Parents' Guide to

Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Feel-good family movie has great messages for tweens.

Movie NR 2009 73 minutes
Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 13+

Shallow and sexist

Really disappointed - the mother is portrayed as a ditz who focuses on the romance in her and the father's early relationship, and the daughter is portrayed as someone who wants to go to parties and flirts with the surf instructor. Two out of six characters in this movie are female, and their characters are both defined by interest in romance. In addition, when a spell goes wrong, an alternate universe opens up in which the father is single. He proceeds to give strange women flowers and deems other women "hot" while talking to his son. In short, he is a sexist buffoon. A traveling magician's parrot is his significant other who was cursed, and the way he talks to her is both infantilizing and consistently involves referring to how she will go back to being beautiful eventually. We haven't watched the show and went entirely on the 7+ rating. We were taken aback by the consistent tone of romance, dating, and focus on appearance that permeated the movie. I suppose it could have been a good movie if these elements were removed, but not much would be left.
age 8+


The show is definitely better. This movie was not comedy or action. It did have great special effects though. Basically there is a wizard family that has a daughter that has a tantrum. The daughter wishes her mom and dad never met. After the wish comes true their lives are completely different. If they don’t fix it in time, they will disappear from existence. 5/10

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12 ):
Kids say (62 ):

This entertaining movie casts a little magic of its own, weaving strong positive lessons into a neatly crafted story that will charm tween viewers. Even if they're not already familiar with the characters from the series, they won't have any problem jumping right into the plot. Girls especially may find that Alex's familial woes resonate with some of their own struggles for independence.

Parents don't have to worry about the example that the rebellious teen sets for their own kids, since Alex eventually is forced to come to terms with her unpleasant behavior when she faces the possibility of life without her family. What's more, she learns important lessons in responsibility and self-confidence and improves her relationship with her brother after she sees things from his point of view. This upbeat, kid-friendly movie is a great choice for families of tweens and might even help get the ball rolling on discussions about topics like rules and respect.

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