HARRY POTTER 20th ANNIVERSARY: RETURN TO HOGWARTS deserves a standing ovation. Seeing so many of the original actors from the HP movies was a treat beyond my expectations.
The reunion was packed with clips from all nine films of the HP franchise. The directors, producers, and actors shared several unknown info, incites, and gossip. It was great fun viewing the auditions from our favorite trio, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint). Their emotional reactions to each other were authentic and filled with humorous and tearful moments. Revisiting some of the original sets were breathtaking. The first movies were created before CGI did all the designing. They were huge and magnificent. Hogwarts was real!
What I loved was seeing how different everyone looked today. Each shared their thoughts on what it meant to them to be a part of this incredible opportunity. All of the Hogwarts students literally grew up together and consider themselves a family. An additional bonus was learning who had massive crushes on other actors. Some, I would have never guessed.
Harry Potter changed so many lives. It gave people of all ages, a place to feel like they belonged to an extraordinary group. I remember standing in long lines buying these books and later seeing the films. My children and I devoured the series. We would spend hours reading, talking, and getting lost in J.K. Rowling’s creations. It was simply, magical memories I cherish. As a teacher, my English department allowed the freshman class to read the first book as an assignment. Students discovered reading for enjoyment and then see it all come to life on screen. What a gift.
Every actor who was interviewed for this reunion realized, in retrospect, how lucky they were to have this experience. The younger ones marveled at their every day, phenomenal acting lessons with the likes of Richard Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith, and Helena Bonham Carter.
HARRY POTTER 20th ANNIVERSARY: RETURN TO HOGWARTS showed how all of the movies are a part of film history. They left an indelible legacy for generations yet to come. I have no doubt that 50 years from now, people of all ages will still treasure this incredible story and series.
For all fans, don’t miss this special streaming on HBOMAX.