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Wizards of Waverly Place (May 26/11)

Wizards of Waverly Place is yet another Disney Channel series that has been unapologetically geared towards tweens, with the show's almost impressive lack of grown-up elements ensuring that older viewers will find little here worth embracing. The affable atmosphere within the series' short episodes admittedly staves off boredom altogether, and there's little doubt that star Selena Gomez's charismatic work plays an integral role in cultivating the show's watchable vibe.

Wizards of Waverly Place primarily revolves around the exploits of the Russo family: Jerry (David DeLouise), Theresa (Maria Canals-Barrera), and kids Alex (Gomez), Justin (David Henrie), and Max (Jake T. Austin). The twist here is that all five of the Russos are actually wizards, with the show primarily exploring their efforts at keeping their abilities secret from everyone around them.

Wizards of Waverly Place: Wizard School contains four episodes from the series' early days: Wizard School (Part One) (in which Alex and Justin arrive at a summer school called Wiz Tech to hone their supernatural abilities, and Alex, by episode's end, uncovers a plot by a professor to steal Justin's abilities), Wizard School (Part Two) (Alex attempts to prove that the aforementioned evil professor is out to drain Justin of his powers), Curb Your Dragon (Alex and Justin adopt a dragon disguised as a dog from a sleazy wizard), and Disenchanted Evening (Alex befriends a fellow wizard who has charmed his parents into letting him do whatever he wants).

Up next is Wizards of Waverly Place: Supernaturally Stylin', which boasts the following four episodes: Credit Check (Alex gets a job as an intern at a high-profile fashion magazine and is horrified after her boss takes credits for one of her ideas), Smarty Pants (Alex agrees to join her friend's team for a school-based quiz competition, with her decision to wear magical pants inevitably backfiring), Beware Wolf (Justin is dismayed to learn that his pretty blind date is, in fact, a werewolf), and Graphic Novel (in which Alex's rival is accidentally teleported into her magical diary, where she learns of Alex's secret crush).

 

About the DVDs: Buena Vista Home Entertainment presents these episodes in the proper aspect ratio - which is bafflingly 4x3 - and offers up one behind-the-scenes featurette per disc.