Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone is the first film of the eight-film franchise. It serves as the introduction to the wizarding world, with its fun characters and crazy adventures. At the time of its release, a concept like this was never seen before. The film is truly unique and transports you into another world. What I think makes this film special is that the film doesn’t miss a lot of details in comparison to the book of the same name by J.K. Rowling. What brings the book to life is the attention to every little detail, no matter how small.
Starting with casting and characters, I like that they chose child actors that were around the same age as the characters they were portraying on screen. In a lot of book to film adaptations or just films about kids in general we typically see older actors playing kids. By casting Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and the other Hogwarts students, they bring a childlike innocence to the movie.
Something unique about this film in comparison to the other films in the series is that it holds a certain youthfulness to it. As the series continues, it grows with its characters and its audience. Becoming darker and dealing with more difficult or complex topics as the series goes on. As the first film of the series, it is very family-friendly and is definitely targeted at a younger audience. Yet, I find there is something in these films for people of all ages. I believe it is the youthfulness this film has that makes it so attractive to everyone.
The film is visually very beautiful to watch. The setting, set design, and costumes are beautiful to watch on screen, from Hogwarts castle to the shops in Diagon Alley. Looking at the visual effects of the film, they are not the greatest given the time this film was made. However, taking into account the time period it could have likely been a lot worse. I think the technology was simply not there yet to look realistic. Compare the magic in this film to the magic in the final films and it is completely different.
After reading the books for the first time, the movie and the book are very similar with only very few unimportant differences. Since they are so similar, this makes the film more appealing to readers of the popular series. I think this shows an understanding of their audience/ fanbase that they knew they already had and needed to satisfy.
This film sparked an era of teen novels to film adaptations including Twilight, Divergent, Narnia and The Hunger Games. I think without the Harry Potter series being as popular as it was in the early 2000s, these films would not have gotten the success they did or maybe they would not have been made. After Harry Potter studios knew this worked, and they knew they could try to replicate the same success. It created a whole new market to reach teens.
This film was a monumental part of my childhood and many others across the world. This series has become universal and has affected so many people. I recommend this film to anyone who loves adventure or sci-fi movies like myself. If you missed this series when it first came out, it is never too late to get into it.