» » Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban (2004)

Short summary

It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
Harry Potter is having a tough time with his relatives (yet again). He runs away after using magic to inflate Uncle Vernon's sister Marge who was being offensive towards Harry's parents. Initially scared for using magic outside the school, he is pleasantly surprised that he won't be penalized after all. However, he soon learns that a dangerous criminal and Voldemort's trusted aide Sirius Black has escaped from the Azkaban prison and wants to kill Harry to avenge the Dark Lord. To worsen the conditions for Harry, vile creatures called Dementors are appointed to guard the school gates and inexplicably happen to have the most horrible effect on him. Little does Harry know that by the end of this year, many holes in his past (whatever he knows of it) will be filled up and he will have a clearer vision of what the future has in store...

Trailers "Harry Potter und der Gefangene von Askaban (2004)"

In order to acquaint himself with his three lead actors, director Alfonso Cuarón had each of them write an essay about their characters, from a first-person point of view. Emma Watson, in true Hermione fashion, went a little overboard and wrote a 16-page essay. Daniel Radcliffe wrote a simple one-page summary, and Rupert Grint never even turned his in.

J.K. Rowling based the dementors on her battle with depression.

Ian McKellen turned down the role of Dumbledore. Having appeared as Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, he said, "I had enough trouble living up to one legend. Two would be too much to hope for." He also stated it would have been inappropriate to take Richard Harris' role, as the late actor had called McKellen a "dreadful" actor.

Alfonso Cuarón had the idea that when the dementors approached the Hogwarts Express the rain would turn to ice. However, due to his thick Mexican accent the visual effects team misheard "ice" as "eyes". They went as far as to draft a storyboard which depicted eyes falling from the sky, which they presented to a stunned Cuarón, who instantly corrected their mistake.

A clause in Alfonso Cuarón's contract forbade him from cursing in front of the kids on set.

(at around 1h 23 mins) Originally, the script called for Hermione to slap Malfoy as opposed to punching him. During rehearsal for the scene, Tom Felton told Emma Watson to slap him, however, he had intended for her to not actually hit him, and thus was taken by surprise when Emma smacked him across the face as hard as she could. Emma said she felt terrible about it afterwards, and didn't know what she was thinking.

Aware of his fondness for music, Gary Oldman presented Daniel Radcliffe with a bass guitar as a gift when they met.

During the filming of the sleeping bag scene, Alfonso Cuarón, Michael Gambon, and Alan Rickman played a practical joke on Daniel Radcliffe (who had requested to have his sleeping bag next to a girl whom he liked at the time), by hiding a remote-control-operated Whoopee Cushion in his sleeping bag. According to Cuarón, Daniel tried really hard to stay in character while everyone else was laughing.

To make the Knight Bus appear as if it was zipping through traffic at an extremely high speed, the scenes were filmed with the bus driving at normal speed and the rest of the traffic driving at snails pace. The film was advanced though the camera at a slower rate than it would eventually advance on screen. When the scene was played back at normal speed, the bus appears to be driving super fast.

J.K. Rowling said she "got goosebumps" when she saw several moments in the film, as they inadvertently referred to events in the final two books, she stated "people are going to look back on the film and think that those were put in deliberately as clues."

Alfonso Cuarón had the idea to better establish the layout of Hogwarts, to make it seem more like a real place, and not simply a group of sets. "We started linking spaces," Cuaron said. "You see that there's the Great Hall, and right outside the Great Hall you see a hallway leading you to the staircases. And you take those staircases to the Gryffindor dorm. Or if you walk over the wooden bridge, you exit into a little garden of monoliths. When you go past the monoliths and down this specific path, you get to Hagrid's hut." Essentially the entire layout and structure of Hogwarts, and its grounds, were altered for this film, and remained more or less the same for the following sequels.

Alfonso Cuarón had the idea to have Harry, Ron, and Hermione wear everyday clothes more often than their Hogwarts uniforms in order to show more of the characters' personalities. He also gave the rest of the Hogwarts students permission to wear their uniforms any way they wanted to in order to bring a greater sense of realism to the wizards' school, hence why some of the students wear the uniforms very neatly while others have the shirts and ties hanging out.

The bats seen flying around in Hagrid's hut are real. They were particularly challenging to train, and Daniel Radcliffe noted that they tended to urinate everywhere. The animal trainers kept the bats under control using food-rewards; they especially enjoyed banana.

Final Harry Potter film to feature a score composed by John Williams. Williams would continue to be credited throughout the film series for the main motif, "Hedwig's Theme," which was adapted by the composers for the subsequent films. Many fans hoped that Williams would return to compose the music for one of the later films, but he ultimately never did.

The tattoos on Sirius Black's body and hands are borrowed from Russian prison gangs. They are markings which identify the person as a man to be feared and respected.

Alfonso Cuarón had never read the Harry Potter novels, or seen the first two movies, when he was offered the job of director. It was Guillermo del Toro who convinced him, saying: "Don't be stupid; read them immediately."

Harry Melling had lost so much weight that the role of Dudley Dursley was almost recast. Eventually, it was decided that Melling would continue to play Dudley, and would wear a fat suit to make him look heavier.

Chris Columbus originally signed on to direct all of the Harry Potter films. However, he realized that by doing so, he would miss out on seeing his children grow up, and decided to pass on directing the subsequent films. He would remain on board for the third film as a producer, but after shooting wrapped, he ultimately decided to end his involvement with the Harry Potter franchise.

When designing the Marauder's Map, graphic designers Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima decided to stray from the traditional rolled-up treasure map with burned edges, and designed it instead as a folding map with many layers, each representing a different level of Hogwarts Castle. The shapes of the various areas and objects depicted on the map are defined with written words as opposed to draftsman's lines. The map was printed on white paper and subsequently "aged" using a rich blend of coffee in order to give the appearance of old parchment.

Emma Thompson accepted the role of Professor Trelawney to impress her four-year-old daughter, Gaia Wise. Tilda Swinton was originally offered the role, but declined.

(at around 54 mins) During the Quidditch game between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, the seeker racing for the Golden Snitch alongside Harry is, in fact, Cedric Diggory. This is unknown to the audience, although readers of the novels will be aware of this fact already. Cedric appears officially in Harry Potter ja tulepeeker (2005) (recast as Robert Pattinson).

Between takes, Emma Watson liked to play with Alfonso Cuarón's hair because it was so long. She even put it in pigtails. "I'm his unofficial hairstylist," Emma said.

Alfonso Cuarón coached Daniel Radcliffe in one scene where the latter had to act awed: "Pretend you're seeing Cameron Diaz in a G-string". It worked.

Filming was halted following the vandalization of the train used as the Hogwarts Express.

The symbols under Sirius Black's picture on the "Wanted" poster translate as "more or less human."

(at around 24 mins) It was Alfonso Cuarón's idea to have a Hogwarts Choir singing as the students enter the school, and he suggested using "Double, Double Toil and Trouble" from William Shakespeare's Macbeth. John Williams agreed, so the tune - and lyrics - ended up being used throughout the film, titled "Double Trouble". The Shakespeare/Macbeth motif was used to the extent of the film being marketed under the tagline "Something wicked this way comes". And, coincident or not, the lines in the play are spoken by witches, who are called the "Weird Sisters". In the novels, the Weird Sisters are a popular wizard band.

Alfonso Cuarón had an idea for there to be tiny people inhabiting Hogwarts, and jumping on piano keys in one scene. J.K. Rowling firmly vetoed it, saying tiny people were completely foreign to the world of her books.

Some fans were skeptical when Alfonso Cuarón was announced as the director for this film, as his previous film, Ja sinu ema ka! (2001), a road comedy about two sexually obsessed teenagers who take an extended road trip with an attractive woman in her thirties, was controversial as much as it was acclaimed, as the film contained explicit nudity and sexuality as well as frequent rude humor. However, David Heyman felt he was the perfect director for the film, as he understood the emotions of teenage boys. Author J.K. Rowling was thrilled when she learned Cuarón would be directing the film, as she had seen and loved "Y tu mamá también" and likewise felt he was an excellent choice for director.

Gary Oldman was "surprised by how difficult it was to pull off", comparing the role to Shakespearean dialogue.

(at around 1h 1 min) Honeydukes "is floor-to-ceiling psychedelia" and includes Mexican skulls made of sugar. The cast was told that the Honeydukes candy was lacquer-coated, when in fact it wasn't, to prevent candy from disappearing between takes.

David Thewlis was Alfonso Cuarón's first choice for the role of Professor Lupin. He accepted the role on advice from Ian Hart, the man who was cast as Quirrell, who told him that Professor Lupin was "the best part in the book."

Ron's fear of spiders was explained by author J.K. Rowling as stemming from a trauma when he was three years old. In retaliation for Ron's having broken his broom, his brother Fred turned Ron's teddy bear into a spider.

Illusionist Paul Kieve served as a consultant. He taught magic to several members of the cast, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, and worked extensively to create physical magical effects. He is the only professional illusionist to have worked on any of the films, and as a result, this film includes several discrete, authentic practical illusions throughout. The 2-Disc DVD turns finding them into a game for the viewer. Kieve also makes a cameo appearance in the film, during the Three Broomsticks pub scene.

Perhaps the most noticeable difference between this film and the two previous films is the characters' costumes; incoming costume designer Jany Temime (the third costume designer the series has had) gave most of the characters completely new wardrobes, and also re-designed the Hogwarts school uniforms and Quidditch robes. Temime wanted to bring a more modern look to the characters, at the same time being careful not to make them look too trendy. The only character whose outfit did not receive an overhaul was Severus Snape, as Temime thought that the existing billowing black robe suited the character. Temime would end up designing the costumes for all of the subsequent films as well.

Two Persian red cats were used for the role of Crookshanks: Crackerjack and Pumpkin. The trainers saved the cats' shed fur, rolled it into balls, and clipped these onto the cats in order to achieve Crookshanks's mangy appearance.

The set for Honeydukes was previously used as Ollivander's Wand Shop in Harry Potter ja tarkade kivi (2001), and Flourish and Blotts in Harry Potter ja saladuste kamber (2002).

The character of Gregory Goyle, while appearing in a few scenes, is largely absent from the film. This was due to actor Josh Herdman injuring his arm and being unable to film certain scenes. Actor Bronson Webb was cast as an unnamed Slytherin boy (referred to as "Pike" in the script) who filled Goyle's role in those scenes.

Warner Brothers supplied ushers at cinemas with night vision goggles to prevent illegal recording and pirating of the film.

