Today, I’m reviewing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling and how the book compared to the movie.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m not quite sure which book/movie I will be reviewing next week. I guess you’ll just have to be surprised!