[[quoteright:250: http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/The_Wizard_6135.jpg]]

''For the homonym TV Series, see Series/TheWizard''.

->''"It's the dead seriousness of [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZErvASwdlU this line]] that really makes this scene immortal. This actor sells it like he's [[ComicBook/GreenLantern Hal Jordan]] gifted with this godlike artifact of immeasurable power, something to be feared and respected. He gives it the same battle-hardened, post-orgiastic tone as the classic ''[='=]I love the smell of napalm in the morning[='=]'' line from ''Film/ApocalypseNow.''"''
-->--'''[[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Noah Antwiler]]''' [[http://web.archive.org/web/20100729144425/http://spoonyexperiment.com/the-wizard/ on]] ''The Wizard''

''The Wizard'' is a 1989 film starring Creator/FredSavage, Music/JennyLewis, Creator/ChristianSlater, and Beau Bridges. It is about Jimmy, a young boy who suffers from a serious mental disorder reminiscent of [[TheRainman Hollywood Autism]] after a traumatic incident. After Jimmy is put in an institution, Corey (Savage), one of his older brothers, breaks him out. They decide to run away to "[[UsefulNotes/{{California}} Cawwwifffohneeeyaaaa]]" together, as Jimmy is for some reason fixated on the place.

Along the way, they meet with some other kids that eerily seem to [[ParentalAbandonment lack parental supervision]]. They also learn that Jimmy is a [[DisabilitySuperpower godlike entity around video games]]. Meanwhile, the concerned mother of the runaway kids hires a sleazy private detective named Putnam to track them down. Also trying to get to them are their father Sam (Bridges) and eldest brother Nick (Slater), resulting in rivalry between them and Putnam.

