 Surround. Aside from that, there are no screens for Extras, Set-Up, Scene Selection, or anything of the like. After about thirty seconds of inactivity, the concert will play automatically (in stereo sound by default). Each song is assigned its own chapter, so skipping is possible even if a chapter selection menu is nowhere to be found. There are no bonus features or sneak peeks of any kind.

The disc is packaged inside a standard black keepcase. Inside, there is four page flyer that repeats the case's front and back cover art and then provides a detailed listing of each song and its respective credits along with a little blurb about the Totally 10th Birthday Concert and all the guests who were in attendance but not shown on the DVD. The set list is also replicated on the case's back cover.

Julia Ross is front and center as the lead singer of the Sisters Ross, better known as Everlife. Aly & AJ smile and bid farewell to readers of this review.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

After ten years and a lot of recent success, Radio Disney has earned itself a proper tribute. With an hour-long concert that is half-comprised of lackluster stars and missing Disney-spawned titans like Hilary Duff and Raven-Symonι, though, I don't think that Radio Disney Party Jams: The Concert is quite it. Everlife, Aly & AJ, and Jesse McCartney ensure that at least half the concert is worth watching, however, with a number of songs that range from decent to good and performances to match. Though the DVD is extremely basic, the audio/video treatment is fanciless but sufficient. The DVD is worth a few dollars to those interested in the music but should at least be avoided when not discounted.

More on the DVD / Buy from Amazon.com

Related Reviews:
Disneymania in Concert (DVD) • Disneymania 3 in Concert (DVD) • Jim Brickman at the Magic Kingdom: The Disney Songbook (DVD)
Radio Disney Party Jams (CD + Concert DVD) • Radio Disney Jams 9 (CD + Music Videos DVD) • Radio Disney: Move It! (CD)
Radio Disney: Jingle Jams (CD) • Everlife (CD) • The Wild (DVD) • Cow Belles (DVD) • Phil of the Future: Gadgets & Gizmos (DVD)
Hannah Montana: Livin' the Rock Star Life! (DVD) • Hannah Montana: 2-Disc Special Edition Soundtrack (CD + DVD)
Disneymania 3 (CD) • Disneymania 2 (CD) • DisneyRemixMania (CD) • Disneymania 5 (CD) • The Cheetah Girls: Cheetah-licious Christmas (CD)
The Cheetah Girls 2: Cheetah-licious Edition (DVD) • The Cheetah Girls 2: 2-Disc Special Edition Soundtrack (CD + Concert DVD)
Artist Karaoke Series: Jesse McCartney (CD) • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Taking Over the Tipton (DVD) • Sky High (DVD)

Related Upcoming Releases:
High School Musical: The Concert (DVD - June 26)
Hannah Montana: Pop Star Profile (DVD - June 26)
The Cheetah Girls: The Party's Just Begun (CD + DVD - July 10)


Posters, photos, and other items from thousands of celebrities, bands, movies and TV shows

UltimateDisney.com | DVD Review Index | Disney CD Review Index | Upcoming Disney DVDs | Recent Disney DVDs | Search UltimateDisney.com

Reviewed June 4, 2007.