(at around 1h 6 mins) Much of the filming was done in Scotland, so the filmmakers wanted to be sure that a Highland Cow, a breed of cattle native to Scotland, appeared in the film. The large, hairy animal with big horns can be seen in front of a shop in Hogsmeade when Ron and Hermione go and look for Harry after he leaves the pub.

Dudley Dursley has no lines. He only laughs at the television, and gives two gasps of surprise.

The statue of a one-eyed witch (which guards the passage that Harry uses to go to Honeydukes) is briefly seen in the corridor leading to Fluffy's chamber during Harry Potter ja tarkade kivi (2001).

Despite his initial reluctance to accept the role of Albus Dumbledore, Richard Harris, who portrayed Dumbledore in the first two films, was determined to portray the character through the entire series. However, following the filming of Harry Potter ja saladuste kamber (2002) Harris was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. During post-production on that film, producer David Heyman went to visit Richard Harris in the hospital. Though he was very weak from his illness, Harris insisted that the role of Dumbledore not be recast. Sadly, Harris passed away shortly before production was to begin on Prisoner of Azkaban, necessitating a recast.

The last Harry Potter film to be released on VHS in 2004

Jany Temime wanted to establish a color scheme for the outfits of each the three main characters to further define the characters' personalities. Harry's clothes consisted of neutral colors such as grey, white and black, as she felt Harry wasn't entirely comfortable in his skin and therefore would not wear bright colors. Ron's clothes consisted of warmer tones such as brown, orange, and red, reflecting the fact that his mother used to knit sweaters for him and the style still is in him. Hermione's color scheme, consisting of blue, pink, and beige, was meant to balance out Harry's and Ron's colors and also to show a bit of Hermione's feminine side.

Michael Gambon admitted later on that he saw "no point" in reading the books, so during the whole course of playing the role of Dumbledore, he never read any of them.

After the death of Richard Harris, many actors were considered for the vacant role of Albus Dumbledore. Christopher Lee was in the frame for a while, and there was a rumor (reported in many newspapers) that Ian McKellen was also considered. The Harris family wanted Richard's longtime friend and peer Peter O'Toole for the role but there were studio concerns over insuring O'Toole for the remaining five films. Richard Attenborough also lobbied for the role but was ultimately turned down.

J.K. Rowling had two Grandfathers, named Stanley and Ernie. These names are used for the guard and driver of the Knight Bus early in the film.

Alfonso Cuarón is known for his use of lengthy shots and restlessly moving cameras. Upon accepting the role of director for this film, he was advised by his close friend, fellow Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, to tone down his more eccentric film-making techniques, and instead be faithful to the previous two films.

Gary Oldman drew inspiration from Alfonso Cuarón, whom he described as having "such enthusiasm and a joy for life," and compared Sirius to John Lennon.

The scene where Professor Lupin teaches Harry the Patronus Charm, to defend against the dementors, was filmed on the set that served as Dumbledore's office in Harry Potter ja saladuste kamber (2002). Alfonso Cuarón liked the set and wanted to use it in this film. Since the script makes no mention of Dumbledore's office, the set was instead re-decorated as a different room entirely (referred to as the Astronomy Room in the script). It was reverted into Dumbledore's office for Harry Potter ja tulepeeker (2005) and subsequent films.

The effects team spent six months creating the dementors. Originally, Alfonso Cuarón wasn't thrilled with the idea of using CGI and wanted to use more traditional techniques such as puppetry. The filmmakers tried a basic technique with a dementor puppet floating in the breeze but weren't satisfied with the way it looked. Puppeteer Basil Twist showed them a technique that involved putting the puppet in water and shooting it in slow motion with the film reversed. The filmmakers liked the way it looked but realized that this would be an impossible task, so in the end they decided to use CGI to create the dementors.

The film broke UK box-office records when it grossed £5.3 million on its opening day of release, May 31, 2004, making it the biggest opening day and single day of all time.

(at around 34 mins) When Buckbeak the Hippogriff is introduced, just after Ron pushes Harry forward there is a shot of the animal pooping. The CGI team believes this might be the first example of a CGI animal doing this, but the BBC miniseries Dinosauruste radadel (1999) had done it first. This *is*, however, the first time such a scene is done for a feature film.

The only Harry Potter film not to gross over $800 million worldwide.

The film was offered to Guillermo del Toro, but he opted to do Hellboy - kangelane põrgust (2004) instead. Del Toro was good friends with Alfonso Cuarón, and when he learned that Cuaron had been offered the role of director, he passionately encouraged Cuaron to take the job.

Dawn French, who plays the Fat Lady in this film (but not in Harry Potter ja tarkade kivi (2001)) was, at the time, the wife of Lenny Henry, who voiced the shrunken head on the Knight Bus.

Although the stone circle seen in the Hogwarts grounds was a creation of the filmmakers, it was based upon actual stone circles found throughout Britain (e.g. Stonehenge). The stones were created at Leavesden and were delivered by helicopter to Glencoe, Scotland, where they were set into holes dug into the ground. They looked so realistic that the young actors ultimately asked Alfonso Cuarón if the stones were the reason why he picked that particular location. "It's always gratifying when your work is mistaken for the real thing!" said art director Alan Gilmore.

Rupert Grint appeared on set with his hair dyed blond, as a prank on his cast mates. Not knowing it was a prank, Daniel Radcliffe thought the script called for Ron to have blond hair.

The rickety wooden bridge connecting Hogwarts to the surrounding landscape was going to be created entirely in the studio, backed by a green screen. This would enable the filmmakers to add a background digitally in post-production. While a few scenes were filmed in the studio, Alfonso Cuarón decided to film the scene where Harry talks to Professor Lupin about his parents on location in Scotland. A section of the bridge was constructed in the Highlands for the shoot, and even though it was a lot sturdier than in appeared, the extremely heavy winds proved to be a challenge.

Executive producer Chris Columbus (who directed the first two films) offered the role of director to Alfonso Cuarón after watching Cuarón's A Little Princess (1995).

The rating in the Netherlands for this film is "not under 9". This rating was created especially for the film, since it was judged to be too scary for 6 year olds and the next rating, "not under 12", would exclude too much of the target audience.

David Thewlis had seen the first two films and had only read part of the first book, although after taking the role he read the third. He was excited about the prospect of making a children's film, and thoroughly enjoyed filming.

The top of the Knight Bus was designed to be removable so that the vehicle could pass underneath bridges.

Shooting for the Knight Bus sequence took place on the streets of Palmers Green, North London. The film crew, and local police, gave the spectators strict instructions to keep back during filming, and not to use flash photography, or it would ruin the take. Despite these warnings, there were still people who took pictures of the scene with flash, and at one point a driver ignored the police and the 'No Entry' and 'Diversion' signs and nearly drove into the oncoming traffic.

Because he would be overseeing this film's post-production work, Alfonso Cuarón declined the offer to direct Harry Potter ja tulepeeker (2005). Mike Newell was then chosen by Warner Brothers.

Subplot involving the Sneakoscope concept from the novel, as well as an attempted attack on Ron in his sleep at Hogwarts by Sirius Black, were filmed (and can be partially found as additional scenes on some DVD versions) but ultimately scrapped from the finished version. Oddly enough, a small bit from the latter, Harry's lines about missing a chance to capture Black, was still featured prominently in most promotional trailers. (Source: 2-Disc DVD extras & trailers).

Production designer Stuart Craig has revealed that the appearance and location of Hagrid's Hut as seen in this film and subsequent films was closer to his original design for the hut, which had been compromised for the first two films due to the scenes being filmed in a small patch of land outside the studio, rather than on location in Scotland.

(at around 27 mins) Although the Dark Lord himself does not appear in the movie, a moving painting of him can be seen in the lower right hand corner of the screen when Harry and his friends walk up the stairs to discover the Fat Lady singing.

The geometric staircase at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, was used as the staircase that leads to the Divination classroom. It was the only indoor area of Hogwarts shown in this film to utilize an actual location for filming, as opposed to a studio set. The first film made heavy use of the various castles and cathedrals around Britain for much of the areas of Hogwarts, with additional sets being built for the second film.

When filming concluded, Alfonso Cuarón found that it had "been the two sweetest years of my life," and expressed his interest in directing one of the sequels.

The reason for this installment of the Harry Potter franchise being so distinct from the first two is the influence of its director, Alfonso Cuarón, whose trademark directional style is noticeable throughout. The majority of shots are filmed with a handheld camera, which gives a naturalistic style to many scenes, several shots are held for a longer than usual time without cutting, and there is a generally washed-out and darker color pallet. All of these traits are especially noticeable in Cuarón's next film, Inimlapsed (2006), which also stars Pam Ferris, who plays Aunt Marge in this film.

(at around 16 mins) Alex Crockford appears as the second oldest Weasley son, Charlie, in the newspaper photo Ron shows to Harry in the Leaky Cauldron.

J. K. Rowling has stated that Professor Lupin is the kind of teacher she wishes she had while she was a student. He is good-natured, kind, and able to extract the best in everyone -- for example, in spotting Neville Longbottom's lack of confidence and helping him to overcome it by teaching him how to defeat the boggart.

Two Knight Buses were built: one for exterior shots and one for interior shots. The exterior of the bus was created by taking an ordinary double-decker London bus, adding a level, and painting it purple.

The lenses in Professor Trelawny's glasses were actually magnifying glasses. According to Emma Thompson, wearing them often made her feel very sick and dizzy.

As part of a promotion by the toy company LEGO, in the United States, some cinemas handed out free mini-Knight Bus LEGO kits, with the purchase of a ticket.

J.K. Rowling has said that Remus Lupin is one of her favourite characters, and that if she could meet any of her characters, she would likely choose him.

The design of the large clock which functions as a visual motif in this film appears to be based on the Old Town Clock (also called the "Orloj" - pronounced "OR-LOY") in Prague, Czech Republic. The Orloj tells not only the time, but shows the month, the sign of the Zodiac, and shows the relative positions of the moon and sun.

This film actually marks the second time that Michael Gambon has replaced Richard Harris. Harris had previously played Inspector Jules Maigret in Maigret (1988), while Gambon took over the role in the television series Maigret (1992).

First film in the franchise to have rainy scenes at Hogwarts.

Gary Oldman suggested Sirius's hairstyle, while Alfonso Cuarón designed his tattoos.

(at around 1h) When Harry is given the Marauder's Map by the Weasley twins, the name "Moony" is misspelled as "Mooney". While not really a mistake, there is still an interesting connection. The film's visual effects supervisor is named Karl Mooney. The spelling was changed deliberately for the in-joke.

