WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE: WIZARD SCHOOL
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5)
Selena Gomez as ALEX RUSSO
David Henrie as JUSTIN RUSSO
Jake T. Austin as MAX RUSSO
Maria Canals-Barrera as THERSA RUSSO
David DeLuise as JERRY RUSSO
Studio: Disney Channel
BY KEVIN CARR
With the Disney Channel’s tradition of ending their live-action sit-com shows before they become too stale (and also before the plucky young stars hit their rebellious years and ruin their images), they have to continuously drop new shows onto the dial. One of the newer selections is “Wizards of Waverly Place,” starring the pretty, young Miley Cyrus nemesis, Selena Gomez.
The show is a clear attempt to capitalize on the Harry Potter craze, featuring a family of wizards that live in the heart of New York. While keeping their wizardness a secret, the characters try to live a somewhat normal life, as teenage Alex (Gomez) and her brothers face the struggles that face most kids today.
Disney has released a DVD compilation of four episodes in “Wizards of Waverly Place: Wizard School.” Like most Disney Channel shows, this single-disc presentation gives a good sampling of the show that allows viewers to test out the show without buying a whole season.
What I enjoyed about this compilation is that the two-episode arc “Wizard School” shows us its hand with a wink and a nod to the Harry Potter influences. Alex and her older brother Justin (David Henrie) head off to a wizard academy (complete with long robes and black-rimmed glasses). In another episode, the siblings encounter another wizard teen in town who has enchanted his parents to allow him to use magic whenever he wants to.
The episode that held the most interest of my sons was “Curb Your Dragon,” not just because it featured a cute dog, but because the dog (being a dragon in disguise) farted fire. You just can’t go wrong with a kids’ show that features a farting dragon-dog.
The DVD comes with a behind-the-scenes featurette “Work It Like a Wizard,” which gives a look at the cast’s take on the show.
“Wizards of Waverly Place” is a fun show and enjoyable for both boys and girls. Like “Hannah Montana” and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” it has some humor in it for the parents as well and can be safe and fun viewing for the whole family.