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|Written by||Paul W. Cooper|
|Directed by||Stuart Gillard|
|Theme music composer||Nathan Wang|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Cinematography||Gordon C. Lonsdale|
|Running time||89 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Just Singer Entertainment
|Distributor||Disney-ABC Domestic Television|
|Original network||Disney Channel|
|Original release||April 24, 2009|
Hatching Pete is a 2009 Disney Channel Original Movie which first aired on April 24, 2009 on Disney Channel UK and later Disney Channel and Family. It was released on DVD in America on May 12, 2009 together with Dadnapped. It is the first Disney Channel Original Movie to air in the UK first. It first aired in America on April 24, 2009.
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Pete Ivey (Jason Dolley) is a teenager who is a total introvert. While he has other friends, he prefers to keep company with his best friend Cleatus Poole (Mitchel Musso), a goofball who is exactly the opposite type and prefers to say exactly what is on his mind, no matter the consequences.
Pete runs into some frustration when his Biology teacher does not recognize him and when he finally approaches his crush, Cammie, who is also Cleatus's sister, to ask her out, he struggles to get the words out, only to discover that she already has a boyfriend. Rejected, Pete goes home. His father tells him that to get Cammie's attention, he has to give her something to notice.
On their way to the Brewster High basketball game, Cleatus comes over to ask Pete for a favor. He has two problems with being the mascot; the first is that few people seem to think that he is funny, and his lackluster performances only match the team's dismal performances on the court because the team is on a losing streak (at one point, the coach even remarks that they only had 20 points in the entire previous season). Cleatus' second problem is that he has an allergy to the suit, which causes him to sneeze violently every time he puts it on. Uncomfortable with the sweating, congestion, and swelling joints that he gets whenever he dons the suit, he pleads for Pete to wear the chicken mascot suit instead. As part of the bargain, Cleatus tells Pete he will get his sister on a date with him, and he agrees.
Pete's first game as "The Chicken," gets off to a rocky start. He gets to the door and is knocked over, and initially wants to go home. However, when the audience (and cheerleaders) laugh at his recovery, he realizes he has gotten Cammie's attention and starts to be more adventurous inside the suit. The next day, Cleatus is congratulated on "his" performance as mascot, and finally noticed by his crush, head cheerleader Jamie Wynn (Tiffany Thornton), but he is nearly beaten up by the basketball team in retaliation from Pete's antics the previous night. Before it gets out of hand, Cleatus is saved by Coach Mackey, who will be fired if there is no mascot. Afterwards, Cleatus comes to see Pete and asks him what he did. Because Pete cannot describe it, Cleatus decides Pete can still be the chicken while he hides in the stands. By hiding in plain sight (with a face painted in team colors and a wig), Cleatus can keep track of "The Chicken's" performances and be on standby if the two need to switch places in a hurry.
During one of the biology lessons, Pete meets cheerleader Angela Morrisey (Josie Loren) and starts crushing on her. They are both chosen for the parade float committee. Angela comes up with an idea for the upcoming float's theme using "The Chicken" as the centerpiece for a dance number with the cheerleading team and some children dressed like baby "chicks" who will hatch out of their shells. Even so, the project is ambitious logistically, so the two start trusting each other as Pete starts to find ways to make it work and build the actual props. The two start spending increasing amounts of free time together, initially talking about the float, but later sharing more personal details, becoming fast friends in the process.
On the way to a mid-season game, the basketball team and the cheerleaders begin to wonder why "The Chicken" has suddenly gotten so good at working the crowd. In a close call, the team forces "The Chicken" to unmask on the bus, revealing a sneezing Cleatus underneath. Later, once Pete and Cleatus have switched outfits, Pete does a lengthy performance with the cheerleaders, and as he prepares to leave the court, notices that he is standing next to Angela. Realizing that while he sees her every day, as "The Chicken" he can be more aggressive with his affections, and pretends to "kidnap" her in front of the audience as one of his stunts, which the crowd cheers on. After a streak of games with building popularity for "The Chicken", Pete then notices that Cleatus is getting the perks of being the mascot, including Jamie Wynn, which angers him at first. As the two talk it over, they realize that they are both actually getting what they want out of the deal. Cleatus gets to keep the family tradition going and get the social perks, whereas Pete really enjoys being "The Chicken" and is surprised to discover his own sense of accomplishment and newfound confidence.
During the game a player is about to run into the cheerleaders. Pete picks up Angela, like an impulse while Jamie is knocked over and then begins to cry because her nose is bleeding. As the first time that "The Chicken" (presumably Cleatus) has snubbed his "girlfriend" in favor of Angela, both Pete and Cleatus worry that they may have revealed too much. Afterward, Angela thanks Poole and is about to kiss him, but Pete stops it.
