Wizards of Waverly Place

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Wizards of Waverly Place TV Poster Image
Magic, mischief, and lessons for young tweens.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 55 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 219 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational value

The show is primarily intended to entertain, but kids will take away pointers about being a good friend, sibling, and family member.

Positive messages

The show has positive messages about family, responsibility, friendship, honesty, and making good decisions, and each episode includes a lesson that's emphasized at the story's end.

Positive role models & representations

Characters aren't perfect by any means, but they always learn from their mistakes. Typical teen and tween behavior includes sibling arguments, mild rebellion against parental authority (a girl tricks her father so she can go to a clothing sale, for instance), and bickering among female peers. Many teen girl characters are obsessed with physical image, clothes, and shopping.

Violence & scariness

Magical mishaps sometimes result in some bumps or collisions, but it's all fairly benign, and injuries are rare.

Sexy stuff

Some episodes deal with mild boy-girl issues like flirting, crushes, and first kisses.

Language
Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's little to worry about in this Disney sitcom about a trio of siblings with magical powers. Each episode offers positive messages about responsibility, honesty, and making good decisions, and characters learn from their mistakes. Teen girls are sometimes portrayed as image-driven and shopping-obsessed, and some mildly rebellious behavior (a girl uses magic to help sneak out of the house for a clothing sale, for example) is common. Older tweens might find the squeaky-clean package a bit on the cheesy side, but it's fine for younger ones.

User Reviews

Adult Written bysydneypine April 9, 2008

beware of waverly place ESPECIALLY if you have a daughter

Diligent parents beware. Alex is a girl obsessed with how she looks and what boy likes her. She fails tests effortlessly and shows no concern for her poor gra... Continue reading
Adult Written byJulia from Sweden June 4, 2014

OK for kids

Obvious Harry Potter/Bewitched copy, and they even acknowledge it. Series finale was a bit disappointing, but the Harry Potter spoofs are the best I've eve... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byJesusLuvsYew May 14, 2011

Lame.

The "WizardsVs. Angels" episode was very offensive! They made the good angels look like a bunch of giggly idiots who can't protect themselves. Al... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written by96grlpowrCE March 5, 2010

The fact that they gave this an Emmy is almost sickening.

Wizards Of Waverly Place is highly overrated. I'm surprised to see Common Sense calling it wholesome and whatnot. Whoever wrote the review clearly has not... Continue reading

What's the story?

To casual observers, Justin (David Henrie), Alex (Selena Gomez), and Max Russo (Jake T. Austin) are typical siblings, living in Manhattan with their parents, Jerry (David DeLuise) and Theresa (Maria Canals Barrera). In truth, the siblings are anything but ordinary: They inherited powers from their dad's side of the family and are actually wizards in training, learning the ins and outs of their magical craft. But despite Jerry's best intentions, their focus often strays from his careful instruction when they realize their powers can be used for more entertaining endeavors. As their magical powers strengthen, Justin, Alex, and Max must learn to control them -- and identify appropriate times for their use -- or run the risk of losing them altogether.

Is it any good?

WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE is full of standard Disney TV fare: a nuclear family headed by two devoted (if often outwitted) parents, tweens and teens with woes that young viewers will easily relate to (a snobby rival who lives to embarrass a teen girl, for example), and squeaky-clean content. There's little here to worry parents of the show's target tween audience; while there's often some mild misbehaving of some sort going on, in the end, important lessons are learned and consequences are faced.

If you're looking for a worry-free series to transition your young tween into the next stage of entertainment, Wizards of Waverly Place might be right up your alley. But don't be surprised if older tweens -- who will easily see through the predictable storylines -- find the package a bit hokey.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how siblings relate to each other. Kids: Do you think the characters' relationships are realistic? If you have siblings, how are the show's characters similar to you and your brothers and sisters? How are they different?

  • Is it ever difficult to get along with siblings? Why? What do you do then?

  • Do you think you would be closer to your family if you all shared a secret like the young wizards in the show do?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love magic

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