Annie On Writing

June 1, 2010

Wizards of Waverly Place a Winner

Filed under: Review — Annie Evett @ 12:55 am
Tags: ,

“Wizards of Waverly Place” focuses on the Russo family who live in a suburban TV style large city. With a fairly typical middle class family,( which includes a mother, father and three kids) they live a normal life; except that the children are wizards in training a fact they attempt to hide from friends and other family members with sometimes disastrous results. Disney won several awards when this was first aired, and for good reasons.

Most of the story lines focus on the sibling rivalry between the children as the rules within this magical world is that only one child in a family may keep their powers. As each episode is revealed, the audiences opinions as to which one is likely to be triumphant, changes.  When all of the children within the family turn 18 a family competition is to be held to determine who keeps their power. This is a constant threat and promise throughout the episodes.  Each episode looks at how each child wields their powers and the lessons they may learn from abusing or using it.

The show is a definite winner in the Tweenage market; but has plenty of humour and one liners which keeps older family members amused. Although the humour can be a little cheesy, its clean and doesn’t lower itself into bathroom behaviour or language to gain its laughs. As it is rated PG, the material is suitable for young children and contains very little ‘scary’ or unnerving aspects.

The storylines are held together by strong characters, who unlike may family sit coms, are not perfect. The family members are accessible and believable to a wide range of young people. The Russos are dysfunctional on a number of levels, proving that even with special powers, themes of sibling rivalry, jealousy, bickering and love are constant throughout. Although the characters may fight amongst themselves or compete, they still manage to stay friends; upholding the Disney banner of blood being thicker than water and the importance of family ties.

The Episodes reviewed came from Season 1, Volume 2 ; which was launched this week in stores.   The titles include Curb Your Dragon, Movies, Pop Me And We Both Go Down, Potion Commotion, Justin’s Little Sister, Wizard School Part 1, Wizard School Part 2.

My kids loved it and have watched the entire series twice this week. ( ages 5 and 7)


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