Book 1: The Philosopher's Stone
As the first book in the series, the introduction of Harry into the wizarding world is as seamless as it is for the reader, with spells and customs explained to both at the same time. The teachers are a mix of fun and quirky, stern and moody. And of course there is Headmaster Professor Albus Dumbledore - the grandfather figure who manages to be cute and fluffy and powerful all at once. Dumbledore is, after all, the only wizard feared by Voldermort - the evil wizard who killed Harry's parents and many others and a wizard so feared that people daren't speak his name.
Hermione: Now, I am going to bed before EITHER of you think of
another brilliant idea to get us killed, or worse, expelled.
Ron: She needs to sort out her priorities.
As a film, this was arguably the most anticipated film of the last ten+ years. Children and adults across the world had grown to love the books and were eager to see their favourite characters on the big screen. And it didn't disappoint. The new young actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson weren't perfect but they weren't bad at all. Rupert Grint especially shone with the adorable charm of a Weasley.
It was a little cheesy in parts but the action more than made up for it. The three headed guard dog, the first ever look at the game of Quidditch (performed brutally on broomsticks) and a brilliantly creative and gripping finale made for a brilliant and very promising opener to the series.
Cast included Richard Harris as Dumbledore, the always brilliant Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, Alan Rickman as nasty teacher Severus Snape and Robbie Coltrane as the gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid. Even Harry's bullying and nasty classmate Draco Malfoy was played by Tom Felton who had already acted in The Borrowers and Anna and the King alongside Jodie Foster.