Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Book vs. Movie

Hi again!

Today, I’m reviewing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and how the book compared to the movie.

Book CoverMovie Poster

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

Barnes & Noble give this overview of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry, an orphan, lives with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley.

One day just before his eleventh birthday, an owl tries to deliver a mysterious letter—the first of a sequence of events that end in Harry meeting a giant man named Hagrid. Hagrid explains Harry’s history to him: When he was a baby, the Dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, attacked and killed his parents in an attempt to kill Harry; but the only mark on Harry was a mysterious lightning-bolt scar on his forehead.

Now he has been invited to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the headmaster is the great wizard Albus Dumbledore. Harry visits Diagon Alley to get his school supplies, especially his very own wand. To get to school, he takes the Hogwarts Express from platform nine and three-quarters at King’s Cross Station. On the train, he meets two fellow students who will become his closest friends: Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

Harry is assigned to Gryffindor House at Hogwarts, and soon becomes the youngest-ever Seeker on the House Quidditch team. He also studies Potions with Professor Severus Snape, who displays a deep and abiding dislike for Harry, and Defense Against the Dark Arts with nervous Professor Quirrell; he and his friends defeat a mountain troll, help Hagrid raise a dragon, and explore the wonderful, fascinating world of Hogwarts.

But all events lead irrevocably toward a second encounter with Lord Voldemort, who seeks an object of legend known as the Sorcerer’s Stone…

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

BOOK REVIEW

I first started reading the Sorcerer’s Stone when I was ten (before the film version was released). Honestly, I wasn’t able to get into it the first time. To me, the beginning (up until Hagrid first arrives) was just too slow. It wasn’t until after I had gone to see the film that I picked the book up again and read the entire thing.

I loved the first book so much, I got the next few (the first three or four had been published by that time) right after and spent all my free time reading them. I still love the series and have read all of the books at least two or three times.

My favorite part about the Sorcerer’s Stone was the details J.K. Rowling included. Her writing let me envision what the characters, houses, castles and classrooms looked like. I especially liked this because the main characters (Harry, Ron, Hermione etc…) are 11 and when the movie came out and I started reading the book, I was also 11. I’m not going to lie, I imagined myself on that train to Hogwarts with them. I thought it was the coolest thing that my age correlated with theirs.

The book has so many characters and sub-plots throughout it that it’s almost impossible to get bored but at the same time, it’s not confusing. I can recall reading other novels with so many sub-plots you can’t keep them sorted in your mind and almost get lost. Rowling wrote these books in a way that you’re never confused about what’s going on in the story.

MOVIE COMPARISON

I have to start off by saying my favorite part about the movies is that they knew they would keep the same cast throughout all of the movies. Throughout the series, there have been different directors, different looks and different locations but the cast has been a constant.

Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson

I really like the Sorcerer’s Stone film. Especially as a kid, I remember being afraid of the troll and Fluffy, being memorized by the different creatures, and let’s not even talk about how scary I thought Voldemort was. I still enjoy watching the movie. The only downside is that now I can pick up on some of the unpolished acting of the younger cast. I will say, however, that the acting has gotten better with each film. (Let’s be honest though, Daniel Radcliffe has never been very good at crying on camera.)

There are quite a few differences between the book and the film. The Wireless Wizarding Network and Open Book Society mention a lot of the differences on their pages. Of course, scenes, characters and some details from the book have to be left out of the film version for times sake but the main differences I noticed were no Peeves the Poltergeist and less Neville Longbottom.

In the book, Peeves and Neville both have much larger parts. Peeves is constantly mentioned in all of the books of the Harry Potter series. I use to have a HP computer game and he even had a big part in that. I find it strange that there are a lot of extra ghosts floating around in the movie but no Peeves.

Neville has a larger role in the adventures in the book than he does in the movie. In the book, he goes into the Forbidden Forest and meets Fluffy but in the film, he’s always stuck in the dormitory.

Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom

  All in all, the movie was very true to the story. J.K. Rowling had a big part in the production and I have no doubt that helped to keep the movie close to the book.

I would recommend all of the Harry Potter books and movies to anyone who enjoys an escape from their everyday life.

NEXT TIME

I’m not quite sure which book/movie I will be reviewing next week. I guess you’ll just have to be surprised!

Jenna

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3 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Book vs. Movie

  1. laurenmazza says:

    Jenna,

    I seriously feel like we are the same person after reading this post and I find it ironic that the fourth movie is on TV right now as I am writing this response.

    I remember when I was little, I also didn’t get into the book at first. I remember thinking it was nerdy and stupid but someone persuaded me to pick up a copy. Thank GOODNESS I decided to do so. I was also 11-years-old and I remember being upset that my letter from Hogwarts never came in the mail. I agree with you about Rowling’s writing style and I hate when people wont even gives the books a chance. Rowling really knows how to get you sucked into her world with her vivid descriptions and great character development. It’s so hard to even put the books down and I remember reading some of them in one day. I am not sure if you agree with me, but now that I am older and re-read all the books (some for the 6th or 7th time), I think that the 5th is the best one despite it’s length. It is so well-written and you can really feel all of the emotions Harry is feeling.

    That being said, I do have a problem with a lot of the HP movies and I usually end up leaving the theater angry (seriously, don’t get me started on the last film). But I really enjoyed the first one as I felt it stuck pretty true to the book. The exclusion of Peeves from the series as a whole never bothered me but I was upset that the adorable Matthew Lewis wasn’t in the movies more. I think Neville is such an interesting character who grows throughout the series and I think it was a mistake to downplay his importance in the movies.

    I also agree with you and don’t think Daniel Radcliffe is the best actor out there and there are points where I laugh out loud sometimes (see the 4th movie when Voldemort touches his scar), but they really are cute kids and I am glad they kept the same actors throughout the series. I think that would have been such a huge mistake if they had changed.

    I also second your recommendation…EVERYONE should read these books and check out the movies. They may be set in fantasy but the emotions they feel are very realistic as they deal with dating, betrayal and death.

    Lauren Mazza
    http://www.tighttraveling.wordpress.com
    http://www.facebook.com/LaurenMazza

  2. mnorth1 says:

    As an avid HP reader when I was in middle school and early high school, I can say I have been thoroughly disappointed with all the movies. It’s definitely tough to take an epic series which such deep characters and convert it into good film and I feel the Harry Potter movies are a testament to that. The movies did not do J.K. Rowling enough justice. The directors improperly fleshed out characters and left out crucial parts that left readers like me shaking their heads.

    If you are into it, I might suggest a look at the HBO show Game of Thrones, which is based off the “A Song of Ice and Fire” epic written by George R.R. Martin. Critics have hailed the books as the “American Lord of the Rings”, and I can say as a reader of the series and a fan of the show, I think a very good job is done adapting the two.

  3. Lauren King says:

    Well your blogs are giving me more reason not to read some books before I see the movie, it seems that a lot of people are upset about it and there is a lot of negativity surrounding it. But I will say that I enjoyed the movies A LOT.

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