But none of this is what the movie is well-known for. The film is a fairly blatant MerchandiseDriven affair, made to sell Nintendo products and the Universal Studios tour. In fact, the film's appeal was that it had a sneak peek of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' (for North America; it had been available in Japan for more than a year).
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!!I love these tropes. They're so bad.
* AdultsAreUseless: Pretty much the whole driving point of the film is that every adult is either uncaring, evil, or incompetent: The kids run through ''half of Universal's backlot'' without being halted by the tour guide they're disrupting or caught by studio security (who should be much more familiar with the layout of the studio; they ''work'' there, after all).
* AwkwardKiss: Corey and Haley. Also a KissDiss and a TakeThatKiss.
* BigBrotherInstinct:
** The first thing Corey does when he hears about Jimmy being put into an institution? ''Break him out!''
** And what does Nick do when he hears of his brothers having ran away? He goes with [[PapaWolf his father]] to find them!
* BrokenAesop:
** The movie stresses ''self-reliance'' and ''independence''... but don't be afraid to pay some money to the Nintendo Hot Line to ''cheat''.
** The reason Haley's family is poor is that her mother was a gambling addict - so naturally the kids use Jimmy's gaming abilities and her own knowledge of craps to gamble their way to California.
* CompetenceZone: The child characters, and only a few adults demonstrate competence, while many of the characters older than the children are either useless, or childish.
* DanBrowned: Nearly every video game that's played for any length of time in this movie is depicted [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrIn8hklG-I incorrectly.]] And this as ProductPlacement paid for ''by Nintendo''. Probably the most egregious are the Super Mario Brothers 3 mistakes, since it was the centerpiece of the climax while most of the other games were only shown for a few seconds each and not in a formal setting. In SMB3, since they were competing on pure points, Jimmy finding and using the Warp Whistle is not only not a good move, it should have completely taken him out of competition. Picking up the whistle ends the stage without killing the boss and with no bonus, meaning that Jimmy first didn't get the 7k points for killing the Boom Boom, but he ALSO didn't get the stage clear time bonus of approx. 15k. Meanwhile warping to another world actively wastes time without doing ANYTHING to actually increase your score.
* {{Determinator}}: Jimmy to a certain degree.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Sam (Jimmy's father) tries to run Putnam off the road several times in ways that could easily cause flaming wreckage. To be fair, Putnam did slash his tires earlier simply because he ''really'' wants his paycheck.
* DoubleStandardAbuseFemaleOnMale: Haley's over-the-top reactions to Corey's harmless jokes.
* ExcitedKidsShowHost: That gaming emcee must '''really''' love his job. Overlaps with LargeHamAnnouncer.
* FanDisservice: [[http://www.spoonyexperiment.com/img/movie-reviews/the-wizard/img14.jpg The old man in the blue speedo.]]
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** The structure Jimmy builds with toy blocks in the beginning resembles the Video Armageddon stage at the end of the film.
** In the same scene, Bateman offhandedly wonders what Jimmy keeps inside the lunchbox he always carries. Midway through the film, we see that [[spoiler:it contains pictures and some artifacts from his dead twin sister.]]
* TheGamblingAddict: Haley's mom was implied to have been this when she mentions to Corey that "she had this little problem", which was how Haley "learned about Craps".
* GamerChick: Haley is a TropeCodifier. Mora, the geeky girl in the final round, also qualifies.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** This movie contains a surprising amount of profanity for a movie promoting ''Nintendo.'' At one point, after intentionally ramming into his car, Sam calls Putnam "chicken shit."
** "HE TOUCHED MY BREAST!"
** When Haley defiantly states that there's no way she will kiss a boy, Corey suggests, [[GirlOnGirlIsHot "A girl, maybe?"]]
** Haley mentions that her mother used to be a showgirl with "[[ShesGotLegs great legs]]" and claims to have inherited them, even asking Corey his opinion of them.
* HollywoodPsychology: Apparently going through a traumatic incident gives you [[TheRainman severe autism]] or [[AmbiguousDisorder something like it]]. ''Yeah''.
* HufflepuffHouse: Mora Grissom, the other finalist in the final round with Jimmy and Lucas.
* InspirationallyDisabled: Jimmy
* {{Jerkass}}:
** Putnam. He may be out to recover lost children, but 1) he doesn't handle with care (and acts more like a kidnapper) and 2) he actively tries to impede Sam (the '''father''' of the two boys) from finding them just so he can claim payment. He also completely disregards Corey, the other runaway child, simply because he is only being paid to retrieve Jimmy. [[TookALevelInKindness He does get better in the end.]]
** Lucas as well, who sells Jimmy and the rest out to Putnam when it becomes clear that Jimmy might just win the tourney. Earlier, Lucas revealed to Sam and Nick that Jimmy and his friends are heading out to California.
** Bateman, Jimmy's father (and Corey & Nick's stepfather). When he mentions having hired Putnam to find Jimmy, Sam asks "What about Corey?" To which Bateman replies, "Well, he ''wanted'' to run away. If we brought him back, would it do any good?"
** Perhaps even worse than Bateman is Sam's ex-wife, Christine, who shows no concern for Corey's well-being, and does not appear to support Jimmy's new hobby at playing video games (even when ''$50,000'' is at stake), despite Putnam abandoning his job to cheer him on, and even Bateman himself cheering on Jimmy ''right next to Sam!''
* KarmaHoudini: The truckers who rob the kids of their money; and some completely unrelated teen bullies who rob the kids of their money ''again''.
* KingOfGames: Two flavors in Jimmy, a gaming prodigy, and Lucas, who owns dozens of games and is master of all of them.
* LadiesAndGerms:
-->'''Video Armageddon Emcee:''' Well! Ladies, gentlemen, children, siblings, ''ANIMALS!''...
* LargeHamAnnouncer: The Emcee.
-->'''Emcee:''' Come up here, '''MY LITTLE BEAUTIES!'''
* MattressTagGag: Discussed. When Sam sees that Nick hooked up a Nintendo to a mechanic's TV without asking, Nick quips "It's not like I'm cutting tags off of mattresses, Pop."
* MerchandiseDriven: It can give ''Film/MacAndMe'' a run for its (sponsors') money.
* MissedHimByThatMuch: Corey, Haley, and Jimmy are riding in the back of a pickup which drives right by Putnam, who is (for some reason) ''standing outside of his car on the side of the road, shaving,'' with his back turned.
* MissingMom: When Corey asks Haley about her mom, she tells him that "she packed it in".
* MostWritersAreAdults: Most of the kids act more like middle-aged people than kids. Most of the middle-aged people act like kids. Does that balance it out?
* MostWritersAreMale: Coupled with the above, some of the obligatory female companion's behavior seems unlikely for a girl of her age.
* MundaneMadeAwesome:
** Lucas and his Power Glove. ("It's so bad.")
** Upon seeing the kids escape in an elevator, Putnam inexplicably screams "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?"
** Then there's the incredibly elaborate, high-tech Video Armageddon stage, with SeriousBusiness alarms, danger signs, big steel bunker panels, massive screens, and all the other stuff that came with it... ''and Super Mario Bros. 3''.
* PacManFever:
** Many NES and Play Choice-10 cabinets are littered in the film, and you do actually see the games for the most part, with the appropriate audio and everything, and even the Nintendo support hot-line is involved. This doesn't stop the characters from button-mashing in an exaggerated manner.
** During the ''Super Mario Bros. 3'' segment, warping to World 4 apparently provides a substantial score boost, even though in the actual game, warping in and of itself doesn't actually provide any point bonuses.
** Basically, the whole premise of playing for ''points'', which was already getting rather outdated by then; by 1989, how well one was doing at most of the games the children were shown playing would have been determined more by ''advancement'' than by the points.
* PapaWolf: When Sam got the news of Corey and Jimmy having gone missing, the first thing he does is go straight to finding them, with [[BigBrotherInstinct with Nick tagging along!]]
* PedoHunt: PlayedForLaughs in the infamous "He touched my breast!" scene.
* PopTheTires: Putnum, the bounty hunter after the kids, takes out the dad's tires to disable his truck.
* ProductPlacement: The Movie.
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: "SO I GIVE YOU!... [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3 SUPER! MARIO BROTHERS!]] ''[[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3 THREE!!!!]]''
* TheRainMan: Jimmy, the titular Wizard, is an InstantExpert in every video game he plays. He's even able to locate the [[GuideDangIt World 1 Warp Whistle]] in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' on his ''first try'' in the middle of an intense competition.
* RoadTripPlot: Sam and Jimmy journey to California by hustling Jimmy's skill at video games.
* ShoutOut: Spankey apparently works for Hawk Trucking, according to the lettering on the door, driving Lincoln Hawk's old truck from ''Film/OverTheTop''
* ThatOnePlayer: Lucas.
* TotallyRadical: Most of the film.
-->"I love the Power Glove... it's so ''bad''."
* TournamentPlay: Oh, how many ways we can pick apart this sequence.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: Nintendo didn't want the reveal of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'' to be a surprise, [[MerchandiseDriven for obvious reasons]], so they made sure the trailer gave viewers a nice, clear shot of the game's title screen.
* WalkingTheEarth: All of the kids become this.
* WhamShot: At the time, the reveal of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3'', which hadn't come out yet at the time of the movie's release in the United States, at Video Armageddon. For the characters, at least, since [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil almost everyone watching already knew this]].
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