There was much controversy when the first Harry Potter movie came out. Many of us adults had kids that were picking up a book (finally) and discovering the magic of the story JK Rowling had spilled out. When my boys first told me about the books, I reacted very similarly to many other people who had never cracked the pages before and I thought of cheesy characters and “black magic”.
I hesitated in letting my kids watch this movie until one night we had been planning to do something as a family and, since they had been begging me for so long, I relented and figured it was better to know what they were watching and I could turn it off if I was not impressed. (I had not read the books first, mind you.
The movie begins and within minutes, you really feel badly for poor little Harry Potter. His parents are dead, his aunt and uncle are mean, and when Harry begins to develop his magical abilities, he is treated as an outcast. His little cupboard under the stairs is his only refuge.
Harry is rescued on his 12th birthday as he is on a holiday with his “family”. Hagrid is quite protective of the youngster and takes him away…to Hogwarts.
Now Hogwarts is aplace of immense imagination. The sort of place every little kid dreams of being able to visit. Although there is danger lurking everywhere, the strength of Harry’s character comes out and he finally feels like he belongs. You will be mesmerized by the moving staircases, the floating candles, the ghosts with personalities, and the talking paintings.
Snowing but not getting snowed on…
Making a few close friends, and a few not so close, Harry stumbles upon a mystery of sorts that needs solved in order to prevent the Dark Lord from making his long awaited appearance.
For many magical people in the story, Harry is a prophecy come true. He is their answer and their deliverance from the darkness. To others, he is misunderstood and bullied because of his status as a “chosen one”.
Harry is proof that children are all special and have a purpose in life. He is the example to the bullied children when he holds his head high despite his adversaries. He follows his gut and does not succumb to peer pressure. He is fine with being who he is. He is the boy looking for answers and finding more questions.
How did you do that, Hermione?
I, personally, would not give it another beer. Never once did we feel like, “OMG! When is this going to be over?!?” Instead, I wished I had the second movie right there and it actually inspired me to read the very long children’s book myself. But, there are some who criticized the movie for snaking the darkness of “magic” into a film that is so influential on young children’s minds. As if yelling out made up words at each other is any better than the reality of what kids really yell at each other. And in the world of the imaginary, who has never shouted the magic word “Abracadacra”? Is that not a word that conveys performing a magical spell?
Ooohhh! Harry is gonna kick some… well, he proves a point.
Others complained about the length as it breached that two hour mark in the theaters. I could agree that hearing about it made me dread trying to sit there with small children, but there was no time during the entire movie where my kids acted bored. In fact, it was a very lively family activity to just enjoy it for what it was: The magic of the imagination.
I am very happy I had the chance to watch this movie with my sons. It took us all on an adventure I will never forget and led to many great memories as their love for the characters blossomed. I found nothing wrong with the possibility that magic exists, in fact, chopsticks became wands and graduation gowns became robes, and a little makeup became scars.
But, I loved that the reality was put out there that good and evil do exist together in our world as much as in Harry’s. It planted some great values into my kids’ minds, values that I had always tried to instill in them, but until they saw it on screen, it went in one ear and out the other. Harry has been a great example to my boys, for having such a rough beginning to life he still hung onto who he really was. It taught my kids that magic is cool, but it is okay to be themselves.
Take a Drink: every time a teacher at Hogwarts says “Harry Potter”
Take a Drink: every time Harry breaks the rules
Take a Drink: any time a character says “Expelliarmus!”
Take a Drink: every time a strange being appears on the screen
Take a Drink: whenever anyone mentions Harry’s scar
Maddy Olson blogs on a variety of subjects that are deep topics and can change lives. The film industry is a new frontier for her and writing about the costume fun experts at costumesupercenter.com is a very rewarding way to express her creativity. She absolutely loves it! Having four children of her own has allowed her to use the imagination she was gifted with and share that with you.