Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie – Disneycember


– Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, yet another Disney Channel movie based on a Disney Channel show that I have never watched. Honestly, I didn’t even though this is where Selena Gomez came from. Once again, seeing how I haven’t seen the show, I can’t really compare it to the original source material, but I can say for a newcomer, I actually followed it surprisingly well, and also as a newcomer, I actually didn’t see it as that bad. My first initial thought was it was gonna be another Harry Potter spin-off like some of these other Disney Channel movies. But that’s not really quite the direction it goes. Alex, played by Selena Gomez, is part of a family of wizards that lives on Waverly Place. But they don’t stay there long as the mother decides they need to grow closer together, so the family takes a vacation. But the teens, being normal teens, are not having a lot of fun. Alex eventually feel so shut in that she accidentally uses her powers to make it seem like her mom and dad never met. The spell works. The parents have no idea who each other are or the kids. And they seem like completely different people when they’re single. Using their magic irresponsibly, not caring that much about other people, all the usual stuff. But it looks like they only have 48 hours before reality sets in and the kids themselves will disappear. In fact, their memories already seem to be going. But it just so happens they come across a half-assed magician who used to be a wizard– in fact, the parrot used to be his girlfriend– who has a secret map to the stone of dreams, a magical device you can make one wish upon that will come true, so it’s Harry Potter slash Even Stevens slash Indiana Jones slash Beach Vacation that all these Disney Channel movies seem to like to go on. Upon hearing the plot, you wouldn’t think very much of the movie, and truth be told, its strength is not in its writing. Its strength is in its performances. In a lot of these Disney Channel movies, you always kind of feel like these actors are shoved together really fast and yet they’re supposed to act like a family, like they’ve known each other for years. And you can’t blame ’em. I doubt they have much rehearsal, and they have to just go, but here, because I think they did have years of being on a show, they really have a camaraderie. – All right, people. Let’s move. This way. – The other way. – The other “this way.” – They have the one-liners. They have the zingers. But they never seem too mean. They seem like the kind a normal family would make. Take for example this scene where the father asked for the wand back. – Just give me the wand. Come on. – Come on. – Give me the wand. -Give me the wand. – Now, written down, him mimicking him wouldn’t be that funny, but because the performances seem very real, it works. That really is the saving grace of this movie. I legitimately like watching these people. Nobody seemed out of place. No one was giving an awkward acting job. They all seemed legitimately believable. Even something as silly as this magician talking to his parrot. It’s so dumb, but by God, every minute he’s on screen I believe that parrot is his girlfriend. He sells it as well as Jimmy Stewart does making you believe there’s a rabbit in the room. – Yeah. Yeah, but I know. I know you were sentenced to 50 years in feathers. But if you take the stone first, it’ll disappear forever. You’re kind of good at this, aren’t you? I hate it when we fight too. – They not only work in context of the comedy, but they work in connection to the other characters. I totally buy every single one of their relationships. And they would act how they’re acting towards one another. The only part where I get a little lost– and again, maybe this comes back to having to know the show– is that there’s this competition at the end that they have to go through in order to become real wizards. But it kinda springs out of nowhere in that they talk about a little bit. But you don’t think it’s gonna be the climax. They both have to try in order to become real wizards so that they can get the spells to put everything right, and yeah. It’s pretty. It’s neat. It’s creative. But I just don’t think it was fully explained or worked into the story that great. Especially when you find out what saves the day, it almost kind of seems pointless. But still, most of the funny moments work. It looks nice. It’s creative, and even some of the dramatic moments hit bull’s-eyes, and again, that comes from the surprising believability of these performances. Does every joke work? No. Does every line work? No. Are there awkward moments? What Disney Channel movie doesn’t have that? But still, at the end of the day, I like watching this family. They’re snarky, but you can tell they love each other, and it doesn’t feel manipulative. It’s the same way Malcolm in the Middle acts so mean to each other but at the end of the day you know they’re a unique unit, and they still function as a caring family. That’s more than enough for me to say this ain’t half bad.




Comments
  1. I loved watching the show as a kid and I liked the movie, the show sets up the whole competition thing much better than the movie explains it

  2. I agree, I was surprised with how well their performances were especially for a DC movie. Selena did really well in this.

