A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The story has valuable lessons about being a good friend, thinking before you act, accepting who you are, and solving problems.
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
One kiss and some flirting between Alex and her boyfriend.
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One instance of "kick my butt."
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Products & Purchases
This TV special is based on a popular TV series that has spawned an extensive merchandise line.
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a comical, entertaining, and immensely likeable Wizards of Waverly Place entry. 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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.