To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone landing in cinemas, I wanted to reflect on the films success and discuss my love of the Wizarding World franchise 20 years later.
As someone who has spent a great deal of time obsessing over the Harry Potter books and movies, it’s crazy to think that almost 20-years-ago to the day, at the incredibly young and impressionable age of six, I was wedged between my parents at the old Warner Bros. cinema in York watching a movie that would change my life forever.
Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, to the best of my recollection, was the first movie that I ever watched in the cinema, and as cheesy as it might sound (and slightly embarrassing to admit), I still remember walking out of that packed screen and whispering to my mum that I can’t wait to go to Hogwarts. Even though my Hogwarts letter never arrived (I’m still convinced that the postman pocketed it), my love of the Harry Potter franchise and the Wizarding World never faded.
Along with films like Star Wars, Indiana Jones and The Lord Of The Rings, the early Harry Potter movies sparked my interest in cinema, shaping my young life and pushing me to peruse a career in the film industry (I’m still working on that last part). It may sound silly to say, but Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone had such an immense impact on the direction that my life has taken up to this point. Without that first Harry Potter movie, as well as its sequels, I would have never studied film at university or launched a fan blog that allows me to interact with Harry Potter fans around the world.
So, what makes Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone a movie that we should still care about after 20 years?
While the early Harry Potter movies, particularly the first two instalments, are in many ways overshadowed by their sequels, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone deserves an incredible amount of credit for introducing viewers to the Wizarding World and offering fans a faithful, exciting and awe-inducing adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s first book. In comparison to some of the later films, which head in a much darker direction, filmmaker Chris Columbus, who directed the first two instalments of the franchise, flawlessly captures the sense of awe and wonder that Harry feels throughout his first few years at Hogwarts, and places it into every magical moment for the audience to fall in love with.
There’s no single answer to why Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone is still one of the most beloved movies 20 years after it’s release, but the charm and sense of wonder that Chris Columbus and everyone involved in the production brought to the film is undoubtedly a factor.
Do you remember seeing Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone for the first time? Tell us all about it in the comments below!