14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable family film! DVD doesn't have that many special features but does come with a wish stone!,
This review is from: Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie (Extended Edition) (DVD)
In "Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie", the Russo family have a family vacation in the Caribbean that both Jerry and Theresa are excited about. But Alex who dislikes going on family trips, has a problem with her parents because she wants to party with her friend Harper Finkle (played by Jennifer Stone) and have fun. But when she steals her brother Justin's spellbook (which was given to him by her father), she misuses it and nearly gets herself and Harper killed. Her mother has had enough with her antics and she is told that she will be going on the family vacation and a rule to all kids, no magic will be used. Unknown to Justin, Alex has hidden the spellbook with her and plans to bring it on the trip.
While arriving at the Caribbean,the Russo's meet up with a street magician named Archie who claims he is a wizard like them (after Max uses his magic in public and levitating him). Archie tells them the story about how his parrot Giselle was actually human but needs their help in trying to revert her back and need to obtain a special stone. Of course, for Justin, he enjoys the adventure and to visit wizard sites but their parents who are protective of their children, tells Justin no.
As the family is having fun on their vacation, Alex is not. In fact, she wants to start having fun with the first guy she meets in the Caribbean and is invited to go out. But her mother forbids her to and Alex becomes inconsiderate to her mother. Because of that, her mother scolds her and tells her that when they arrive back home, she is grounded. Upset with her mother, she tells her that she wishes that she and her father never had met.
Not knowing that she has activated a powerful spell from Justin's spellbook, now she has accidentally changed reality for her parents and her siblings. To make things worse, because Alex's parents now have never met, that means that they would never have children and will not exist.
So, immediately the children must fight against time and reverse the spellbook or else they will be gone from existence and lose their memories of family. This sets Justin and Alex on a trip to find the stone to reverse the spell but also trying to help out the unusual street magician at the same time. Meanwhile, Max tries his best to play matchmaker between Jerry and Theresa and making sure Jerry is not messing around with other women. But this proves a bit difficult as Jerry and Theresa's first encounter with each other was unpleasant.
Will the Russo children be able to fix the problem before they forget their memories?
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" is presented in widescreen (1:78:1). The shots from Puerto Rico look absolutely beautiful. A good number of outdoor scenes, so there is a lot of sunlight to make the scenes look quite vibrant. I've read that this is the first Disney Channel Original Movie to receive a widescreen transfer and that there were 350 special effects used in the film. Some of those special effects were well-done and some CG effects looked quite campy but then again, this is a TV movie and doesn't have a tremendous high budget, but for the most part, picture quality was solid and compared to the television show, the film looked great.
Audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. For the most part, the film is front and center channel driven but there are a few action scenes (such as the train sequence and the wizard challenge) that utilize the surround channels. Dialogue and music are clear and understandable. Also, included is the French and Spanish language tracks.
Subtitles are presented in English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles.
"Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" features the following special features:
* Wiz Pix - (10:25) Featuring the cast and crew of "Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" on location in Puerto Rico and behind-the-scenes of the making of the film. Also, the cast showcase their personal photos from the set.
"Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie: Extended Edition" comes with a special color changing wishing stone. Instructions explaining the different colors are included.
"Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" is an enjoyable family film. Before the film aired on television, my son was highly anticipating this film and wanted us to watch it with him. And obviously the series is enjoyed by many as it received over 11.4 million viewers for its premiere and becoming the Disney Channel's second most-watched movie after "High School Musical 2'. Also, becoming the most watched TV movie on cable this year.
Similar to "Hannah Montana: The Movie", it's not required that you watched previous episodes to understand what is happening in the film but it does help. Personally, I have logged many hours in the past year watching this show along with my son and for the most part, it's an enjoyable Disney Channel teen sitcom.
As a parent, the film is safe. There are no scary scenes or anything that parents have to worry about aside from Alex's behavior towards her mother and of course, she is punished for that. The film does get emotional near the end when Alex discovers the repercussions of making the wish but for the most part, the film is safe for children and most importantly, the film has an important message of the importance of family. I also enjoyed how the film integrated the parents along with the children, so the parents do play a major part in this film.
As for the DVD, personally I can not tell you what is the difference between what aired and what is featured on this extended version, so I'm not entirely clear of where the extra footage is in the film. I do think the addition of the mood stone was pretty cool and my son has literally had fun playing with it. But I will say that I wished that there were more special features included on the DVD. There is just the one 10-minute special feature included and of course, the usual promotion for Disney Blu-ray and Disney's Digital Copy. So, I was hoping for the usual Disney fare of music video or behind-the-scenes or even a gag reel, especially since this is a film, you would expect something more in terms of special features.
But overall, "Wizards of Waverly Place - The Movie" is fun, heartwarming and most of all an entertaining film for the whole family. Fans of the show will definitely want to pick this one up!