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We’ll be delving into the oh-so fascinating world of book to movie adaptions. What did the movie get right? What did it get wrong? Is it still worth watching or is it so bad that you want to crawl up into a ball and cry? Hopefully we can help you form an opinion! Be forewarned, our dear readers, for spoilers lie ahead.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Donning a round pair of glasses and a simple lightning shaped scar will have most people on this planet thinking of one particular character: Harry Potter. The heroic wizard has been capturing the attention and shaping the imagination of people around the world for almost two decades thanks to his creator, JK Rowling. She describes Harry’s adventures at Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with a plethora of color and excitement that would make any child wish they had a wand in one hand and a broom in the other. The seven-part series has sold more than 450 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 73 languages.

However, every story has its humble beginnings and this famous bespectacled wizard’s started in his first adventure – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The book was published on June 30, 1997 and, four years later, in 2001 Harry Potter made his debut on the silver screen. Played by the young, doe-eyed Daniel Radcliffe, the infamous wizard was brought to life before our very eyes by director, Chris Columbus. But the big question is: did the movie do the book justice?

Marielle:

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone is surprisingly accurate when you compare it to other book to movie adaptions. Not only does it give off the same vibe of pure, unadulterated wonder, it also follows the plot of the book quite closely, even using some direct dialogue straight off of the page. Chris Columbus worked with JK Rowling to make sure to get as many details as he could into the movie, and it seems like he achieved that. The film doesn’t take too many drastic twists and turns to make the story more interesting because, well, the story is already so rich in itself, there wasn’t much to add.

One of the main themes of The Sorcerer’s Stone is Harry’s immersion into an unknown world of magic. As readers, we go through that journey with him, so seeing the movie translate those anxious moments of doubt and excitement was something very important. And fortunately, the film does not disappoint! One of the most striking scenes is Harry’s first trip to Diagon Alley, a busy hub of magical shops and wizard-friendly restaurants. Here we get our first real look into this strange, magical world with its quirky shops that line the cobblestoned streets and the people who bustle by, dressed in pointed hats and billowing cloaks. This is all thanks to the set designers, who definitely succeeded in creating a whole new, exciting atmosphere.

Speaking of set design, the designers get another ten house points for how they portrayed Hogwarts: School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. This place is the central hub of Harry’s story, so doing it justice was certainly something that must have weighed heavily upon everyone’s shoulders. However, from the sweeping shots of the castle, to the moving stairs, and the candles that floated above the students’ heads in the Great Hall, the school is as breathtaking as it was described in the book. The rustic beauty of the school’s halls and the seemingly endless amount of students ambling around truly made the place seem magical.

Another Harry Potter staple is the wizarding world’s favorite sport: Quidditch. Translating this from book to film could have been corny, and it might have been in some parts, but ultimately, the movie makes Quidditch look good. The action is fast-paced and thrilling, making it just as enthralling as it was in the novel. It even includes Harry’s first crowning moment as a member of the team when he catches the snitch in his mouth, later coughing it out in a scene that made everyone laugh in both the cinematic and book version.

In short, what’s so great about the movie is the similarities it has to the book. It has the perfect mix of magic and realism that makes you truly believe that there could be a secret wizard society living among us. Although the film is missing a few minor points when it comes to the plot, the atmosphere it creates and the feelings of wonder it induces make up for it. In the end, even though our problems don’t involve three-headed hellhounds, unicorn-blood-guzzling overlords, and troublesome ghosts, both the book and movie inspire us to believe in a world of infinite possibilities.

Vann:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was brought to life on the big screen in 2001 to the excitement of many. All kinds of fans were lined up at the theater in their wizard robes and excitedly waving their homemade wands around. The opening weekend earned over 90 million, earning its position as one of the top most grossing movies. Although at the time many of the fans were children, adults were still entranced by the story, hoping to escape their reality for a while.

Everyone’s pet peeve about the movies, is of course how so many scenes were changed or completely taken out. It would be extremely difficult to try and fit everything into the movie since there are so many little events, but let’s take a moment to point out those differences.

The first scene in the movie shows Dumbledore, coming down the street, awaiting Hagrid’s arrival, with Professor McGonagall. Next the Dursley’s appear with obvious dislike and even hatred of Harry Potter. However, in the book, the first scene is a comedic one of Vernon Dursley suspiciously going about his day and frequently seeing people in funny clothing, who were actually wizards celebrating the demise of Lord Voldemort. To a viewer it might seem that the book version would be more entertaining to watch, but the movie version gives the beginning of the series a more mysterious aura and entices the viewer.

Towards the middle of the movie, a reader may suddenly wonder, where’s Peeves? Peeves is a mischievous poltergeist who runs rampant across the school and is Fred and George Weasley’s partner in crime. Many of the iconic scenes in the book contain Peeves and he’s usually the comic relief to counter the depressive moments later on in the series.

Another scene in the movie that was greatly different in the book was the adventure of stowing away Norbert, Hagrid’s illegally kept pet dragon, where they snuck through the castle under Harry’s invisibility cloak, avoiding the watchful eye of Argus Filch and his evil cat. It’s a whole debacle of having to contact Ron’s brother, Charlie, and trying to avoid being caught by Draco Malfoy. Sneaking out of their dormitories and trying to work together to transfer Norbert seems to be one of the reasons the Gryffindor trio were on their way to being life long friends. In the movie, Norbert was shown being born and then suddenly taken away from the viewers.One of the last scenes that differs significantly is the Devil’s Snare scene where Harry, Hermione, and Ron are all trapped in the vines. In the movie, it’s Ron who is hysterical and trying to loosen the vines, while Hermione heroically remembers that Devil’s Snare doesn’t like sunlight and frees them. Of course, this is a great scene for little girls who will be able to have someone they can look up to, but this pushes Ron down to being only comic relief in the later movies. Meanwhile, in the book, Ron is the one who remains calm and tells Hermione to cast Lumos.

These were just a few of the differences between the book and the movie. Other moments include Hermione’s potion riddle, Harry’s green eyes, and Harry not only seeing his parents in the Mirror of Erised, but also his extended family. Even though many things were left out of the movie, I believe it did indeed do the book justice. It still takes us to another magical world and we can finally see it instead of just imagining it while reading.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);

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He Said, She Said has been reborn; and the column is now called Read VS View!