Like millions of adoring HP fans, I anxiously awaited the Half Blood Prince and had movie tickets in advance to view on opening day. The theater was packed with young and young-at-heart alike. I have seen midnight showings, stood in line at midnight for books, and even once had a Canadian concierge deliver a book because we accidentally scheduled a weekend trip on a book release day. (She was also getting one for her daughter at midnight, so it wasn't too terribly inconvenient!) JK Rowling creates a world that mirrors our own in many ways, but has just enough of the fantastic to create an unforgettable coming-of-age epic.
At its most basic, it's a good v. evil costume drama saga (my favorite kind of book and/or movie!), where nearly everything imaginable is possible through wizardry. Plus, the Quidditch effects improve with each film! I am unconcerned with deletions or additions in the translation from book to film - it's a completely different medium for artistic expression so I let a little interpretation here and there slide by. The last books are very dark at times and I was glad to see that the movie doesn't sugar coat the events. (Two of my favorite "evil" characters below.)
Besides the books and movies, one of my favorite elements of the franchise is the variety of industries that also create tie-ins:
- Want to view the first 5 movies? Redmond Library showcased the preceding films in the run up to opening week.
- Want to read about special effects? View this article from Popular Mechanics.
- Want to try a few inspired recipes? Palate Sensations (in Singapore) offered a Harry Potter cooking class.
- Want to see props and learn more about Potter science and technology? Visit Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry exhibit.
- Want to take a vacation? In the next few summers visit Florida's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
With the Deathly Hallows split into 2 movies, there will be a couple more years of anxious anticipation before I have to say goodbye (again) to "new" Harry Potter adventures.