(2001) director Chris Columbus
The kids had never seen the first Harry Potter movie, and as Felix was just finishing up reading the first book of it, he was keen to see the film. It’s actually been kind of hard to get a hold of from Netflix because, I’m guessing, that a lot of people are catching up on the series. For Felix, it’s been peaking in his interest, and Clara has been enjoying them too.
I hadn’t seen this film since it first came out in 2001. And it’s kind of amazing that the film is nearly 10 years old.
The kids were particularly amused by how young Harry, Ron, and Hermione appear in this film (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, respectively). And it is quite striking, especially having just seen the most recent film where they are all now clearly young adults. Here they are, playing 11 year olds, meeting for the first time. It cracked the kids up to know end as they meet one another as their youthful selves.
I think I’d been kind of harsh on this film when it first came out, because it’s really a decent children’s film. What’s telling is not just that the characters and actors are younger, but as J.K. Rowling had written the story, the film’s adventures and story are more age appropriate for that demographic as well. What is still, if not more, striking, is how well they cast the film. The child actors are all very good and the adults are all notable English thespians.
And the film’s design, which they’ve hung on to throughout the series, is a lovingly and surprisingly well-rendered version of Rowling’s world. I would say that the digital effects have aged less well. The troll sequence, though the kids enjoyed it, looks particularly cheap and cheesy.
The film was much enjoyed by the kids, and more enjoyed by me than the first time around.