With Hannah Montana set to end after the next season Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place is one of the front runners to become the top rated tween show for in Disney’s arsenal. The Wizards of Waverly Place movie was one of the most popular Disney TV films in history and drew in new fans for the show from all over the world. In 2009 Wizards of Waverly Place won an Emmy award for Outstanding Children’s Show. The show, which is the first on the Disney channel to feature a Latin family and mixed race characters, also garnered several NAACP and ALMA award nominations for star Selena Gomez, who portrays the oldest Russo child Alex. She also won a Kid’s Choice award for favorite TV actress.
Wizards of Waverly Place follows the adventures, and misadventures, of the Russo children. Justin Russo is the oldest. Alex Russo, the only daughter, is the middle child and Max Russo is the youngest. Alex’s best friend Harper is also involved in many of the adventures that the kids have. The kids have magical powers passed down to them by their Italian American father, Jerry Russo, who was a wizard when he was younger but is no longer a wizard. The kids Mexican American mother, Theresa, has no magical powers. The kids must learn to use their magic and take regular lessons at WizTech, a magical school similar to Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter stories, although when they are older the three kids will have to compete against one another to see which one will be allowed to keep his or her magical powers. The others will lose theirs and become mortal. One of the rules that the kids must abide by is that they cannot use magic without supervision. They break that rule frequently trying to fix problems and real life situations that come up and then hijinks ensue as they try to fix the mistakes caused by their use of magic.
The show is a worldwide hit and is broadcast in dozens of countries. Regardless of culture fans in countries as varied as Australia, Pakistan, Turkey, and Bulgaria all have embraced the Wizards of Waverly Place. The universal themes of children trying to help people they care about get through life’s problems appeals to everyone, and parents appreciate having a show that is funny, innovative, and amusing that they can feel good about letting their kids watch. Even though the show is less than three years old it is already breaking records for the Disney Channel. Two of the episodes from the 2009 season of the show were the most watched shows of any shows on the Disney Channel in Disney Channel history. Parents all over the world have embraced Wizards of Waverly Place as a teaching tool that they can use to teach their children tolerance as well as teaching them valuable life lessons in a way that the kids can understand and relate too.