  3. Yeah, Critic, in the show, the competition is basically not only who would be a full wizard afterward, but who keeps their powers. In a family of multiple wizard kids, when they're grown up and go into the competition, only one of them will stay a wizard. Or at least, that's how it's supposed to go, if I recall correctly. It's been a few years.

  4. The competition is a real thing and was established before the movie was created. The tournament is actually the finale of the series. It is a core reason for Alex and Justin’s rivalry (Max never seemed to care), and is brought up quite a bit in the series.

  5. Such a piss poor use of messing with time and space. If she wished her parents never met, then she shouldn't even exist instantly, and then never made the wish and then cause a paradox.

  6. I watched this movie on Netflix a couple of months ago after not having seen it since it came out (when I was still sort of a tween) and it actually made me cry. The show is dorky, but it actually has a pretty strong emotional center and the family dynamics are really compelling.

  7. Ok next Disneycember you need to go through all these series that you haven’t watched, at least their best episodes. Because I feel that without knowledge of the actual show you can’t really understand the plots completely of these movies.

  8. Yeah the wizard battle is a direct result of knowing the show
    To avoid magic being exposed to the world only one child of a wizarding family can become fully fledged

  9. The competition at the end is basically what the entire plot of the show is leading up to. they talk about it all the time. pretty interesting show honestly.

  10. This show was the last show I saw on Disney Channel, after they concluded this series I grew out of watching Disney

  11. Holy cow – the street magician is Steve Valentine, the voice of Alistair in the Dragon Age games! I didn’t know that until I saw this review, but he’s very recognizable!

  12. My girlfriend made me watch this with her… and NC was right, it's not bad. It has some good characters, especially the magician and the dad. Acting is convincing, story is fine.

  13. God, this show got so incest vibe-y! There's an episode where Alex wishes the eldest brother didn't exist and The Mom thinks the eldest brother and Alex would make a cute couple! EwwwwX100!

  14. I always felt as though this is exactly where the show should have ended. There is so much at risk and so much that feels right that it, in its own way, wraps the show up wonderfully. Not that I have anything against the show post movie, but this really hits hard where it rightfully should have finished.

  15. This where I kinda got disappointed in The NC pics for movie's. He went with a few to many that were based around Disney show's and not movies that were just movies. I'm not saying what he did was bad, but it just seem's odd is all to re-view a movie around a show you've never seen before. It just felt like he skipped a lot of good ones and the Wizards one is one I would have skipped. Still that's just me.

  16. I never thought i would see a movie where the acting is beyond the writing. Especially a movie from the same channel that produced the Camp Rock movies.

  17. I loved this show and espeally this movie when I was little and my favorite character was Alex. I thought that the first shoe I was obsessed with was Gravity Falls that ended 2 years ago that I was in the first fandom…but I kind of was in a fandom a small one though because I was still in 1st grade but I cosplayed as Alex for character Day. I even made a bet for $5 that Alex would win the series final…I was right but no one ever payed me-_- Heck this year being a freshmen in High school for character Day I was a combination of both Dipper and Mabel(because I have both their personalities and look identical. And now I am on the online huge fandom.-anyway I enjoyed your perspective of this one so much thank you^-^ if I make a series or animation movie in the future I will know the do's and don't for their story, characters, originality, and comedy(I want to make something as amazing or better than Gravity Falls which would be hard to beat that but that is my goal^-^

  18. Throughout the entire show its explain that they will have to go through this competition the dad and his brother already did in the winner of the competition is the only one that gets to keep their magic and family

  19. How in the world are supposed to rate a movie and give your thoughts on movie as based off of a show we never even seen the show you should watch the show then rate it so you can get all the feels that the that the movie is supposed to give you because if you actually watch the show in fall in love with the show you might be bringing brung into tears by the end of this movie

  20. For anyone interested, the family wizard battle was in the show, the idea is that only one child can take on the family magic, so in this movie and the show they do the competition, in the show, I can't remember why but I think they all came of age, in the movie it's because the wand to undo the spell was the family wand, so to cast the spell someone needed to become the head of the family,

    Jeez I remember all of this… Just why? I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning yes I remember this show, jeez

  21. I'm sorry every time Steve Valentine talks I think Alistair from Dragon Age. Though I admittedly saw this movie before I ever played Dragon Age.

  22. I have never seen the original show, but i enjoyed the movie.

    Edit: Wait, the parrot was his girlfriend? I thought it was his sister.

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