The film debuted on the American Disney Channel on June 20, 2008. Camp Rock was the second DCOM to air on ABC's The Wonderful World of Disney after its premiere on Disney Channel, and was placed on the iTunes Store for digital purchase shortly after its premiere on Disney Channel. The film was watched by 8.9 million viewers on the night of its premiere, making it the third highest viewed DCOM at the time, behind High School Musical 2 and Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie.
Camp Rock was filmed at YMCA Camp Wanakita in Haliburton, Ontario and Kilcoo Camp in Minden, Ontario.
The story follows Mitchie Torres (Demi Lovato), an aspiring young musician who hopes to become a professional singer. Mitchie wants to go to a music camp named "Camp Rock" for aspiring young musicians. Since the family can not afford the tuition, Mitchie's mother, Connie (Maria Canals Barrera), arranges to cater food for the camp, thus allowing Mitchie to attend. In return, Mitchie must help her mother out in the kitchen.
Meanwhile, spoiled pop star Shane Gray (Joe Jonas), of Connect 3, has been assigned to be in charge of dance classes for one month at Camp Rock by his bandmates Jason (Kevin Jonas) and Nate (Nick Jonas) and is forced to record a song with the winner of Final Jam. Shane accidentally hears someone singing on the first day and falls in love with the voice, but does not know the identity of the singer.
During Opening Jam, Mitchie learns that many of the campers have notable roots and is embarrassed that she was only able to come to the camp because of her mother's catering service. She lies and tells Tess Tyler (Meaghan Jette Martin), a girl known for her famous mother and her popularity, that her mother is the president of Hot Tunes TV China. Tess, impressed, invites Mitchie to bunk with her group. Caitlyn (Alyson Stoner) warns Mitchie that becoming one of Tess's background girls will not be as she expects.
When Mitchie overhears Shane's new song, she compliments him. Shane, doubtful that his record label and his fans would accept the song, begins to fall for Mitchie. In the cafeteria, Tess and Caitlyn begin to throw spaghetti at each other and Mitchie gets in the middle of the fight. Brown, the owner of the camp, breaks the fight up and Tess frames Caitlyn for the incident. Brown punishes Caitlyn by having her work in the kitchen and Mitchie, who is worried that Caitlyn will learn her secret, does not help her out.
When Mitchie accidentally enters the kitchen while Caitlyn is working, Caitlyn learns about Mitchie's secret. At Pajama Jam, Mitchie supports Caitlyn when Tess attempts to upstage her show. Mitchie and Caitlyn make up.
Shane spreads the word that he is searching for a girl with "the voice." When Tess sees Mitchie and Shane rowing together, she becomes jealous and after finding out about Mitchie's secret, tells the entire camp. Shane believes that Mitchie lied to him just to use him and Mitchie gets kicked out of Tess's group.
On the eve of Final Jam, Tess tricks Mitchie and Caitlyn into not participating until the Final Jam is over by telling Brown that they stole her charm bracelet. After Brown repeats that Mitchie cannot perform until "the end of Final Jam", Mitchie learns that she can still perform.
At Final Jam, Ella (Anna Maria Perez de Tagle) and Peggy (Jasmine Richards) confront Tess and leave her group. When Tess performs her song, she learns that her mother is in the audience. Unfortunately, her mother leaves the room after getting a phone call and Tess stumbles on the stage. After Brown announces that Final Jam is over, Mitchie comes out on stage and performs her song, which Shane realizes is the same one he heard on the first day of camp. He sings with her on stage and makes up with her. The judges, Connect 3 (Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas), announce the winner: Peggy, who had performed under the name "Margaret Dupree." The cast ends Final Jam by performing "We Rock."
Characters and cast
- Mitchie Torres (Demi Lovato) is a girl who hopes to be a singer some day. Her dream is to go to Camp Rock, but her family cannot afford the expensive camp. The only way she could go was if her mother would be the cook, and she tries to hide that fact in fear of rejection.
- Shane Gray (Joe Jonas) is the famous lead singer of the band "Connect 3". He is sent to Camp Rock, in hopes that it would help him, and get rid of his cocky and arrogant attitude. At the camp, he hears a terrific voice, and spends most of his time trying to find the girl who sang (who is actually Mitchie.) Later, he meets Mitchie and they become friends, yet he doesn't know it is the girl with the voice. He eventually finds out she is the girl with the voice towards the end of the film.
- Tess Tyler (Meaghan Jette Martin) is the daughter of the famous T.J. Tyler, she wishes to be a singer, like her mother. She is a diva and often gets her way, even if she has to hurt people. She craves attention and is always hoping to impress Shane; the reason for her behavior is because her mother was often too busy with her career to care for or even pay attention to her. Upon meeting Mitchie, Tess immediately sees her as competition and makes several plots to get her out of the way. She is the main antagonist of the film.
- Caitlyn Gellar (Alyson Stoner) is Mitchie's best friend at camp, and is one of the few people who stick by her side when Tess reveals Mitchie's secret. She wants to be a music producer, and is often seen composing music on her laptop.
