Wizards Of Waverly Place: Wizard School
Movie: out of
Wizards of Waverly Place is a Disney Channel sitcom in the tradition of Hannah Montana, That’s So Raven, and Phil Of The Future. The series stars Selena Gomez (already touted by the media as “the next Miley Cyrus”) as Alex Russo, a teenage wizard living in New York City with her family. David DeLuise and Maria Canals-Barrera co-star as her parents. David Henrie and Jake T. Austin play her brothers, Justin and Max.
Wizard School is a collection of four episodes from the series' first season.
Wizard School, Parts 1 & 2 is a spoof of Harry Potter (all of the students are forced to wear Harry Potter eyeglasses), where Alex and Justin are sent to Wizard School for summer break. One of the teachers is plotting to steal Justin’s magical powers, and it is up to Alex to thwart Evilini’s plans.
In Curb Your Dragon, Alex buys Justin a dragon-dog, but they tell their parents they found the dog. When someone steals the dog claiming to be the rightful owner, the kids investigate.
In Disenchanted Evening, Alex meets a fellow classmate who also is a wizard. She learns that his parents allow him to practice magic without restrictions, but he has a secret.
Video: out of
There is a softness and graininess to the image, most likely due to the series' low budget. There is also a bit of bleeding in the colors, particularly in the reds. The audience this DVD is aimed for will probably not have an issue with the video quality, however.
Audio: out of
This is just your standard Dolby 2.0 stereo sitcom soundtrack. Dialogue was intelligible, with some music and the canned laugh track occasionally bleeding to the surrounds.
Special Features: out of
Backstage Disney: Work It Like A Wizard
Disney has provided a 9 minute featurette, spending about 3 minutes with each of the child actors discussing what they enjoy doing in their spare time when not working on the show. We discover that Selena likes to shop for clothes, Jake likes to skateboard, and David likes to play guitar. Not exactly groundbreaking or deep.
Overall: out of
Obviously, this series is not aimed at my age group. I found the series mildly enjoyable, with the scene transitions for each episode to be a bit hokey. Still, most girls under 12, to whom this show is most likely aimed at, will enjoy it.
Toshiba 56HM66 DLP HDTV
Sony Playstation 3 (upconverting to 1080i)
Yamaha HTR-5940 Home Theater Receiver (in 5.1 configuration)
Yamaha NS-AP2600 Home Cinema Speaker Package
Yamaha YST-SW010 subwoofer