With this film, production of the Harry Potter films switched to an eighteen-month cycle, which David Heyman explained was "to give each (film) the time it required."

Hogwarts grew and expanded significantly with the third film. For the first time, the Hogwarts courtyard and bridge were seen. At the end of the bridge, rock monoliths were placed onto the hillside to evoke a Celtic feeling. The use of live-action also significantly changed the look of Hagrid's hut. In the first two films, it appeared at the end of a flat stretch, right in front of the Forbidden Forest. The third film utilized the more rugged Scottish locations to place Hagrid's hut at the bottom of a steep hillside. A large pumpkin patch was added behind the hut.

Among the difficulties associated with filming in Scotland was the amount of rain that fell during the shoot. During the breaks in filming, helicopters delivered large bags of gravel to the set in order to prevent it from washing out. Many of the filmmakers were concerned as to how this would affect the look of the film, although Alfonso Cuarón and cinematographer Michael Seresin insisted that it was the best look that they could have come up with.

At the time of its release, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) was the shortest of the Harry Potter films, despite the fact that the book was longer than both the previous books. After all eight films were released, Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) ended up being the third shortest film in the series, behind Harry Potter ja surma vägised: Osa 2 (2011) and Harry Potter ja Fööniksi ordu (2007), the latter of which is based on the longest book in the series.

Some dubbed versions retain a voice likeness of the late Richard Harris for the character of Dumbledore, despite there being a quite different person in the role on screen. The Icelandic dub is one such case. In Italy and Spain, the same voice actors were used, to cover up the original actor's change.

(at around 48 mins) Sir Cadogan, played by Paul Whitehouse, was cut almost completely out of the film. You do still see Sir Cadogan jumping through several paintings behind Ron, Harry and Hermione during the Fat Lady's disappearance.

The spell "Lumos" is also the name of J.K. Rowling's charity for children.

M. Night Shyamalan was offered the job of directing the film, but turned it down in favor of Küla (2004)

An additional set was built for the candy shop: the cellar. Not used in the film, it was included in a special feature on the DVD release that allowed viewers to explore the shop.

The crows seen in the latter part of the film are African Pied Crows. They were raised in captivity in California, as crows bred in captivity were easier to train than wild crows. The crows typically can be found throughout Africa.

Emma Thompson was once married to Kenneth Branagh, who portrayed Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter ja saladuste kamber (2002).

Sirius and Lupin's names serve as foreshadowing for the animals into which they can transform: Sirius Black, a wizard who can transform at will into a large black dog, is named after "Sirius," the name of the brightest star in the night's sky, colloquially known as the "Dog Star" for its prominence in the constellation Canis Major, or "Greater Dog." Remus Lupin, a werewolf, is named after the Latin word "lupus", meaning "wolf." To be "lupine" is to be wolf-like or exhibit characteristics similar to a wolf. Additionally, his first name "Remus" comes from Roman mythology: the brothers Romulus and Remus, who founded the ancient city of Rome, were said to be suckled by a she-wolf.

Marc Forster was offered the job of directing this film, but declined, and did Avastades Eikunagimaad (2004) instead.

Remus Lupin is unique among the teachers as he calls students per their first names, not surnames. The only other teachers that are known to do this are the Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and the Care of Magical Creatures professor.

Crabbe and Goyle yet again have no (discernible) dialogue.

The Dursleys have three television sets in their house; one in the living room, one near the dining table, and one in the sunroom. While not mentioned in the film, it is explained in the book that Dudley complains about the long walk from the fridge to the television in the living room.

The irony of Remus Lupin's status as a werewolf and his desire to be liked and belong is that wolves are social animals that tend to live in packs and act in the interests of all, reflecting his selfless and self-sacrificing nature. This, combined with the typically savage side of his werewolf forms presents an almost yin-yang-like inner conflict, with his human form representing the better half of his wolfish personality, such as his intelligence, kindness, adaptability, and desire to defend. All the while his werewolf form represents the more savage aspects of wolves, such as feral wrath, gluttony, and lust. Another bit of irony is in his love of chocolate, as it is poisonous to wolves and other canines.

The German subsidary of Warner Bros. tried to cut down the film (as they did with Harry Potter ja saladuste kamber (2002)) to secure a more commercial "Not under 6" rating. They submitted several versions but all were rejected by the German ratings board FSK for this rating. In the end the uncut version was released with a "Not under 12" rating.

It was the first film in the franchise to be released in both conventional and IMAX theaters.

The Shrieking Shack actually moves. During the scene where Lupin and Sirius reveal the truth about James and Lily's death to the others, the doors are moving. If you look closely, the walls are actually swaying from side to side, causing the doors to move as well, and accounts for the wood's creaking and groaning. It gives the illusion that the building is only one strong wind gust from being blown over.

Chris Columbus, the director of the first two Harry Potter films and executive producer of this one, was amazed how beautifully Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint matured over the series, as compared to some child actors who lose their charm or fail to develop into good adult actors.

In the books it is mentioned that the werewolf resembles a normal wolf in appearance, save for a few distinguishing traits. This is not the case in the film, as Lupin in his werewolf form is shown as having a gaunt, humanoid, hairless appearance, with a coyote-like face and no tail.

Prior to its release, material related to the film was labeled with the code title "Radiator Blues".

Remus' tendency to nurture those around him, particularly children, is fitting, as wolves' social structure commonly involves all members of the pack looking after and teaching the pups. Yet another instance where Remus lives up to the nobler aspects of his wolfish nature. Rather ironically, he considered himself unfit for parenthood.

David Thewlis was originally considered to play Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter ja tarkade kivi (2001).

A fire near the Glenfinnan viaduct in Scotland delayed filming of the Hogwarts Express scenes for a day.

Has the highest number of real animal species in the franchise, including, but not limited to, a rat, a cat, a bat, a dog, a Highland Cow, an owl, a crow, to but the most obvious.

The Marauder's Map was David Thewlis's favorite prop.

It is possible that chocolate given to Harry by Professor Lupin is used to ward off the effects following meeting a Dementor as it has chemicals inside it that release endorphins, which are human chemicals in the body that make a person feel happy.

Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (frequent collaborator of Alfonso Cuarón) was supposed to be working on this film, but due to scheduling conflicts, he was replaced by Michael Seresin.

This was the first film in the franchise to extensively utilize real-life locations, as much of the first two films had been shot in the studio.

During the filming, all the pockets on Tom Felton's robes were sewn shut to prevent him from sneaking food on set.

During the end credits John Williams's feet on The Marauder's Map are performing a box step instead of just walking.

Other directors reportedly considered for this installment of the Harry Potter franchise, included Callie Khouri and Kenneth Branagh, star of Harry Potter ja saladuste kamber (2002).

Is currently the 48th-highest-grossing film of all time.

Neither Miriam Margolyes (Herbology Professor Pomona Sprout) nor Gemma Jones (Madam Poppy Pomfrey) returned to star in this movie, as neither character had sufficiently significant roles in the book to make the final script.

Fred and George have had the Marauder's map for years, but never noticed, or mentioned to anyone about Peter Pettigrew.

David Thewlis struggled with making his character sound educated and sophistated due to his thick Mancunian accent.

The Giant squid that lives in the Black Lake of Hogwarts was going to have its first appearance in the film franchise but was unfortunately cut from the final film.

Dawn French, who portrays The Fat Lady, previously played Harry Potter in various spoofs on her show French and Saunders (1987).

(at around 12 mins) When Harry is shown getting down from the Knight Bus and entering the Leaky Cauldron, a wizard sitting inside and stirring his mug by magic, is shown reading "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking.

Lupin's boggart, the full moon, indicated his dread of his transformations into a werewolf. However, the boggart failed to frighten him because it is not the moon itself he feared, but its effect on him.

Last film in the franchise to be dubbed into Icelandic and Norwegian.

In order to reduce the number of scenes that would ultimately end up on the cutting room floor, screenwriter Steve Kloves and Alfonso Cuarón carefully decided which scenes from the book were essential to the plot, and which could be written out.

(at around 1h 45 mins) During the "Time Turner" sequence, you can hear the sound of a clock's second hand ticking.

In the books, a Patronus charm is used as a shield from a Dementor, constructed of a powerfully happy memory or feeling, and the Dementors feed on that, rather than on the person. In the movie however, it is used mostly as what seems to be a Dementor repellent.

After Richard Harris death, his family wanted Peter O'Toole to play the role of Dumbledore but he turned down.

When Tom Felton first met Gary Oldman, he assumed he was one of the set janitors.

According to J.K. Rowling, Sirius is the oldest of the Marauders, with a given birth date: November 3, 1959. While Peter is not revealed, based on the fact, James is the youngest (the grave stone in Deathly Hallows reveals that he was born in March 1960).

The cast includes three women who have won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role: Dame Maggie Smith, Julie Christie and Emma Thompson.

Remus Lupin giving Harry private lessons on how to defeat Dementors, using a Boggart as a replacement. However, when Harry faced the Boggart the first and second time, when he failed to beat it, the Boggart/Dementor had managed to make Harry hear his mother's screams. This may imply that Boggarts can gain some abilities of the thing it morphs into. It also gained its weakness as it was easily defeated by Harry's Patronus.

Two actresses in the film have played the Greek goddess Thetis: Dame Maggie Smith in Clash of the Titans (1981) and Julie Christie in Trooja (2004).

When Chris Columbus was still slated to direct, Robson Green was considered for the role of Sirius Black.

it is notable that despite the fact that Snape and Lupin know that Sirius was aware of the passageway to the Shrieking Shack and, presumably, were convinced of his guilt, the passageway was not blocked off or guarded.

Gary Oldman and Timothy Spall have both played the William Shakespeare character of Rosencrantz; Oldman in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990) and Spall in Hamlet (1996).

(At around 31:20) - The sound of the Hogwarts bell is a recording of 'Big Ben' (the bell in the Houses of Parliament, in London, UK)

According to StarDate Online's Moon Phase Calculator, Remus' birth date (10 March, 1960), fell two days before a full moon.

Boggart is David Thewlis's (Remus Lupin) favourite word/line from the series.

A compromise of sorts was required for the character of Buckbeak. Zoologically speaking, an animal of his size would need much larger and longer wings to support him in flight, but this was deemed impractical for the design of his character.

At the start of the film Harry actually does underage magic but does not get found out by the Ministry via the trace.

