|Written by||Paul W. Cooper|
|Directed by||Stuart Gillard|
|Music by||Nathan Wang|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Cinematography||Gordon C. Lonsdale|
|Running time||89 minutes|
|Production companies||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. Filming locations include Midvale and Payson, Utah.
Pete Ivey (Jason Dolley) is a teenager who is a total introvert. His best friend, Cleatus Poole (Mitchel Musso), is the Brewster High mascot. Pete runs into some frustration when he finds that Cammie Poole, his crush, has already been asked out by Dill, the captain of the basketball team. 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 a problem being the mascot: an allergy to the suit, which causes him to sneeze violently every time he puts it on. He pleads for Pete to wear the chicken suit instead. As part of the bargain, Cleatus tells Pete he will get his sister on a date with him, and he agrees.
After a rocky start, Pete realizes that he is attracting Cammie's attention and acts more adventurously inside the suit. The next day, Cleatus is congratulated on "his" performance as 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. Upon seeing Pete's natural talent for being mascot, Pete agrees to be "The Chicken" full-time.
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. The two work on together the float and become friends in the process.
On the day of the parade, the town shows up for the festival and "The Chicken" is a big hit. During a dance number, Cleatus (in disguise as Pecos Bill) is accidentally discovered. Pete, escaping the crowd, he steals the sheriff's car to get away. 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.
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.
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 to rally both the players and the crowd. With "The Chicken" present, the team starts fighting back and closing the gap. During a time out, the audience cheers for the chicken to remove the mascot head, and Pete decides to do so. The team finishes with a last second score to win the game, and when the cheerleaders tumble in their celebration, Angela falls on Pete. They then kiss but are interrupted by Cleatus, who tells him to put his chicken head back on and join the Brewster Roosters to celebrate their only win of the year.
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.
The premiere of the movie was viewed by 4.1 million viewers, becoming the third Disney movie in three years with less than 5 million viewers for the premiere.
David Nusair called the movie (along with Dadnapped) "typically underwhelming Disney Channel fare."