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Sonny with a Chance: Sonny's Big Break - family and children's DVD / music concert DVD review
Rated G by the MPAA curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Demi Lovato, Tiffany Thornton, Sterling Knight, Brandon Mychal Smith, Doug Brouchu
Creator: Steve Marmel Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
DVD release: 25 August 2009 Runtime: 89 min.
(1 disc)
Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, DVD, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
DVD features: Aspect ratio 1.33:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English, Spanish), Subtitles (English, Spanish), Four episodes ("Sketchy Beginnings," "West Coast Story," "Cheater Girls," "Sonny at the Falls"), Bonus episode ("Sonny in the Middle" - world premiere episode), Demi Lovato audition tape, Bonus short (Mackenzie Falls season finale cliffhanger)

Sonny with a Chance is the Disney Channel's newest show for the 'tween/teen crowd. It stars Demi Lovato (of Camp Rock fame) as Sonny, a girl from a small town in Wisconsin with an Internet show who is "discovered" by Hollywood and now stars in a television show called So Random! Sonny with a Chance is a fresh, fun show that has widespread appeal.

This DVD has four episodes from the first season (the show is currently in the midst of airing first season episodes, with the second season set to begin in 2010). The premiere episode, called "Sketchy Beginnings," follows Sonny on her first day, meeting the other members of So Random! The cast includes Nico (Brandon Smith), Grady (Doug Brochu), Zora (Allisyn Arm), and the show's diva, Tawni (Tiffany Thornton). At first, Tawni wants nothing to do with Sonny, and through a series of mishaps, it appears that a friendship will never happen.

Episode two, called "West Coast Story" introduces the other half of Sonny with a Chance, the show Mackenzie Falls. It is filmed in the studio next to So Random! and stars heartthrob Chad Dylan Cooper (Sterling Knight). The casts of the two shows do not get along, and that rivalry plays out through every episode of Sonny with a Chance.

The remaining two episodes center on Sonny's adjustment to stardom and the friendship/rivalry with the Mackenzie Falls cast. Nancy McKeon (from The Facts of Life) plays Sonny's mom, which also makes the show appeal more to nostalgic adults looking for that connection with their own childhoods.

Extras include the cliffhanger for Mackenzie Falls - which should be noted is actually a real Web show you can watch on your computer. Kids love this tie-in, and the cliffhanger episode is exclusive to this Sonny with a Chance DVD at this time. The DVD also includes a new, never-released episode of Sonny with a Chance and the requisite "insider" looks at the show.

Sonny with a Chance is actually a very funny show, and adults will probably enjoy watching it with their children. It seems a bit sparse to just provide four (actually five) episodes on a full-priced DVD, considering the full season has over 20 episodes. It's unfortunately typical for Disney to do this; while it's not surprising, it's still fairly costly if you want to own the entire season.

Overall, Sonny with a Chance is a decent Disney Channel show filled with humor and some life lessons sneaking in as entertainment.
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reviewed by Melissa Parcel
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