The scene at Hogwarts includes a chorale of part of the witches chant from William Shakespeare's Scottish play Act 4. Outlander (2014) By the Pricking of My Thumbs (#1.10) is directly from the chant/play.

This is the only film where Dumbledore does not say Harry Potter's name in any way (Harry, Mr Potter, Mr Harry Potter, Harry Potter, but not Potter). However, during the scene where everyone is sleeping in the Great Hall, Dumbledore refers to Harry as 'him' when Snape asks Dumbledore whether Harry should be warned.

In The Prisoner of Azkaban, during the scene where the Fat Lady is refusing entrance to the common room while singing, Sir Cadogan passes by 4 times in the background, posing.

Ron's boggart is a black widow spider, but its size is uncanny, as black widows are much smaller. This is probably due to Ron's experience with the Acromantula colony in the previous film Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).

In an early script for the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, there were several differences from the final cut of the film. The boggarts for Neville, Ron, Harry, and Professor Lupin remained the same. Parvati's, however, would have been a vampire (specifically Count Dracula) which would have been dressed like Carmen Miranda (presumably referring to her famous fruit hat outfit from the film The Gang's All Here) when the Boggart-Banishing Charm was used on it, with Dean having the cobra boggart Parvati has in the actual film.

The "Daily Prophet" photograph of the Weasley family in Egypt featured all nine members: parents Molly & Arthur (Julie Walters, Mark Williams), and *credited* offspring Ginny (Bonnie Wright), Ron (Rupert Grint), twins Fred and George (James Phelps and 'Oliver Phelps (I)' (qv )), and Percy (Chris Rankin). The two eldest Weasleys--Charlie (Richard Fish) and Bill (Alex Crockford, who was replaced by Domhnall Gleeson for the two "...Deathly Hallows" movies) were uncredited.

Chocolate presents no danger to werewolves, despite the well known fact that chocolate is poisonous to canines, showing that the human form of the werewolf has traits that carry over into the wolf form aside from the more human eyes. Ironically, Remus Lupin is noted for his borderline addiction to chocolate.

Concept artist Dermot Power wanted to portray Buckbeak as a "noble beast" with "romantic magic potential", but director Alfonso Cuarón disapproved of these designs.

Alfonso Cuarón's fifth feature film.

Brian Bowles and Peter Serafinowicz voiced the "Shrunken Heads" (uncredited) in "The Three Broomsticks".

The Boggart also bears a resemblance to the Cucuy, a monster in Hispanic and Latino folklore. Like the Cucuy, the Boggart lives in dark areas such as beneath beds and inside closets, and has the ability to change its shape at will.

Peter Best was credited as "Executioner". According to the "Harry Potter Wiki" website, the character is actually named "Walden Macnair".

David Thewlis (Professor Lupin), Julie Christie (Madame Rosemerta) and Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) starred in Dragonheart (1996). Thewlis played King Einon and Christie played his mother, Queen Aislinn. Jason Isaacs played Lord Felton.

Fiona Shaw, who portrays a woman loathing the supernatural and witchcraft in this film, ironically portrays a powerful witch in True Blood (2008).

During the scene where Hermione explains what a Boggart is, she has her hair tied up in a messy bun. This is the only time Hermione has her hair tied up while in class.

Caio Cesar, a prominent Brazilian voice actor, who dubbed Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, and in other films, was also a military cop, and died at the age of 27 in 2015, after being shot in his neck, at the Complexo do Alemão slums, in Rio de Janeiro.

Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) coincidentally played a werewolf in the horror film The Beast Must Die (1974) as Jan the pianist.

Bronson Webb was listed as "Slytherin Boy". According to the "Harry Potter Wiki" website, the character's name is "Pike".

Brian Bowles had two uncredited roles: "The Headless Horseman" (possibly a "nod of the head" to John Cleese's "Nearly Headless Nick from the first two movies), and a "Shrunken Head" in "The Three Broomsticks".

When Chris Columbus scripted Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) it foreshadowed his future association with the Harry Potter franchise; the teenage Watson resembles Harry Potter; school experiments; Holmes has a rivalry with a fellow student, Dudley very much like Harry's with Draco Malfoy; Dudley and Malfoy both come from rich parents; cavernous libraries; sweets; train stations; the novelization uses the word potty/Potter; students being injured and needing to see the school nurse; teachers and students eating in the Great Hall; Holmes, Watson and a third character Elizabeth solving mysteries at school while Harry, Ron and Hermione do the same at Hogwarts; staircases; Harry/Holmes and Watson creeping through a school library at night; both Watson and Hagrid say "sorry about that"; the end of school term; the threat of expulsion; no family for Harry to return to, even at Christmas; Harry has a scar on his forehead while Holmes has one on his cheek; seemingly innocent teaching staff exposed as the opposite; head boys, etc.

When Chris Columbus scripted Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), Watson believed Holmes obsessed over a case, even at Christmas, because unlike other boys his age, he had no family to which go home, like Harry Potter or Kevin McCallister. Columbus has ties to both the Harry Potter and Home Alone franchises.

Throughout the eight-movie series, five actresses played Pansy Parkinson: 1-Katherine Nicholson [Harry Potter ja tarkade kivi (2001), and Harry Potter ja saladuste kamber (2002); she was uncredited in both], 2-Genevieve Gaunt [Harry Potter ja Azkabani vang (2004); hers was the first credited Pansy], 3-'Charlotte Ritchie' [Harry Potter ja tulepeeker (2005)-originally listed as "Student", and uncredited)], 4-Lauren Shotton [Harry Potter ja Fööniksi ordu (2007), again uncredited as Pansy], and 5-Scarlett Byrne [Harry Potter ja segavereline prints (2009), Harry Potter ja surma vägised: Osa 1 (2010), and Harry Potter ja surma vägised: Osa 2 (2011)].

Despite being third in the Harry Potter franchise the film is similar to being a 'reboot' than simply being a continuation of the series. For example Hogwarts looks slightly different from the first two films. Hagrid's hut is relocated down a slope rather than a lawn. The school uniforms have been upgraded such as girls including Hermione wearing tights rather than knee socks and the students wearing robes with the hoods symbolizing the colors of their respective house. Flitwick the Charms teacher though uncredited in this film is noticeably younger. And more famously Dumbledore portrayed by Michael Gambon is different in both appearance and personality from both the late Richard Harris and the book. This is also the first film in which the series takes a darker tone while the first two by Chris Columbus were more family friendly despite including Aragog and a Basilsk.

Chris Columbus sold to Steven Spielberg the scripts for Gremlins (1984) and Kõurikud (1985), but his career didn't fully take off until the massive successes of Üksinda kodus (1990) and Meie issi, proua Doubtfire (1993), which then led to the greater success of the Harry Potter franchise.

When Harry is roaming through Hogwarts with the Marauders map, he sees the approach of Peter Pettigrew by the moving shoe prints on the map but never sees him. This is later explained by Pettigrew having spent a dozen years in the physical form of Scabbers, Ron Weasley's pet rat. But this (arguably) would suggest that his presence would be more accurately represented on the map by animal footprints than human shoe prints. And we do know from the closing credits that the movement of animals around Hogwarts are shown by their respective footprints.

In "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002), Hermione is largely absent from the final act of the movie; in contrast, Ron is largely absent from the final act of this movie.

Scabbers is three times the size he was in the previous two movies.

Snape has to cover Lupin's class (because Lupin is "unable to teach at the moment") and he jumps ahead a few chapters to do a lesson on werewolves. He then finds an excuse to assign the entire class (or maybe it's just Gryffindor) to write up a report on werewolves, focusing on recognizing them, due the next day.

Whenever a Dementor is sucking happiness or the soul out of their victim, there is a distortion in the victim's face and the air near him or her.

Annalisa Bugliani, Tess Bu Cuarón: (at around 27 mins) Alfonso Cuarón's wife and their daughter are the mother and baby in the portrait next to the Fat Lady.

Ian Brown: (at around 12 mins) the singer (formerly of The Stone Roses) appears briefly in the bar at the start of the movie, reading "A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking. He was originally cast as the pub landlord, but the role was cut down due to time constraints.

Alfonso Cuarón: [wide-angle lenses] The film was shot entirely on wide-angle lenses, ranging between 14-24mm. Cuarón insisted on the wide-angles because he wanted to let the audience see both the foreground and the background at the same time.

Alfonso Cuarón: [Title appears at both the beginning and the end of the film] At the end of the film, the title is shown before the end credits, animated in the style of the Marauder's Map.

Although the Marauders' Map, created by Messrs. Moony, Padfoot, Prongs, and Wormtail plays a large part in the film, the identities of the first three are not made clear. This is surprising as this was important to understanding this plot in the book. Moony was Lupin, who was supported by his three friends. These learned "Animagus" shape shifting techniques to sympathize with him. James Potter was Prongs the Stag (a trait passed on to the Patronus of his son Harry), Sirius Black was Padfoot the Dog, and Peter Pettigrew was, more obviously, Wormtail the Rat.

(at around 16 mins) Early in the film, Harry sees a newspaper article with a photograph of the Weasley family in Egypt. Though it is never again mentioned, this is a very important plot point in the book. While on an inspection of Azkaban, the Minister of Magic had a copy of that paper, and gave it to Sirius Black, who recognized Peter Pettigrew disguised as Scabbers. This is what made him decide to break out of Azkaban, track down Scabbers at Hogwarts, and take his revenge by killing him.

Azkaban Prison, though mentioned, never actually appears in the film. Nonetheless, concept art was created by both conceptual artist Andrew Williamson and production designer Stuart Craig. Both sketches depict Azkaban as a triangular stone fortress built on the edge of a giant waterfall. When Azkaban is seen for the first time in Harry Potter ja Fööniksi ordu (2007) the filmmakers looked to these sketches and ultimately decided to keep the triangular design but relocated the prison to an island in the middle of the ocean (closer to how it was described in the book).

(at around 24 mins) The script for this film makes no mention of Professor Flitwick. Wanting to keep Warwick Davis involved, Alfonso Cuarón came up with the idea of having him play the choir director. In the next film, Mike Newell liked the look of the choir director, and wanted to keep using it. Therefore, the choir director became Flitwick, and his new look has been used for all the subsequent films.

Gary Oldman says he accepted the role of Sirius Black because he "needed the work". He hadn't acted for over a year, as he had taken time off to be with his family. His last film was Patt (2003), which was filmed in 2002. He also took the role to please his sons. The part made Oldman a hero with them and their schoolmates.

