HOLLYWOOD — As anyone who has been to a Disney theme park can tell you, the Mouse House knows how to throw one hell of a party. That point was reinforced further Wednesday, as its movie studio invaded Kodak Theatre with everyone from Miley CyrusMiley Cyrus to Johnny DeppJohnny Depp to the cast of "High School Musical""High School Musical" in tow.
Thousands of VIPs packed in to get a sneak peek of every Disney film between now and 2012. MTV News was in attendance and live-blogged such big stories as Depp's surprise appearance, Oprah's newest role and Pixar's "Cars 2" plans over on the Movies Blog.
But the rest of the day was stolen away by soon-to-be-16-year-old Miley.
Just days after Disney's announcement that her "Hannah Montana: The Movie""Hannah Montana: The Movie" would get an earlier release date, Cyrus and her father were introduced onstage by Walt Disney Pictures Chairman Dick Cook. During a brief interview, Miley spoke about the movie, as well as her November 23 birthday.
"I think what the movie shows is that it's really hard to stay grounded [when you become famous], because everybody's saying, 'Yes, yes, yes,' " she explained. "Your real friends are the people who say 'no' sometimes."
Cyrus could barely contain her excitement over plans to host a massive Sweet 16 party at Disneyland, revealing she had picked out her dress and tiara on Tuesday. "I've never had a parade before for my birthday, so that'll be cool," she grinned, saying all she wants for a gift is her own car. Dad Billy Ray then replied, "She can buy her own car, so we're thinking about buying her a dealership."
Moments later, the curtains pulled back to reveal a 25-piece orchestra, and Cyrus unveiled a new song from her April 10 film. As she belted out the tune live, a huge screen showed never-before-seen clips from the movie that had her swinging from a rope in front of a waterfall, feeding chickens on a ranch, falling off a horse and dodging a runaway ostrich and exploding birthday cake.
"I can almost see it/ That dream I'm dreaming/ But there's a voice inside saying, 'You'll never make it,' " she sang before hitting the song's uplifting chorus. "There's always gonna be another mountain/ I'm always gonna want to make it move/ There's always gonna be an uphill battle/ Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose."
Earlier in the morning's festivities, Cook brought "HSM" stars Zac EfronZac Efron, Ashley TisdaleAshley Tisdale, Vanessa HudgensVanessa Hudgens and others out onstage to show a trailer from October's "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," then awkwardly ushered them offstage without so much as a single question. Other previews included "Tron," "Prince of Persia""Prince of Persia" and "Bedtime Stories,""Bedtime Stories," the latter featuring a bizarre video clip that had Cook dressed as a child in bed wearing Mickey Mouse pajamas, while Adam SandlerAdam Sandler told him the once-upon-a-time story of a studio that "made loads and loads of moolah."
Before being treated to a 3-D screening of November's "Bolt,""Bolt," the audience also got a peek at November 2009's "Old Dogs""Old Dogs" (think "Wild Hogs""Wild Hogs" meets "Father's Day"). Stars Robin WilliamsRobin Williams and (a goateed) John TravoltaJohn Travolta unveiled a trailer that included Williams taking a soccer ball to the face, the duo being overmatched by Matt DillonMatt Dillon in a game of Ultimate Frisbee and Seth GreenSeth Green singing Air Supply's "All Out of Love" to a gorilla preparing to do unspeakable things to him. By this reporter's count, the ill-fortuned "Robot Chicken" mastermind was also hit in the crotch at least twice during the trailer.
The "Old Dogs" stars also unveiled a completed scene that had the duo at a golf course on a day they'd accidentally switched their medications — Williams was hallucinating, while Travolta's character suffered bizarre facial twitches that left his heavily CGI'd face with a creepy Joker smile and permanently arched eyebrow.
The rest of the afternoon featured "Toy Story""Toy Story" soldiers descending from the rafters, rock/blues legend Dr. John performing a song from "The Princess and the Frog""The Princess and the Frog" and Dwayne "The Rock" JohnsonDwayne "The Rock" Johnson unveiling an exclusive trailer from March's "Race to Witch Mountain,""Race to Witch Mountain," which Cook mistakenly introduced as "Return to Witch Mountain."
"Um, hi, Dick," the Rock teased his boss. "You greenlit the movie!"
The trailer felt much darker than expected, with an emphasis on the film's science-fiction elements. Opening with a dark road, ominous voice-over and black helicopters, the film features a stubble-faced Rock as a surly taxi driver. Soon enough, the audience caught glimpses of superpowered kids, spaceships, black-clad super-soldiers and Garry Marshall imploring: "If you're planning on visiting Witch Mountain, don't! This place is fortified up the ying-yang!"
Ironically enough, the movie-within-a-movie spoof "Bolt" pokes fun at the very same black-clad villains, space invaders and explosions that were featured throughout the "Witch Mountain" trailer.
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