Upside-Down Magic
Promotional poster
Based onUpside-Down Magic
by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
Written byNick Pustay
Josh Cagan
Directed byJoe Nussbaum
ComposerTom Howe
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producers
ProducerDrew Locke
CinematographyAdam Santelli
EditorGordon Rempel
Running time96 minutes
Production companies
  • Resonate Entertainment
  • Bad Angels Productions
Original networkDisney Channel
Original releaseJuly 31, 2020 (2020-07-31)

Upside-Down Magic is a Disney Channel Original Movie and adaptation of the eponymous fantasy book series by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins. The film stars Izabela Rose and Siena Agudong. It premiered on Disney Channel on July 31, 2020.


Best friends Elinor "Nory" Boxwood-Horace and Reina Carvajal discover they have magical powers: Nory can transform into animals and Reina can control fire. They enroll at Sage Academy, a prestigious magic school.

At Sage Academy, there are different classes for each student: the Flare class for students who can create fire with their hands, the Fluxer class for those who can turn into animals, the Flyer class is for those who can fly a few feet from the ground, the Fuzzy class for those who can talk to animals, and the Flicker class for those who can levitate things to them with the flick of a finger. The duo must test their magical powers to see if they are fit to be in the honors-level classes for their magic category.

During the test, Reina shows off her flare skills while Nory unintentionally transforms into a cat/dragon hybrid while trying to turn into a cat. Reina is placed in the Honors Flare class, but Nory is placed in the Upside-Down Magic program, a problem for students who have imperfect abilities as Headmistress Knightslinger considers them to be easy targets for the Shadow Magic, an evil force that uses a person's magic against everyone else through possession. As Nory and her fellow students secretly plan to perfect their abilities while assisting Budd in his grounds keeping, Headmistress Knightslinger is unaware that the Shadow Magic has ways of targeting the most unlikely students.

Reina discovers a book about Shadow Magic and, unaware of the Shadow Magic legend that Nory and the other UDMs were taught, takes the book to the dorm and finds a page about strengthening magical abilities. Reina reads the page because she was being belittled by a fellow Flare student named Phillip who has more Flare experience than her, and even her strange new friend Chandra is unable to fully help her.

Budd finds that his students are working to perfect their abilities in secret and agrees to help them while keeping Headmistress Knightslinger from finding out.

The next day, Reina prepares for Founders’ Day, where Reina competes against Phillip. Reina's powers are unusually strong and she gets to represent the Flares. Nory attempts to crash the competition by turning into a kitten, but instead becomes a wild boar/cat/dragon hybrid. Reina uses Nory's favorite Flare move to snap Nory out of it, but it almost burns Nory because Reina's powers have been so unusually strengthened.

The Shadow Magic book starts appearing after where Reina goes when she tries to get rid of it, and Chandra acts increasingly strange and has knowledge of the book. Reina tells Chandra to take the book with her. Chandra takes it, but it just reappears in Reina’s room. Chandra is revealed to be an embodiment of Shadow Magic in human form the next day when the other Flares cannot see who Reina is talking to. Chandra manipulates Reina and possesses her. At Founders' Day, Reina goes up to represent the Flares and uses a complicated Flare trick and becomes a shadow-like being who threatens to destroy the entire school. Eventually, it is the UDMs who are able to rescue Reina and return her to normal enough for her to defeat the Shadow Magic.

After the incident, Nory and the UDMs are moved into their respective magic classes and Budd is now an official Fuzzy teacher. In a post-credit scene, the Shadow Magic book falls off the shelf as it opens on a specific page that shows the magic logo with one symbol that has been removed in the normal magic logo. Shadow Magic is not fully defeated and it seems to have its own lost category of magic that it wants to show the world at any destructive cost.



Development and casting

Disney Channel optioned the book series in 2015.[1] Production began in August 2019 with the cast announcement.[2] Joe Nussbaum directed and executive produced the film, with Suzanne Farwell and Susan Cartsonis also executive producing; Nick Pustay and Josh Cagan worked on the teleplay.[3][4]


Principal photography took place on Vancouver Island.[5] Shawnigan Lake School was used as the setting for Sage Academy, with students used as extras.[6]


Upside-Down Magic premiered on Disney Channel on July 31, 2020.[7] The film was released on DVD on November 10, 2020.[8]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2021 Canadian Cinema Editors Awards Best Editing in Family, Television Movie or Series Gordon Rempel Nominated [9]
Leo Awards Best Picture Editing Youth or Children's Program or Series Gordon Rempel Won [10][11]


  1. ^ Petski, Denise (September 22, 2015). "Disney Channel Acquires Tween Tale 'Upside-Down Magic'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  2. ^ "Newcomer Izabela Rose Leads Ensemble Cast for New Disney Channel Original Movie "Upside-Down Magic"". Disney Channel (Press release). August 19, 2019. Retrieved 2019-08-20 – via The Futon Critic.
  3. ^ Fox, Sarah (June 18, 2020). "Disney Channel Original Movie 'Upside-Down Magic' to Premiere in July". The Slanted. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Upside-Down Magic Fact Sheet". Walt Disney Television Press. June 18, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  5. ^ Starr, Michael (July 9, 2020). "Meet the 15-year-old star of Disney Channel's 'Upside-Down Magic'". New York Post. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  6. ^ "DISNEY MAGIC". Shawnigan. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  7. ^ Bucksbaum, Sydney (June 18, 2020). "Get a first look at Upside-Down Magic, the Disney Channel Original Movie-version of Harry Potter". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  8. ^ Upside-Down Magic DVD, retrieved May 7, 2023
  9. ^ April 19, Lauren Malyk; 2021. "The nominees up for the 2021 CCE Awards". Retrieved 2022-05-12.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ "GOOD NEWS: 2021 Leo Award Winners". Retrieved 2022-05-12.
  11. ^ "Congratulations: 2021 Leo Award Winners » Canadian Cinema Editors / Les Monteurs et Monteuses de cinéma canadien". Canadian Cinema Editors / Les Monteurs et Monteuses de cinéma canadien. 2021-07-08. Retrieved 2022-05-12.