The filmmakers wanted to stray away from the traditional werewolf and instead portray Lupin's lycanthropy as a debilitating disease. Hence, Lupin in his werewolf form is depicted as emaciated and mostly hairless, making him appear both frightening and pitiful.

The only film in the franchise, where Voldemort does not appear in some LIVING form (portrait only). It is often stated that he also doesn't appear in Harry Potter ja segavereline prints (2009), and while this is technically true, Tom Riddle appears during flashback sequences.

(at around 46 mins) Lupin says that he was very close with Harry's mother. This may seem at odds with the book's story that Lily Evans was a close friend of Lupin's rival, Severus Snape. However, J.K. Rowling revealed that after graduating from Hogwarts, Lupin still found it difficult to find paying work, because nobody wanted to employ a werewolf. James and Lily, therefore, financially supported him.

(at around 49 mins) After the Fat Lady reports that Sirius Black is in the castle, there's a short scene of the large front gate closing up. As it does, you see a full moon in the sky and hear Lupin's wolf-form howling.

(at around 1h 15 mins) When Harry sees Peter Pettigrew's name on the map, but does not actually see him in the hallway, the sound of a rat scurrying about is faintly audible.

Lucius Malfoy was supposed to appear in the film at Buckbeak's execution and be outraged when he had escaped. However, Jason Isaacs was unavailable for filming.

(at around 1h 50 mins) Professor Dumbledore seemingly stalls the executioner by saying that he needs to sign the execution order, and that he has "a very long name". In Harry Potter ja Fööniksi ordu (2007), his full name is revealed to be Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

(at around 1h) When the Marauder's Map is opened for the first time, the name 'Newt Scamander' can be seen. This was simply meant as an Easter Egg: in the Harry Potter universe, Scamander wrote the book "Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them" that is mandatory reading at Hogwarts, but he isn't a teacher there. Scamander eventually got his own movie with Fantastilised elukad ja kust neid leida (2016), where it is revealed that he is friends with Albus Dumbledore, so in 'Prisoner of Azkaban', he may be simply visiting.

J.K. Rowling allowed Alfonso Cuarón to make minor changes to the book, on the condition that he stuck to the book's spirit. She allowed him to place a sundial on Hogwarts' grounds, but rejected a graveyard, as that would play an important part in the then unreleased sixth book.

In the opening sequence, Harry is seen practicing a spell. According to the wizarding laws, it is illegal for anyone under the age of seventeen to perform magic outside of Hogwarts. This law was an important plot point in two other Harry Potter movies/books: Chamber of Secrets, where Harry receives a warning after Dobby uses magic in the Dursley's house and Order of the Phoenix, where Harry is summoned for a disciplinary hearing after performing a Patronus charm.

In the film's third act, when Harry and Hermione travel back in time using the Time-Turner, the constant ticking of a stopwatch appropriately becomes a prominent part of the musical score.

(at around 43 mins) Ron's dream about spiders, making him tap-dance, is a two-in-one reference of the next book. In 'Goblet of Fire' there is an Unforgivable Curse, where you can control what someone does, taught by Professor Moody. He makes a spider tap-dance on the desk.

Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, is also known as the Dog Star. This foreshadows the fact that Sirius is the dog seen throughout the film.

Despite featuring the idea of a mass murder as the back story, this is, arguably, the only book/movie in the franchise where no person dies. The argument is that, while the villain in Harry Potter ja saladuste kamber (2002) was destroyed, he was a manifestation of Voldemort's hocrux, and can be said never to have been alive to begin with.

The ending of the film, in which Sirius escapes on Hagrid's hippogriff, is actually a reversal of the opening of Harry Potter ja tarkade kivi (2001), in which Hagrid arrives on a flying motorcycle which, the book reveals, he borrowed from Sirius.

The executioner sent to kill Buckbeak is actually Walden Macnair, who is later revealed in the graveyard scene in Harry Potter ja tulepeeker (2005), to be one of Voldemort's first Death Eaters. It was explained later by Hagrid, that Macnair was sent to the Giants to try and recruit them for Voldemort (which is why Dumbledore sent Hagrid to talk to them in the beginning of Harry Potter ja Fööniksi ordu (2007) - to keep them from proclaiming loyalty to Voldemort).

Clocks and time are a major motif in this film. In addition to the large clock tower at Hogwarts, there are other clocks that chime at various points in the film, when an important event takes place, such as the cuckoo clock in the Dursley's house, which goes off when Harry blows up Aunt Marge, and the grandfather clock in the Hogsmeade tavern, which chimes right when Harry learns that Sirius Black is his godfather.

Remus Lupin became a werewolf as a child because he was bitten by the Death Eater werewolf, Fenrir Greyback.

Ron's prediction for Harry during divination class - that he would suffer but be happy about it - actually rings true by the end of the movie. He suffers through the "knowledge" that Sirius killed his parents, only to find that this isn't true, and, in fact, Sirius can offer Harry a loving home. It could also mean that Harry would suffer knowing that he had a loving home to go to but he would never be able to go there (suffering part), they happy part would be knowing that Sirius was free and he found about he had family.

The Marauders write their names on the Marauder's Map in this order: Remus, Peter, Sirius and James. Ironically, this, when reversed, is the order in which they die, James being the first in 1981, Godric's Hollow; Sirius in 1996, Department of Mysteries; Peter in March 1998, Malfoy Manor; Remus in May 1998, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

J. K. Rowling has stated that her boggart would be the same as Molly Weasley's: her loved ones dead or alternatively herself buried alive. In an earlier interview, however, before the publication of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, she suggested Aragog as a possible boggart for her, as she hates spiders.

Despite Sirius Black being innocent of murdering Pettigrew and Muggles, a crime for which he was sent to Azkaban, he was not wrongly at Azkaban, per se; being an unregistered Animagus is a crime for which the sentence is, in fact, imprisonment in Azkaban.

Remus Lupin mentions that no one knows what a boggart looks like when it is alone. Mad-Eye Moody, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is able to determine through his "mad" eye that a creature hiding in 12 Grimmauld Place is definitely a boggart. It is assumed that Moody knew what a boggart looked like in its true form as the boggart had not seen him and shape-shifted.

Only Harry Potter movie where Sirius and Snape meet on screen, their subsequent meeting in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) does not occur, and their meeting in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) is only heard off screen.

As opposed to the previous film, where Harry and Ron face the main obstacle at the end of the film together without Hermione, this time Harry and Hermione face it without Ron.

John Williams score ends with a reminder of one of Harry's dangers to come. Throughout the film, Williams uses a harpsichord motif to indicate the presence of Peter Pettigrew. After Harry says "Nox" at the end of the credits, there's a pause and the harpsichord motif briefly returns, hinting at the importance Pettigrew will play in the next installment.

After Hermione and Harry return to the medical wing after their Time Turning and speak to Dumbledore, Dumbledore is heard humming "The Mexican Hat Dance" as he walks down the stairs. This is a nod to the nationality of the film's director, Alfonso Cuarón.

Timothy Spall plays a man who can transform into a rat. Spall provided the voice for the rat Nick in Kanade mäss (2000).

A prop made for the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban makes several claims about werewolves that contradict with higher canon sources. It identifies several other ways to become a werewolf other than being bitten. These included being given the power of shape shifting via sorcery, the Lycacomia Curse, and being born to a werewolf. Pottermore, however, clarifies that the only way to become a werewolf is via the bite of a werewolf at the full moon, and explicitly denies that inheriting the disease via birth is possible. It states that werewolves can transform into their wolfish forms by a variety of means, including by will or when forced by various phases of the moon or hearing the howl of another werewolf. According to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the full moon is the only thing that can transform a werewolf. It claims that the soul of a werewolf is eternally damned and cannot move on from the mortal plane upon death. However, Remus Lupin was successfully recalled from beyond the Veil using the Resurrection Stone, and thus must have "passed on".

Stanley Shunpike (Lee Ingleby), the conductor on the Knight Bus, tells Harry Potter that Sirius Black is the only person known to have escaped from Azkaban Prison. In the books, Shunpike becomes a Death Eater and escapes from Azkaban himself. Digby was rumoured to be reprising his role in Harry Potter ja surma vägised: Osa 1 (2010), but his part was cut from the film.

It is unknown if Boggarts can change into intangible fears like darkness, certain sounds or mental/physical illnesses. It is also unknown how they adapt to people who are only afraid of interacting with non-sentient concepts like drowning, being alone or claustrophobia. Unless the Boggart is somehow able to engulf a person with these or similar fears it is likely they are powerless against them and might even be exposed in their actual form to these people. It is possible that the Boggart knows ways to symbolize these fears; for example, in the case of a person with Hydrophobia, showing the viewer their drowned corpse. This is supported in canon by Lord Voldemort (who feared death) seeing his own corpse, Remus Lupin (who feared his Werewolf transformation) seeing the full moon, and Hermione (who feared failure) seeing Professor McGonagall telling her that she failed all of her exams. Mrs. Weasley feared her loved ones dying, so the Boggart showed her her loved ones's dead corpses in succession, which supports this theory even further.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Mr_Jeйson
    The third film about the young wizard is the most controversial, for it was he who split the fans of the novels about Potter into two warring parties: conservatives and innovators.

    The first group of fans absolutely condemned and condemned the actions of the director Cuaron, altered "Harry Potter" in his own way. Say, they did not like the strange werewolf, all sorts of jokes-jokes, interspersed by the director in addition to the script, and in addition to all the claims they discovered the disappearance of the atmosphere of magic, because of which the popular expression of "Quaron in the furnace" was born.

    The second group, on the contrary, furiously began to praise Cuaron, extolling him to the unprecedented pedestal of fame, thus creating almost a cult of personality. They liked everything that only they could like in the third film.

    Only now it became clear that both sides are not right in their convictions. So it should be, movies must be different in essence. The error crept in from the very beginning: Chris Columbus took the first two films, and this put the old debate on what kind of movies Harry Potter should be about. Columbus did not have to give the right to shoot two films, and one would suffice. Spectators are used to the atmosphere of the first two films, because most of the audience took the innovative approach of Quaron to the screen version of the third novel with bayonets. Now the producers make a mistake again - they give the right to shoot two films (The Order of the Phoenix and The Half-Blood Prince) to the new director David Yates. This should not be done in any case. It is necessary to preserve the diversity of director's visions. Hogwarts is not accidentally depicted in different ways in films, like Hogsmeade. Everything in novels is seen differently every time, because all the reader and viewer sees through the eyes of Harry Potter, and in films through the prism of the director's vision, the viewer must perceive the magical world through the eyes of a young wizard. Alfonso Cuaron still hit the spot with his timely vision of the plot of "The Prisoner of Azkaban."

