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WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE
Supernaturally Stylin'

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars:  Selena Gomez, David Henrie, Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Maria Canals-Barrera, David DeLuise
Creator:  Todd J. Greenwald
Audio:  Dolby Digital Stereo
Video:  Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio:  Walt Disney
Features:  Backstage Disney
Length:  90 Minutes
Release Date:  February 10, 2009

"Be careful not to mess with the balance of things

Because everything is not what it seems!"

Shows ***

Three family wizards in training…only one will get to keep his or her powers.  Someday, that will be decided in an all out wizarding competition between siblings.  But for now…

The Disney Channel has continued their family-oriented success with the delightful Wizards of Waverly Place series.  It mixes fantasy with humor in a kid-friendly way that entertains both child and parent alike. 

Supernaturally Stylin’ bring us three episodes from the show that give a whole new meaning to the term “what not to wear”.  I mean, when you’re a wizard, and your clothes can do magic, all kinds of incredible things can happen!  Or, if you’re Alex Russo (Gomez), all kinds of trouble is afoot.

In one episode, we get a close look at the magic of wizard wear, which Alex tries to use to her advantage by donning a pair of ‘smarty-pants’ to artificially increase her brain power for a school competition.  Oh, Alex…will you ever learn?  Or if you did, will there still be a show to enjoy?

Alex also has troubles when she interns at a fashion magazine…when her boss steals one of her ideas, she figures revenge is the best medicine.  But it backfires, leaving her desperately trying to keep a time freeze spell going while she fixes everything!

But she’s not the only Russo with problems.  When brother Justin (Henrie) falls for a perfect girl, love is in the air.  But hopefully not under  the moonlit air…the girl is not only a werewolf, but manages to turn Justin into one as well!  Can mom and dad (Canals-Barrera and DeLuise) along with younger brother Max (Austin) save the day before the fur really starts to fly?

It’s all lightweight fun, but the cast is wonderful, from both young stars to seasoned veterans.  The Disney Channel has a terrific track record for family comedies, and Wizards of Waverly Place remains one of their most consistently amusing and delightful entries.  I hope someday we’ll see complete season sets of this show on disc…that would truly be magic!

BONUS TRIVIA:  Julia Duffy guest stars as the editor of the fashion magazine.

Video ***

These standard ratio video presentations were designed for television broadcast, but they work fairly well on DVD.  Colors are bright and detail level is fairly good for videotape source. 

Audio **

There’s not a lot of demand made from this simple stereo track.  Dynamic range is minimal, but the dialogue never gets lost in a mix of music or effects.

Features *

There is a backstage look at some of the costumes from the show.

Summary:

Do clothes make the wizard?  Just ask the Russos.  Or better yet, pop in a copy of Wizards of Waverly Place: Supernaturally Stylin’ and see for yourself.  Matching magic bag and shoes are not required.

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