So, it appears that this little Nostalgia November series draws to a close. It just so happens that I found four movies exactly when I was perusing Disney+, which means that, coincidentally, I had just enough to execute this series. That does, unfortunately, mean that this is our last installment. “All good things must come to an end”, as they say, so, last but not least, the Wizards of Waverly Place Movie.
First things first, a plot of this movie: After a stunt of taking the Subway car out for a joyride, Alex is forced to go on a family vacation with the Russo’s, which, thanks to her escapades, is now a magic free vacation, much to the siblings dismay. Of course, when they arrive in Columbia, tensions rise between Alex and her mother, and when Alex happens to be holding the most powerful magical items in the family, she of course breaks and utters the “I WISH YOU AND DAD HAD NEVER MET!” line, giving us our plot. Now, thanks to her accidental spell, the siblings have forty eight hours to reverse the magic, lest they fade out of reality forever. Max is dispatched to keep the parents turned strangers out of trouble, and Alex and Justin set off on a discord filled adventure with a local Magician/ex-wizard and his evil Parrot/ex-human Jazelle, to find the Stone of Dreams, a magical artifact that can reverse any spell. A quicksand pit, a few riddles and fall risks, a betrayal via rainbow fowl, two disappearing brothers, and a wizard duel later, Alex gets the stone and managed to reverse the spell, resulting in a now very happy family. Typical Disney writing.
Now, granted, this movie is the epitome of overdone, awful Disney acting. The relationship between Alex and Justin is so overdone, Alex’s reaction to the tragedy of losing her brothers is obviously faked, and the portrayal of their parents is, to say the least, half baked. But, harsh comments aside, Alex is still iconic in her character, and the plot writing isn’t honestly that bad. Very cheesy in that Disney channel way, of course, but I mean come on. The movie has an evil parrot. That has to count for something based off of chaos factor alone.
Next, there’s the actual costuming. Frankly, the costuming in this movie was not that great. The only redeemable thing is the dresses Alex’s mom wears, because we do NOT discuss the outfit they put poor Selena Gomez in for this film. Even for 2000’s “fashion” trends, those hideous white boots were pushing it. However, it is worth mentioning we see Justin in a white tank top, and a swimsuit, so there is something to be said, and no I will not repent in saying it. David Henrie is attractive. Plus, the mom’s dresses really were kinda pretty. Still, though, Scooby Doo movies take the award for costuming.
Then, of course, there’s the actual magic of this movie. Now, I’ve always been a bit of a heavy critic when it comes to magic systems; they’re something I value greatly in all of my nerdiness. However, the magic system for WOWP always did have a certain charm. I like how the spells seem almost invented on the spot, it might not be the most realistically functioning magic system for the actual characters, but it encourages creativity when I inevitably insert myself into the world being created story lines in my head. (Come on, Literaries, we all do it.) Plus, the actual animations they used for the magic isn’t all that bad, especially considering the fact that the movie released in the 2000’s.
However, this movie was quite possibly one of the biggest nostalgia hits of the series. I still vividly remember sitting on the living room carpet and waving my hand around while I uttered my own awful encantations, pretending to be Alex. And that, folks, is the reason I do not regret rewatching this and even recommend you do so, too. Until next time!
Sincerely, someone who still thinks he could have won that wizard duel.