The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex

  • Review Date: March 15, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 59 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Dueling personalities clash in likable series follow-up.
  • Review Date: March 15, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 59 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The story has valuable lessons about being a good friend, thinking before you act, accepting who you are, and solving problems.

Positive messages

Viewers see Alex learn important lessons in responsibility and making thoughtful decisions. She's prone to selfish behavior, which causes trouble for herself and her family, but it's her willingness to place their welfare over her own desires that saves the day. Along the way, she also learns to accept who she is, flaws and all.

Positive role models

Alex isn't perfect, as a person or as a wizard, but she's good at thinking on her feet and her heart's in the right place when it comes to her family and friends. Her parents encourage her to conform to the expectations of the Family Wizard, but she charts her own course and still manages to do her job. Her selfishness often causes trouble for other people, but she acknowledges it's something she needs to change.

Violence & scariness

Two versions of Alex duke it out in a flurry of punching and kicking. They also use magic against each other, but with little visible effect. A villain falls from the top of a tower, but the impact isn't shown. Another character transforms into a werewolf and fights with his adversary. All of the content is lightened by exchanges of quips and jokes between the players.

Sexy stuff

One kiss and some flirting between Alex and her boyfriend.

Language

One instance of "kick my butt."

Consumerism

This TV special is based on a popular TV series that has spawned an extensive merchandise line.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex is a thrilling choice for Wizards of Waverly Place fans who want to know what's next for these popular characters. The kid-friendly content is on par with the show's, with only a few light-hearted battles between wizards and a werewolf transformation young kids might fret over. Alex is as endearingly imperfect as ever, and the fact that the story explores her misgivings about growing up and conforming to other people's expectations means that there are some good messages about individuality and self-confidence to be found amid those of friendship, family bonds, and thoughtful decision-making.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In THE WIZARDS RETURN: ALEX VS. ALEX, the Russo family is busy planning a trip to Italy for a family reunion when newly crowned Family Wizard Alex's (Selena Gomez) eagerness to help winds up causing havoc instead. Tired of listening to her parents' admonishments to act more responsibly, Alex casts a spell to remove her selfish impulses, but accidentally creates an evil version of herself, who joins forces with a power-hungry wizard named Dominic (Beau Mirchoff) in an evil plot to rid the world of mortals. With the lives of her family and friends also on the line, Good Alex faces off with Evil Alex in a battle of wizarding wits and skills.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Alex vs. Alex marks the TV return of almost the entire Russo family, marred only by the notable absence of Alex's older brother, Justin, who is said to be too busy at WizTech to join the others. With everyone else in place, though, it feels as though no time has passed between Alex's victory in the wizard competition and these new adventures, and she's still the same indomitable, slightly self-absorbed teen whose frequent blunders continue to cause headaches for her family.

Happily, this story addresses this biggest personality flaw head-on, with Alex pulled between her own desires and the pressure she feels from her family to become more responsible with her new Family Wizard title. Her comical attempts to solve the problem with magic spiral into one disaster after another (which will be no surprise to viewers familiar with the show), but the eventual outcome reflect both Alex's strong adherence to her unique identity and the maturing process she's learning to accept, striking a pleasant balance that has some good messages for her fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the the impact of messages about body image and self-esteem from celebrities like Selena Gomez. Do you ever compare your appearance to theirs? Are theirs realistic standards for you and your peers? How might the message be received differently if it was delivered by someone who didn't look so "perfect"?

  • Talk to your kids about your expectations of them with regard to behavior, school work, household chores, etc. What are the rewards for meeting these expectations? What penalties exist if they don't?

  • Alex finds strength in her family and in her friendship with her best friend, who accepts her exactly as she is. Who in your life always makes you feel good about yourself? How does he/she do it? How does having a positive self-image help you succeed in your endeavors?

Movie details

DVD release date:June 25, 2013
Cast:Jake T. Austin, Jennifer Stone, Selena Gomez
Director:Victor Gonzalez
Studio:Disney Channel Original Movies
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Brothers and sisters, Friendship
Run time:59 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byZan678 April 4, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

the best EVER THING IN THE WORLD

its absolutely perfect please always vote wizards of Waverly place in all Nickelodeon's kids choice awards and all other awards Selena Gomez if your looking at this your my idol my favorite actress ans singer of all times please come to england to a city called leicester if you've heard king richard
What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byRosebud95 April 2, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

It was okay (too bad Justin wasn't there...)

It was fine, it wasn't Wizards vs. Werewolves near-epic, btu it was okay.
Kid, 10 years old March 15, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Cool

Super good show.
What other families should know
Too much violence

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