Blog Response 10: Harry Potter – Prisoner

Analyze the Book
1. Harry Potter the book is typical child fiction. Those who have read it as a child have grown up with a place in their hearts for the book. A major part of the books appeal is its rich and creative world that it takes place in. I have never read the books but people tell me they are great. And Mr Byrne seems to love them too.  From what I can tell the major appeal is the emphasis on imagination and seems to have an agenda of promoting reading as an important part of a childrens upbringing as many of the spells are learned from books and or classes in general. Grown men like Harry Potter so it certainly has quality above the childlike fascination with magic and being the chosen one.

Analyze the Film
2.  Prisoner of Azkhaban was the first Harry Potter film to have a change in director. The first two films were directed by Chris Columbus, and were by all accounts lighter in tone and visuals. This film however being a stand alone movie was still very light hearted and child friendly as any other movie, although it did aim to frighten in certain parts. Many shots in the movie are filmed at night or in the fog of late day. The movie definitely keeps a high pace about it, perhaps with the knowledge that it is for excited children, from scene to scene there is an emphasis on movement and spontaneous events to keep with the rhythm of the movie.

Analyze the Adaptation
3. The Prisoner of Azkhaban took a tonal shift from the previous movies and perhaps from the books itself. What is most interesting about this is that the books were not yet finished, and since Rowling was so close and involved in the films, this representation of her work no doubt influenced the direction she took with her writing henceforth. Rowling had adopted a more cinematic friendly style of writing since the movies were created, allowing them to be easier adapted. Also the tone of Rowling has arguably shifted to match the slightly darker direction the films were taking.


Takes Harry Potter on as a joke sees who is really a fan or who can’t take a joke.

This is actually pretty interesting because it is a site that ranks movies on the age group that is appropriate to watch the film. This movie being darker than the previous. Some of the scary scenes might be too violent or intense for children under 10 apparently.

I felt like this was a good analysis generally from my point of view. I am one of the quote “Potter-sceptics” and this reviewer anticipated that this movie might not win me over (which it really didnt). But there are areas that anyone can appreciate like the sets which are ambitious and grand in scale, as well as the acting from some of the older members of the cast. I can agree with these assumptions.

Critical argument
5. The task of adapting a book while the series has yet to be finished is definitely an interesting one. The idea that the writer subconsciously or not might start writing with certain actors faces and mannerisms in mind is already going to effect her future work. This situation reminds me of how the Game of Thrones series is being made. With the author not finished we several major story lines, im sure his judgment may be skewed by fan favorite actors or certain plot lines that have deviated from the books in the show. He may even start to adopt directions for characters that were solely based of the show. Regardless of whether or not an author admits it, having seen their story put to screen will affect them mentally and cause changes in their writing, these Harry Potter movies may have changed the later part of the series for better or for worse.


3 thoughts on “Blog Response 10: Harry Potter – Prisoner

  1. The film is definitely darker than previous Harry Potter films. This darkness is possibly due to the growth of the characters. Although the film takes a twisted approach, highlighting deception and betrayal, it still remains a genuine children’s film. The story is relatable with its multi-generational appeal, gaining identification from children and adults alike.

  2. When I read the critical analysis questions and saw this one, I too immediately thought about Game of Thrones. Not only because the show is so popular, but that series has many similarities to that of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban at the time that it came out in theaters. I do disagree on the fact that the authors are subliminally changing their writing. I feel like both J.K Rowling and George RR Martin are such elite writers that seeing their work on screen would not cause them to follow the trend of the show.

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