    He created a sparkling tragicomedy for the growing up of a young wizard.

    In general, Cuaron's film reminds me of our old Soviet films. For the reason that the whole film can be easily taken away on the shots, quotes, fragments, heroes, soundtracks, etc., etc. Despite everything, this film is much kinder than the previous two, differing in their gloomy Gothic style. It's more fun, crazy, and it should be, because it's Sirius Black himself on the scene!

    For the whole of Rowling's novel, like the film of Quaron, is a tribute to the memory of the crazy, hooliganistic and such lonely Sirius Black ... Black, whose heart is beating violently, hot blood flows in his veins, and in the soul is truly dog devotion. The third film, as well as the film, is dedicated to the looters - James Potter (= Harry Potter), Peter Pettigrew, Rimus Lupine and Sirius Black - a group of friends who used to be friends a long time ago ...

    The film ruthlessly shows how easy it is to lose friendship and how difficult it is to acquire a friend ...

    Thanks to Alfonso Cuaron, who did a talented work, showing in one stroke all the huge gallery of the characters of the magical world and their essence: the Minister of Magic plunges into a puddle; the soothsayer with big glasses on her nose stumbles on her own table; The evil teacher Severus Snape closes the children from the werewolf; eccentric Dumbledore slams his hand over Ron's gnarled leg; Remus Lupine, at the lesson, takes a snack with an apple; portraits of Hogwarts, it turns out, also like to sleep; Stan Shanpike with his brave words is not very strong in dragging student suitcases; Hagrid and ties are incompatible things; Tom from the Leaky Cauldron has a nehyl auto; Ernie, wearing spectacles with large lenses, is led by the "Night Knight"; Sirius Black finally began to talk moral nonsense ... Also it is necessary to thank the new actors, so successfully merged into the old line-up:

    Emma Thompson (Sibyl Trelawney); Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore); David Thulis (Remus Lupine); Julie Christie (Madame Rosmerta); Gary Oldman (Sirius Black); Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew) and many others. By the way, if my memory does not change me, then the two actors from the third film (cleaning woman in the bar "Leaky Cauldron" and Aunt Marge) Quaron quietly consigned to his other project - "Child of Man", but that's another story ...

    Let me love the fourth film about Harry Potter (director - Mike Newell), but I always revise the Curaron part - it is the brightest of all existing.

    In a word, long live Rowling and Cuaron!

    "Potter, come back!" (Severus Snape, potions teacher).
  • comment
    • Author: Rolling Flipper
    If there's anything this movie proves, it is the difficulty in separating the series from the demands of fans. This is clear just from hearing some of the comments. "Why didn't they identify the names on the Marauder's Map?" "Why wasn't the second Quidditch game shown?" "Why wasn't there more of Crookshanks the Cat?" By focusing on what the film didn't have, fans fail to look at the film on its own terms. I think this is by far the best Harry Potter movie yet.

    The only way to satisfy fans would be to include everything from the book, which would require a miniseries. Since that isn't what these films are, the story has to be abridged. The first two films tried to fit everything they could within a reasonable slot of time. The result was a set of films that felt cluttered yet incomplete. Had they continued with this strategy for this movie, based on a much longer book, it would surely have been over three hours long.

    The virtue of the latest film is that it makes a real attempt to adapt the story, not just marching in lockstep with the book's events. The screenplay is sparing, leaving out or simplifying loads of details not directly relevant to the plot. But it captures much of the book's delight and humor. The first two films fell short in this regard, because they lacked the guts to tinker with the details, even though that was the key to condensing the story while staying true to its spirit.

    The movie is still faithful to the book, of course. Many of the scenes are exactly as I had imagined them. When it deviates, it does so based on an understanding of the story and characters. This is evident in the way they show, for example, the Knight Bus; Hermione's overstuffed schedule; and the introduction of the Marauder's Map, a scene that captures the twins' mischievous personalities. The changes are clever and funny, and they help compensate for the movie's loss in other areas.

    Certainly this has something to do with the new director. Columbus's approach was to stick to the books as literally as possible, often draining them of their subtlety. For instance, where the books only hint that Dumbledore can see through the invisibility cloak, the earlier movies make it unmistakable. The new director never condescends to the audience in that way. This is a children's movie, but it is also a fantasy-thriller that we can take seriously, because not everything is spelled out for us. We're given a chance to think.

    But part of what makes the movie work is the book itself. The story is gripping from start to finish, because the threat looming over the school is established early on. Harry's personal life is sharply intertwined with the plot. We feel for him as we watch his disastrous (but hilarious) attempts to escape his uncle and aunt, and his humiliating reaction to the dementors. The story avoids common devices such as the talking killer or deus ex machina, which the other books have in abundance. The ending is nicely bittersweet and ambiguous. The plot is so complicated, however, that the book spends several chapters explaining it all. The movie wisely includes only very little of this, allowing the plot twists to become understood as the story progresses. I was surprised to see certain events that were in the movie but not the book lend support to an important theory some fans have had about what is to be revealed at the end of the series. Of course, it is well-hidden and won't give anything away for those who aren't looking for the clues.

    I was so satisfied with the film that it almost seems trivial to mention the flaws, but there are some. The portrayal of Fudge's assistant as the standard hunchbacked dimwit is out of place here, as it would be in anything other than a cartoon or spoof. The most serious misstep, though, is the casting of Michael Gambon as Dumbledore. Gambon's face seems frozen in a perpetual nonexpression, and his voice lacks resonance. He compares poorly to the late Richard Harris, whose line readings had gravity, and who played the character with a twinkle in his eyes. It is a pure mystery to me why this actor was chosen as a replacement, especially considering the fine performances from other members of the cast. Even the children are in top form here.

    Those complaints aside, this is the movie I was hoping they would make when the series began. If it doesn't live up to the book, so what? What's important is that it lives up to its potential as a movie. Fans who want a carbon-copy of the book are looking in the wrong place, because they're never going to get it here. This is probably the best example of a Harry Potter movie that we're ever likely to see.
  • comment
    • Author: Anarus
    (Credit IMDb) Harry Potter is having a tough time with his relatives (yet again). He runs away after using magic to inflate Uncle Vernon's sister Marge who was being offensive towards Harry's parents. Initially scared for using magic outside the school, he is pleasantly surprised that he won't be penalized after all. However, he soon learns that a dangerous criminal and Voldemort's trusted aide Sirius Black has escaped from the Azkaban prison and wants to kill Harry to avenge the Dark Lord. To worsen the conditions for Harry, vile shape-shifters called Dementors are appointed to guard the school gates and inexplicably happen to have the most horrible effect on him. Little does Harry know that by the end of this year, many holes in his past (whatever he knows of it) will be filled up and he will have a clearer vision of what the future has in store?

    Azkaban is quite possibly the best Potter entry I've seen so far. As an avid fan of the films, but not a follower of the books (Yet, anyway) It's in serious consideration to the best as far as I'm concerned. Usually with films that are 140 minutes long, I start to get Ancy in my seat due to my ADHD condition. I actually yearned for more after it was over, as the excitement was top-notch. The finale is without a doubt one of the most breathtaking one's I've seen in my entire lifetime. It was just beautifully told, and wonderfully set-up. Azkaban also provides us with three wonderful leads once again, in Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson. Azkaban is quite the ride, and may just be my favorite so far.

    Performances. Daniel Radcliffe continues to mature as Potter, and gives a wonderful show here. He balances anger, confusion, and vulnerability perfectly, and I was on his side the whole way. Rupert Grint is as funny and charming as ever as Ron. I found myself cracking up half the time he was on screen. Emma Watson is bubbly and easy on the eyes, but credible once again as well. She is also maturing, and Hermione is quickly becoming one of my favorite Potter characters. Gary Oldman is surprisingly effective as Sirius, considering he only did it for the Money. David Thewlis is interesting in his role, and wise, if nothing else. Michael Gambon is classy as ever as Dumbledore. Alan Rickman is sinister once more as Snape, while Maggie Smith is great once again in her role. Robbie Coltrane is pretty good as Hagrid. Tom Felton continues to emerge as a great threat to Potter's fortune, while Emma Thompson is fittingly kooky.

    Bottom line. This is top-notch excitement at its finest. It's definitely one of the best, if not THE best Potter film in the series. Potter fanatics should be thrilled with the fine quality of this movie. A must see!

    9 ½ /10
  • comment
    • Author: Coron
    Alfonso Cuarón's masterful adaptation does the source material immeasurable justice by exploring its underlying concepts in an intelligent manner. Of course, it certainly helps that the aesthetics of the film are incredible, the acting remains stellar (and the trio of young actors handle their roles admirably), and John Williams offers an amazing (and eclectic) score. Character development is superb - Steve Kloves penned a great script.

    First-time and young viewers will likely enjoy the film for its merits based on plot and 'adventure' alone, but it takes multiple viewings and a critical eye to enjoy the abstract ideas and nuances. Cuarón himself credited the source material as being laden with real-world issues: oppression, racism, loneliness, power, friendship, justice and so forth.

    This is the Harry Potter film that stands on its own and as a tremendous cinematic achievement. It challenges viewers and yet doesn't patronize them or attempt to offer answers to all of the questions presented. For instance, the ending is bittersweet at best and retains a healthy amount of ambiguity.

    If you've never read the books or understood the acclaim of the series as a whole, watch Cuarón's 'Prisoner of Azkaban' and you'll understand why this entry is clearly the zenith of the seven.
  • comment
    • Author: Coiwield
    Harry Potter is growing up! The voice is deepening, the shoulders are broadening and...hurray! You no longer feel like a creep for having a little crush on Daniel Radcliffe...whoops, did I say that out loud? Say what you will, I see him making the jump from child star to adult actor in a way that Haley Joel Osment only dreams of.

    Appropriately, this third film in the Harry Potter series has matured along with it's young stars. At first glance the storyline itself is relatively simple - Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban Prison and young Harry is on his hit list. But the reality is that this movie is about being a teenager and all the trials and tribulations that go with it. On one level, Harry is like any other kid at school - he puts up with torment from bullies, gets into scrapes with his teachers and hangs out with his friends. But this is not just any school. This is Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Harry has a whole OTHER set of problems. Like an escaped madman who may just want to kill him, for example.

