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Upcoming “Wizards of Waverly Place” reboot: will it succeed?

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Anna Maxwell comments on Disney’s new “Wizards of Waverly Place” reboot.

On Jan.18 Selena Gomez and David Henrie revealed that they would be returning as Alex and Justin Russo in a reboot of the hit Disney Channel sitcom “Wizards of Waverly Place.” Many older fans are excited at the prospect that these wizards will return and create a nostalgic show that many can enjoy. However, some wonder, will it live up to the original? With many recent retellings and reboots, Disney has not delivered according to fans with some even creating a petition to stop live-action remakes. Will this new “Wizards of Waverly Place” be any different? 

First, an overwhelming amount of live-action Disney princess movies have been released with a fresh cast and often new material. Famous animations like “The Little Mermaid” and “Mulan” have been revamped to create “new” classic movies Disney can profit from, without the added hassle of a new plot and characters. But is this really what their audiences want? 

There is an argument that these live-action versions span across wide audience platforms therefore making them more consumable. Older patrons are excited to view their favorite movie musical with a shiny new cast and many new possibilities and a new generation can view these new movies for the first time, creating more Disney classics. 

However, there has been significant backlash involving the new changes Disney has made within these movies. For instance, in the live-action “Mulan,” the music was taken out completely, which some fans considered a major loss. Additionally, in the upcoming retold classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the plot is going to be altered to feature a more independent Snow White that will not be saved by the Prince, played by the rising star Rachel Zegler. 

Long-time Disney lovers seem to not be excited about these changes to the new movie or about the many live-action remakes themselves. If the franchise believes that remakes are the best marketing route, they seem to be missing the mark, according to viewers. Many are hoping for new material and have yet to be rewarded. There have been some new films added to Disney’s recent collection, but they seem to fall flat. Disney’s new animation “Wish” received backlash for its not-so-hidden Easter eggs that made the movie feel cliche, and it does not seem to stop there. But does this discount the new “Wizards of Waverly Place” as well?

There still might be hope for the new journey the Russos will take 12 years following the original show’s end. The show will follow Justin Russo, now a father of two, as a human rather than a wizard. However, a new wizard that needs training shows up and will need help from Russo to become a powerful wizard. According to Teen Vogue, Gomez will only reprise her role occasionally throughout the show, rather than a regular, leading on-screen Alex Russo. With Disney’s past with remakes in mind, the show could go either way in terms of success. 

However, the recent reboot of the popular “iCarly” might influence the success of “Wizards” as well. Although the reboot of “iCarly” was canceled, the show had a successful three-season run with praise from fans and critics alike. Even though this show originated from Nickelodeon, it does suggest that the upcoming “Wizards of Waverly Place” will receive similar attention and invite a similar demographic. 

With that being said, Disney will have to work to create a show that attracts a wide audience, and that satisfies fans’ nostalgia and hope for an intriguing plot. If they do so, then the “Wizards of Waverly Place” reboot will be a reboot that you do not want to miss. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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