- Ella Pador (Anna Maria Perez de Taglé) is Tess's so-called friend and is a little air-headed.
- Margaret "Peggy" Dupree (Jasmine Richards) is Tess's other "friend", and often follows Tess, even when her own opinion is different.
- Connie Torres (Maria Canals Barrera) is Mitchie's mom, and also runs a family catering service called "Connie's Catering." Mitchie was, at first, embarrassed that her mother was the Camp Cook.
- Barron James (Jordan Francis) and Sander Loyer (Roshon Fegan) are break-dancers, and are best friends. They also rap, and sang at Final Jam with Ella. They are of the few that stayed on Mitchie's side.
- Lola Scott (Aaryn Doyle) is a singer, and sometimes raps. She is great friends with Caitlyn, and she is a talented singer. She stuck with Mitchie when her secret was revealed.
- Brown Cessario (Daniel Fathers) is Shane's uncle and also runs Camp Rock. He also said he was the guitarist of a band called the "White Crows" and he toured with Aerosmith.
- Nate Gray (Nick Jonas) and Jason Gray (Kevin Jonas) are brothers of Shane and members of "Connect 3".
The Camp Rock soundtrack debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 album charts, selling over 188,000 units in its first week. The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA and sold over 1,257,000 copies to date. In Brazil, the album was certified Platinum by the ABPD and sold over 60,000 copies until 2009.
Camp Rock premiered on the Disney Channel on June 20, 2008 with 8.86 million viewers. Its June 21 showing on ABC had 3.47 million viewers, and its June 22 showing on ABC Family had 3.73 million viewers.
Its Disney Channel Italy premier received 1.14 million viewers on September 2008.
The DVD and Blu-ray release for the film, titled "Camp Rock: Extended Rock Star Edition", was released on August 19, 2008. It was released in November in other countries. It was released on December 1, 2008 in the UK only on DVD.
Both the DVD and Blu-ray release contain the following bonus features.
- Extended ending
- Sing-along and karaoke functions
- "How to Be a Rock Star"
- "Jonas Brothers: Real Life Rock Stars"
- "Introducing Demi Lovato"
- "Too Cool: Setting the Stage"
- "Hasta La Vista: From Rehearsal to Final Jam”"
- Music videos
- "Camp Memories" - a still gallery with video feature
There were some hidden bonus features throughout parts of the Camp Rock: Extended Rock Star Edition DVD.
- "We Rock Crew Video" - the crew of Camp Rock dances to "We Rock".
- "1234 Goodbye" - Demi Lovato performed her first song ("Who Will I Be?") the last day of filming, "1234 Goodbye".
According to the Camp Rock section of moviemansguide.com, there is another easter egg, but it is possibly untrue. In their words, "...and a short easter egg in the Music Video part of the disc (keep pressing down until you see a Pink Guitar)".
Merchandise of the film is sold at Target, Claires, and Limited Too. They include clothing (such as pajamas, T-shirts, and underwear), bags (tote bags, backpacks, etc.), bedding collection, toys, and dolls of the characters. Play Along Toys, so far, has only released dolls of Mitchie and Shane. On May 13, 2008, Disney published Camp Rock: the Junior Novel, by Lucy Ruggles, the novelization of the film. Target retail stores sell "special editions" of the novel, hardcover books that include photos.
Gary Marsh, the president of Entertainment, Disney Channel World, confirmed that a script was almost complete for Camp Rock 2. According to The Hollywood Reporter, all the principal cast was expected to return, with a special appearance by the Jonas Brothers' young brother, Frankie Jonas. According to a blog in myspace, shooting will begin as soon as the Jonas Brothers complete their North America leg on their world tour and before their next leg in Europe and also when Demi Lovato finishes her tour.
Production on the film titled Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam began on September 3, 2009 and is scheduled to premiere in 2010. According to Popstar online.com, Chloe Suazo is expected to become a new camper as Dana Alee. According to Hollywood Reporter.com, the official plot is that Shane Gray and Mitchie Torres return to Camp Rock, only to discover that some of the students and instructors have abandoned it for nearby rival Camp Star. Also joining the cast for Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is popular hip-hop artist Matthew "Mdot" Finley. Mdot will play the reigning hot-shot singer across the lake at Camp Star who challenges Camp Rock to a musical showdown. There's even a romance moment between Nate and Dana, the daughter of Camp Star's owner. The film is a Disney Channel Original Movie.
In an episode of Demi Lovato's show Sonny With a Chance, a parody of Camp Rock was made. The episode guest-starred Selena Gomez as herself, auditioning to play the role of "Sonny" in a film directed by Sonny's rival, Chad Dylan Cooper. As Sonny and Gomez fought to earn the role of "Sonny", Gomez eventually storms off the set, proclaiming that she didn't need the role, as she had been in "Camp Hip-Hop". The episode later showed Gomez performing a parody of Camp Rock, herself as Mitchie, as she hip-hop danced with fake Jonas Brothers and Big Rob dancing in the background.