    The plot contains the requisite amounts of twists and turns. The focus is on Harry's past - Sirius Black was his godfather but just may have been in league with he who's name cannot be mentioned. There is the usual game of 'are they or aren't they?' when it comes to deciding which characters are really the baddies. Alan Rickman continues to walk the finest of lines between good and bad with his marvelous performance as Professor Snape. Has there ever been a better match of actor and character? Snape shows again that, while he may take occasional delight in making his students' lives difficult, he does have their best interests at heart - like any good teacher. Other plot quirks worked well - I enjoyed the way the time travel angle was worked in and the map showing the location of everyone in Hogwarts was a delight.

    Visually, this is a much darker film and it is a sumptuous treat for the eyes. There is so much incredible detail in the sets that it's impossible to absorb it all in one sitting. All the staples from the other films are there - the paintings talk, the staircases move, ghosts roam the halls - watch out for the knights on horseback crashing through windows! The special effects are all top notch. A word of caution for any parents - there are some genuine scares here. The Dementors are particularly nasty, and I would certainly think twice about letting very young children watch this film. This is without even considering it's running time - two and a half hours - which is a very long time to expect some children to sit still.

    One of the most impressive things about this film is the way that the young cast are more sure of themselves. As Hermione, Emma Watson grated in the first film with her occasional woodenness. Pleasingly, she has grown into herself as an actor and her performance here is much more mature. A leading lady of the future, perhaps? Hermione is growing up and is tired of being taken for an irritating goody-two shoes know it all. Rupert Grint provides comic relief and Daniel Radcliffe gives an outstanding performance, considering the whole film rests on his shoulders. Harry is the hero - the audience needs to identify with him. By the end of this film teenage girls will want to take him home to mother, while their mothers will just want to take him home and adopt him!

    New cast members acquit themselves well. The role of Sirius Black was tailor made for Gary Oldman - he has a requisite creepiness with just a dose of humanity to bring the character to life. Daniel Thewlis is good as Professor Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts master who takes Harry under his wing. Emma Thompson is amusing as a Divinination professor with bad eyesight. She can see into the future but can't tell which students are falling asleep in her class!

    Many have criticised Michael Gambon's performance as Dumbledore. While it's true that he is no Richard Harris, I personally was pleased that he didn't attempt to imitate his predecessor. Gambon is accomplished enough a performer to stay true to the character while at the same time putting his own stamp on it.

    Take away the magic and monsters, and what you have is a coming of age movie. Harry is forced to grow up and confront both his past and his future, and come to terms with the reality that he is no ordinary wizard. With the spectra of 'you know who' continuing to loom on the horizon, roll on film four!
  • comment
    • Author: you secret
    I thought this was excellent....better than the first two Harry Potter movies combined and better than what has followed.. That's my feeling, and I'm still sticking to it.

    This was just great fun, right from the opening. In fact, the early bus scene is the best in the film. Overall, the movie didn't have as mean an edge to it as the others, although it has a number of scary moments (which might have warranted a PG-13 rating). That was fine with me. I got tired of the dark, nasty and/or annoying characters of the first two films, and especially the irritating blonde wise-guy kid. I give this major points for cutting his role down. Even Alan Rickman's character softens.

    In other words, there is no despicable villain to hate throughout the film, which I thought was refreshing. Instead, we just go through one adventure after another until the final surprise ending.

    Along the way are a lot of fun special effects and scenery, some humor (Emma Thompson is a hoot as an eccentric tea-leaf reader) and some fantastic 5.1 surround sound. I wish all the Harry Potter films were like this one.
  • comment
    • Author: Qusicam
    As with previous Potter films, this one is wonderful. The mischievous trio are back in their third year at Hogwarts.

    Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is a slightly different character in this film as the anger inside of him for what happened to his parents has grown over the years. This made, for me, the film much more enjoyable than the first and second.

    As one would no doubt assume, Gary Oldman's portrayal of the character Sirius Black is nothing less than perfect. However, Sirius Black seams an unlikely roll for the talented Oldman. I enjoyed him more in other films, such as 'The Professional' and 'Immortal Beloved'. Let us hope he has had the chance to 'play it up' a bit more in the much anticipated 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'.

    The original music of John Williams is more than I could ever hope to hear. It is absolutely splendid, making the film worth a listen even if you do not watch. Williams has created memorable compositions such as the theme music to 'Star Wars', 'Jaws' and 'Raiders of the Lost Ark'.

    Overall, any age should enjoy this film. The visual effects are not the most spectacular I've seen, but fantastic enough to take your imagination away from the real world for 141 minutes. Even the closing credits are kind of cool.

    Now, go watch the film. You'll be glad you did.
  • comment
    • Author: Zovaithug
    If you're anti-Potter you owe it to yourself to see this film. Get past the issues you might have with the immense hype around the franchise and sit down for two hours to be captivated by this creepy, quirky and beautiful film. If you're a Potter-fan and you're unhappy with the film, the novel is probably on the table in front of you and you're better off reading it again. This is a wonderful film despite your expectations or opinions as to how it 'should have been done'.

    This review contains spoilers pertaining to the novel version of The Prisoner of Azkaban; if you haven't read the book, you have been warned.

    What makes this film work far more than the previous films are three key aspects - the acting, the screenplay, and the production design/cinematography - and all of them I credit directly to Cuaron's new vision. Suppsedly it was Cuaron's work on A Little Princess that won him the gig to direct this film, but I would honestly say that Y Tu Mama Tambien is equally if not more to credit. While he doesn't get the caliber of Tambien's performances in the young Potter stars, Cuaron does far better than his predecessor Chris Columbus. Most importantly, this film features a far more relaxed performance from Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter. His confidence, surely thanks to Cuaron's demonstrated ability to direct young actors, lets him speak and react in a far more genuine manner than we saw in the previous films and helps the film enormously. Hopefully Dan continues to improve with each film.

    With the more assured Radcliffe able to hold a scene together, Rupert Grint matches him admirably. Having been relieved of the Culkin Syndrome he was afflicted with in the first two films (the fault of Columbus, no doubt), he brings a more entertaining and believable Ron to the screen; both a joker and a noble soul as he is portrayed in the novels. It's wonderful to see that Grint has a genuine sense of comedy about him, and has made Ron more than the one-dimensional, face-pulling joke Columbus would have him. Emma Watson holds her own with the boys, giving a fantastic performance, and importantly bringing a lot of needed emotion to the central characters. Hermione now feels like the glue in the trio rather than the outsider.

    The new Dumbledore is a little uncomfortable, simply for the fact that he has a very small role in the film, and we don't have enough time to entirely digest this new portrayal. Richard Harris brought a wise kind of grace to the character, but perhaps in his physical state the character did come across as a little too frail. There is nothing wrong with Michael Gambon in this role, and I believe with his increased parts in the next film he will prove to be a satisfying replacement. I was wary of casting for Remus Lupin, one of my favourite characters of the novels, but David Thewlis makes this role his own with a delightful portrayal. Likewise, Oldman is perfectly cast as Black.

    There are edits and reshuffles with regard to the Azkaban's story compared to the book, both in terms of how the story fits together, and what information from the overall seven novel arc is in the film. I don't see how these changes matter much, the identity of the Marauders will undoubtedly be revealed, and potentially in a fashion that has a greater impact than it did in the novels. The reshuffling improves the pace in a huge way compared to the Columbus films which were quite plodding in parts because of their tenacious grip on remaining accurate to the novels. The dialogue is similar to the previous films. The "sudden" ending is satisfying enough; there really isn't any need for the over-done end of year banquet scenes, and seeing Harry happy at the end of the film is all I think we need.

    Some have complained that the continuity between the first two films and the third one has been spoiled by changes in the production design. I really can't see the problem here, the look of Hogwarts is far more immersive and emotive in Azkaban than it was in either The Philosopher's Stone or The Chamber of Secrets. Cuaron brings a twisted visual style to the screen and draws on his Mexican heritage to add further layers of interest to the look of the film. He could be called overly indulgent, but rather than being distracting, these additions simply bring more life to the screen, making Azkaban a gorgeously vibrant film. The production design is simply oozing with the filmmaker's obvious delight in creating the creepy magical atmosphere that this darker story requires. If after all that you still can't accept the changes to the production design, think simply of this; "The stairs like to change". If the stairs at Hogwarts like to change, why not the rest of it? It is a magical place, after all.

    The cinematography though, is what makes the film so beautiful. There's barely a shot in the film which isn't utterly gorgeous. The scenes of the Dementors floating outside Hogwarts are inspired, the moonlight scene after the return from the Shrieking Shack, the flight scenes with Buckbeak, the first Dementor scene on the train; all are captured beautifully and put Columbus with his squeaky clean vanilla take on everything in first two films to shame.

    This film was one of the highlights out of Hollywood in the last year. It's, dare I say it, compelling and well acted in a beautifully realized and shot fantasy world. You owe it to yourself to see it once; and if you're a fan holding a grudge, maybe you should give it another try.

    And pray to your Gods that George Lucas never gets his hands on the reigns to a Potter film.
  • comment
    • Author: Aver
    Director Alfonso Cuarón has taken the images conjured by J.K. Rowling's magical words and created from her book, 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,' a film rife with visual symbolism and alive with inventive images beyond those established by the first two films in the series. Cuarón, a native of Mexico City and the acclaimed director of the completely compelling, frequently hilarious and sexually explicit coming-of-age film, 'Y tu mamá también,' was seen by many as an odd choice to follow heartland American Chris Columbus into the Harry Potter director's chair. The selection has resulted in a film darker and more mature than its predecessors, just as was the book, but it is also as approachable for young people as Cuarón's other internationally heralded work, 'A Little Princess.'

    It is late in the summer. Harry (a decidedly more assertive Daniel Radcliffe, making his third appearance in the leading role) is at the Dursleys in Privet Drive, preparing for his third year at Hogwart's, when an obnoxious relative demeans his father's memory, causing Harry to lose his temper. As a result, Harry violates the rules of student witches and wizards, causing the offending aunt to inflate as a dirigible and float away into the night sky on an stream of invectives. It is a delightful opening to a film with far more serious issues to explore and frightening obstacles to overcome. Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), imprisoned at Azkaban for complicity in the murder of Harry's parents, has escaped, and is looking for Harry. The soul-stealing prison guards called 'Dementors' (Latin for mind-removers) are searching for Black everywhere, but when he and Harry meet, there are revelations which change everything.