While working on the float, Cleatus confides in Pete that he feels like a fraud for letting Pete do all the work in the costume but getting praised by his father as the best Chicken the town has ever had, but they agree to keep the charade going. Later, at the float committee, Angela is missing. Pete finds her crying. She got dumped in a text message. Later, the town shows up en masse for the festival and "The Chicken" is a big hit along with the float and the cheerleaders perform alongside Pete in a choreographed dance number. During the song, Cleatus (in disguise as Pecos Bill) is pulled onto the float and his identity is accidentally revealed. With his parents in shock, and the townspeople slowly realizing that they have been fooled, the situation causes Pete to panic and he runs only to have almost the entire town in pursuit.
Pete gets away by stealing the Sheriff's car, which was being used in the parade. He changes out of the suit and leaves it hidden away to rejoin the town. Shortly after, Angela sees him walking and offers him a ride. When the two talk, Pete considers coming clean when Angela expresses relief that "The Chicken" is not Cleatus after all because of her developing romantic feelings for whomever is inside. However, when she confesses that she is not sure about how finding out who is inside the suit will affect these feelings, Pete decides to keep the mystery alive by retiring.
Meanwhile, Cleatus is being questioned by the sheriff about who was really in the suit. Cleatus doesn't confess and is confronted by his father, who is upset that his son has been lying. When Cleatus admits his allergy, his father forgives him, and reveals that he had the same allergies when he was "The Chicken" in high school. Apparently, his father always felt like a coward for having continued despite the discomfort. Instead of being disappointed, his father actually praises Cleatus for choosing not to suffer under the pressure and to find his own way out.
Afterwards, Cleatus and Pete discuss the future of "The Chicken". Cleatus explains that Pete can continue if he wants to, but that they can leave it alone as a joke that they confess at a future date instead. Based on the adoration that the town shares for "The Chicken" and due to the financial incentives of having people attending the games, the sheriff decides to drop the charges to get the chicken to return, and the principal and basketball coach call an assembly to let "The Chicken" know that there will be no reprisals or formal charges. Pete considers revealing himself, but at the last second remembers that it might mean losing Angela's affections.
The town is disappointed when "The Chicken" does not appear for the next game, but a local journalist gives him the chance to explain himself on television. When he does, he mentions that the magic might be gone, comparing his unmasking to that of the Lone Ranger once the mystery is gone, it does not come back. At this moment, Angela realizes that Pete is "The Chicken", but chooses to do nothing.
Pete does return during the final game with a high-flying wire stunt to rally both the players and the crowd. With the team facing an undefeated team (and having never won a game during the season), they are close to having their first victory in years. As "The Chicken" rallies the crowd and the team, they start fighting back and closing the gap. During a time out, the audience cheers for the chicken to remove the mascot head, and Pete, remembering what Cleatus said earlier about hiding in his "shell" forever or "hatching" decides to remove the mask and take his chances. As he removes the mask, Angela runs to him and helps revealing that she has known for a while and was hoping that he would reveal himself on his own. Pete is shocked that she knows, but grateful that she never pressured him. The crowd is initially silent, because no one recognizes him, until Cleatus yells, "That's Pete Ivey!" and the crowd cheers the instantly famous mascot. In the audience, Pete's parents are shocked and proud that it is their son, and Cleatus' father compliments them on how good Pete is in the role.
The team finishes with a last second score to win the game, and when the cheerleaders tumble in their celebration, Angela falls on Pete, joking that she had mentioned she was "falling" for a guy in a chicken suit. They then kiss for a split moment until Cleatus tells him to put his chicken head back on and join the Brewster Roosters to celebrate their only win of the year.
- Jason Dolley as Pete Ivey
- Mitchel Musso as Cleatus Poole
- Tiffany Thornton as Jamie Wynn
- Josie Loren as Angela Morrissey
- Sean O'Bryan as Leon Ivey
- Amy Farrington as Doris Ivey
- Crawford Wilson as Dil Jensen
- Aramis Knight as Wendell Pate
- Edward Herrmann as The Principal
- Brian Stepanek as Coach Mackey
- Madison Riley as Cammie Poole
Co-stars of the movie, Mitchel Musso and Tiffany Thornton, recorded a song together called "Let It Go" for the movie. The song is used during a parade sequence in the movie and gained significant airplay when it was released to Radio Disney on March 20, 2009. It peaked at number 6 on the station. An accompanying music video was filmed and was released on Disney Channel on March 28, 2009. The song is featured on the Disney compilation album, "Disney Channel Playlist", which was released on June 9, 2009. It is also a featured song on Disney Sing It: Pop Hits, along with the video.
- "Debut of "Let it Go" by Mitchel Musso and Tiffany Thornton to debut on Disney Channel and Disney.com". Laughing Place. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
- Levin, Gary (April 29, 2009). "Nielsens: 'Grey's Anatomy' is not in great shape right now". USA Today. Retrieved May 4, 2010.