Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie
know you are getting old when you watch the movie version of the latest
Disney Channel sensation and most of the time your gut reaction to the main
characters is this: Man, those kids are complete and utter brats. How do
their parents put up with them?
yeah, Iíll admit it. I am not the demographic that the makers of Wizards
of Waverly Place Ė The Movie are shooting for. Iíll also come clean on
the fact that Iíve only seen one or two episodes of the tween-favorite
series that this TV movie springs from Ė though I do remember enjoying that
a little more than I did this film.
Wizards of Waverly Place Ė The Movie
is a strangely
mean-spirited but essentially benign little trifle of a movie.
is a celebration of the family that spends 75% of its running time having
its family of characters completely mistreat and disrespect each other Ė
leading to a feel-good ending in which they realize how important they all
are to each other. We might feel more triumph in this eventual realization
if not for the fact that each and every one of them is completely
responsible for the chasm in their relationships. Frankly, if I were
related to these people, I would probably try to keep my distance as well.
Warlock falls in love with and marries a mortal, agreeing to give up his
powers for love. Fast forward about eighteen years Ė the couple has had
three precociously bratty children, all of whom have inherited dadís old
powers. However, just because dad and mom wonít use magic, why canít the
kids? Problem is, in this wizard world, apparently only one of the kids can
keep the powers. The
high concept is sort of a variation on the old
Those kids are Alex, a cute but sulky and mouthy sixteen-year-old girl
played by current Disney princess Selena Gomez, her older brother Justin
(David Henrie), who is a perfect mamaís boy and Max (Jake T. Austin) who
acts as old as his characterís name even though he is like twelve.
why exactly is this made as a movie and not just an episode of the series?
Well, it is longer. It is filmed on location at a Caribbean resort
(undoubtedly owned by Disney). It has no live studio audience / laugh track
to let us know when itís supposed to be funny. Also, in fairness, there is
a bit of low-level special effects work here.
Thatís about it.
storyline here has Alex mistakenly causing an Itís a Wonderful Life
quandary when she wishes her parents had never met during one of her fairly
regular temper tantrums. Of course, her parents never having met means that
none of them had been born, so she and her brothers must get mom and dad
back together before the kids all fade away into the recesses of time and
are helped by a low-rent local wizard (Steve Valentine of Crossing
Jordan slumming here) and his girlfriend who has been turned into a
parrot by a magical spell.
course, having to work together to save their family makes all of them Ė
even the parents who do not remember having children Ė appreciate the family
silly and mostly harmless, making for the kind of carefree fluff that will
entrance twelve-year-old girls and probably kind of bore their parents. I
do wonder what kind of a role model it is to show children constantly
ignoring and berating their parents and making it all
seem okay in the long
run. But hey, itís not like this makes Wizards of Waverly Place
unique in childrenís entertainment.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2009 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: December 12, 2009.