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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter turns 20

Photo by Graphic by Gabrielle Shreve

The Harry Potter franchise celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Twenty years after the first film’s release, there is still nothing like dedicating a cozy fall night to binge-watching the “Harry Potter” series. Wizards, wands, spells, mail-delivering owls, invisible cloaks and a sorting hat are only some of the exquisite elements that make this world a special part of fans’ lives. 

J.K. Rowling is known for creating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which includes her famous seven original “Harry Potter” books that began releasing in 1997 starting with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” until her last release, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” in 2007. The Wizarding World also features two spin-offs, including “The Cursed Child,” a play which acts as the original series’ sequel following the “Harry Potter” characters’ children, and the “Fantastic Beasts” prequel series. Rowling created an entire world and put it on paper. The original “Harry Potter” books inspired eight films that began releasing Nov. 14, 2001, until 2011. 

The films’ storylines follow the life of the titular main character, Harry Potter, who miraculously survived a deadly attack from the darkest wizard in the Wizarding World, Lord Voldemort. There are many details throughout the book series, and it can be hard to capture and admire. The plot is a basic good versus evil story, but “Harry Potter” is anything but simple. The characters’ storylines and interactions are captivating, not to mention, the majority of the cast appears under 20 years old in most of the movies. 

Starting as mere children, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson have their cheesy moments, but give timeless performances that fans continue to celebrate.. As the audience watched Ron, Harry and Hermione mature on screen, many fans grew up with them along the way. 

The movie series begins lighthearted and fun, reflecting what childhood should be, and then shifts to a more serious tone as the main characters grow into young adults. The whole series comes to a head once Harry and his friends must fight for their lives and defend the Wizarding World.

The “Harry Potter” series was well made for its time. Starting in the early 2000s, the films had impeccable cinematography standards. The music, lighting, settings and brilliant CGI play considerable roles in the magnitude of the film series, and these films are now considered classics as a result. John Williams’ score instantly brings an epic feeling to the films and energizes the fictional world in a way it almost feels real. 

The series had one long storyline, but the individual movies had compelling stories of their own. The four directors who contributed to this series, Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell and David Yates, understood the overall vision Rowling initially had in her books and executed it perfectly. Despite various directors taking the reins throughout the series, they worked to make the films flow excellently, and there is not a drastic transition between films. 

Among the many big movie universes in cinema, the Harry Potter fandom has amassed a huge following of loving fans from all around the world. As the 20th anniversary approaches, this Halloween season is a little sweeter, knowing this adventure-filled series is still a go-to after all this time. 

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