    The symbolism in the film is fascinating. Rowling is responsible for a lot of it, but Cuarón has used symbolism as a visual tool to alert the audience to impending danger and to keep tensions high. Traditionally, black-feathered birds such as ravens, crows, and vultures all have negative images associated with them; they are usually used to represent carnage, bloodshed and battle; they are thought of in terms of scavengers, messengers of the dead, and evil. Crows abound in this film, but Cuarón has extended their traditional roles, turning them into symbols of the Dementors, which fly around menacingly in black garments with feather-like hems. Even when the Dementors are out of sight (they are not allowed on the grounds of Hogwart's School) you can feel their presence in the crows.

    Rowling's most obvious use of symbolism is in the name she gives the escaped prisoner Sirius Black. Sirius is a star in the constellation Canis Majoris (in mythology, Canis Majoris is one of Orion's hunting dogs; the Greater Dog), the brightest star in the sky. So, Sirius is also called the Dog Star, and everyone knows that the dog is distinguished above all other inferior animals for intelligence, docility, and attachment to man. Would she give such a name, with all its implications, to a villainous character? Not likely. But she would give it to a wizard who could change into a dog.

    Among the new visual images are animal ghosts which wander the halls of Hogwart's Castle and the film's realization of Buckbeak the Hippogriff, like Sirius, falsely accused and condemned. Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and all of the established characters return. Led by Harry, all the students have matured considerably, as you would expect of 13-year-olds; they are more independent and self assured, more emotionally developed and far less childlike in their reactions and bearing. Michael Gambon is new and effective as Aldus Dumbledore, following the death of Richard Harris. Emma Thompson is wonderfully wacky as Divination Professor Sybil Treelawney; who leaps from the pages of the book and onto the screen as if Rowling had written the character specifically for Thompson. Also new is Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor Remus Lupin (David Thewles), who comes to Harry's aid in ways that might befit his Latin name. Remus was the brother of the founder of Rome. In mythology, he was nursed by a she-wolf; Lupin means wolf-like (wolf is Canis Lupis).

    The unheralded thread of creative continuity in this marvelous series, as it moves from Chris Columbus to Alfonso Cuarón to incoming director Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, now in production) is Screenwriter Steve Kloves. He and the producers have been true to Rowling's works and to Harry's fans, in ways that have always enhanced, not diminished, the author's incredible achievement.
  • comment
    • Author: Bludworm
    I wish Alfonso Cuaron would come back to the franchise. I know that he probably won't, but I still hope. After all, as we float through this empty, depressing world, sometimes all we have is hope. He detached this film franchise from its safe-as-a-CIA-file roots and allowed it to grow wings and fly into a silver ether. To anyone who thinks franchise films cannot be art... check out LOTR. But once you are done, check out this film. It is both ironic and darkly appropriate that this is both the lowest grossing Harry Potter film and the one that many film critic types, such as myself, say is the greatest of the octology.

    The film starts off like do all Harry Potter books and most Harry Potter movies. Potter is at the house of his over-the-top, abusive, Muggle adopted family, getting tormented like he always does. Yes, I know it is explained in detail why he needs to stay with them, but such doesn't make it any less of a poor writing choice. But, when and if I do a full review of the Potter series, I'll go over those kinds of decisions.

    I only bring this up because it is a base line for these movies and such something I can use to show why this is the best one. In the Columbus films, it is played with a cheerful exaggeration that reminds me of many of his eighties movies. This is not a bad thing, but it is not brimming with greatness either. In the Yates films, it is downplayed as just a backdrop, a facade, if you will, to more serious matters. Cuaron manages to combine these approaches, which is expected, as both this and GOF are the 'transition movies', while adding both sophistication and a level of charged rawness, which is not expected.

    We get to see Harry's emotional landscape. Fragile but potent, unstable but unyielding, it is a sight to behold, one that belies the simpler character that we got in both the earlier and later movies. If Harry Potter developed along these lines, he might have actually been a great character instead of the flattest one among a crowd of interesting people.

    The scenes are magical, but not in the try-hard way of the first two films. Around the time that I first saw them, I declared myself a true blue of the series. I haven't looked back since. The shots are magical in a way that is both wispy and intense. This is the tone that these movies should have taken, and if they reboot them, something of I am not in favor but something that is a conceivable possibility in today's Hollywood climate, this is the tone I would like them to try to take. Just the thought of that sends chills down my spine. It might even be able to challenge LOTR for the crown of best fantasy series of all time.

    After that virtuoso opening, I kept waiting to be let down. I never was. Every new character introduced was interesting and every old character they excluded was not missed. The pacing is the best out of the movies; the first two were too slow and the other five were too fast. The plot was more personal to me than the other movies; this is the one movie in which Voldemort does not appear in some form or another. There is no direct end boss and so the plot has to be more creative. And so it is.

    Of course, more of the credit for this has to go Mrs. Rowling for writing the book on which this film was based. But the cinematography is all the work of Cuaron's team. And it is the best in the series by far. Not to say that the other movies are poorly shot; this is Britain, after all: things may be bad, but they are never badly done. But while the cinematography of the first few movies would perfectly fit a kid's fantasies, the cinematography of the fourth movie would perfectly fit a high class ball or gala, and the cinematography of the last four movies would perfectly fit a nature doc, the cinematography of this film perfectly fits the franchise.

    It is artful and well-done, but it is not show like an Oscarbaity period piece. The camera feels alive and coated with magic powder. It is exactly how I imagine the heartbeat of a troubled magic society to feel like. The music helps it out. If you listen to Window to the Past and are not sucked into the world Cuaron made for this film, then you just don't have a soul. It is introspective, ambient, immersive, and coated with the kind of cerebral wonder that I think makes life worth living. It is the best tune in the franchise. But do not think it is the only good tune in the movie. Buckbeak's Flight is a good second.

    While the characters in the series may never be willing/able to turn back time after this movie for reasons cheap and nonsensical and borderline nonexistent, I hope that you will be wiser. Come back in time with me to 2004. And let the emotional waves of this picture overtake you.
  • comment
    • Author: Doomwarden
    This third Harry Potter film is the best one yet. Director Alphonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien, A Little Princess) has taken over from Chris Columbus and has stuck less slavishly to the original JK Rowling Books.

    Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are back as Harry, Ron and Hermoine, with Hermoine in particular getting to do a lot more. There are less Quidditch matches, and more menace, in keeping with the improved complexity of Rowling's third novel. Hogwarts is not safe, Draco Malfoy is no longer a menace, but just a pain in the ass. And the new CGI-scripted character Buckbeak the Hippogriff (half eagle, half horse) looks fantastic and has personality.The kids are all supposed to be thirteen but look older - hey we'll forgive them. Neville Longbottom has lost so much weight he's almost unrecognisable.

    Great performances from Emma Thompson hamming it up as the ditsy professor of foretelling, Prof Trelawny, Michael Gambon as the new Professor Dumbledore (not as magical but good), David Thewliss as Prof Lupin, and Gary Oldman as the Prisoner of Azkhaban.Thrilling, complex, menacing, ****/***** stars.
  • comment
    • Author: Nidor
    .. and near perfect film making.

    Why does every major fictional story that starts off so light end up so dark? Sorry, rhetorical question. The answer is that we live a polar world, light and dark, night and day, positive and negative.

    So this may well be the last episode in the series which is both exhilarating and innocent.

    Especially if you compare it to the last two in the series, which I suggest you do not do because you will lose your lunch.

    The cinematography does not get better. In the winter scenes you can feel the chill and in the flying scenes you get airsick.

    And the story includes a "time loop" twist which is handled so perfectly that you want to see the film a second or third time to make sure you got it all.

  • comment
    • Author: Fenrikasa
    Although this film isn't all that I'd hoped it would be, I believe that it was the best of the three 'Harry Potter' films so far, thanks largely due to director Alfonso Cuaron. In 'Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban', the trio are now thirteen and beginning their Third Year at Hogwarts, under the fear of an escaped criminal who played a part in the deaths of Harry's parents and seems to be stalking the school, preying on Harry.

    The child acting in this film has improved slightly with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint probably faring the best in comparison to their young co-stars. Although he is lumbered with a Ron who has once again been reduced to a comic character, it's a sign of Grint's abilities that he does well without looking embarrassed or too clownish. Dan Radcliffe was still very poor, obviously struggling to portray Harry's darker emotions in a manner that isn't wooden and awkward and and this was very apparent in the scene where he makes an atrocious effort to cry when he finds out his godfather had betrayed his parents to their deaths. while Tom Felton was let down by poor scripting of Draco.

    The adult cast were excellent. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black were perfectly cast. Lupin was soft yet stern when needed and you could feel there was a parental rapport between him and Harry, and I couldn't imagine anyone other than David Thewlis in the role. And Gary Oldman was great in depicting Black's determination, mingled with an hysterical madness due to his incarceration in the hellish wizarding prison Azkaban. As for Michael Gambon, who was recast in the role of Dumbledore, I felt he was an improvement. Richard Harris was a gifted actor but his Dumbledore had a cold, aloofness to him whereas Gambon was able to portray the warm, eccentricity of the character without diminishing the power and wisdom of Dumbledore. And the rest of the regular cast, such as Alan Rickman and Maggie Smith, were perfect although we expect no better from them now!

    One of the best aspects of this film is how it no longer pandered to kiddies like the previous two films did. There was a darker, moodier edge to the story and the characters. The wizarding world no longer seemed like a perfect haven and the characters had grown beyond being innocent children; this reflected the book itself since many feel PoA was a turning point in the series where it finally felt like Harry Potter- boy and book- were growing up. The Hogwarts' setting differed from the previous films yet not only was it definitely more faithful to the books but finally it felt as if the castle was in Scotland rather than perpetually sunny Disney Land and this enhanced the mood being set in the film. The clock was a nice touch, linking to the theme of time in the actual storyline, as was the bridge in being a place for Harry to mull over his problems. Also, in many ways, this film could have ended up a muddled mess in regards to the ending but Cuaron handled the Time Turner scenes well.

    However, there were flaws to the film, which let it down. The characters of Hermione and Draco were poorly scripted so they seemed like two completely different characters from the ones we know and love in the books. Although Watson as an actress has improved since CoS, the main problem with the script is that Hermione is being portrayed as being too cool and cocky compared to the bookworm who has no interest in fashion that we know Hermione to be in the books. Steve Kloves, the scriptwriter who admits he's responsible for the change, really needs to learn heroines don't need to be cool Buffy types to be admired; part of why Hermione is so popular as a character in the books is that she appeals to girls who are bookish themselves and easily identify with her. And as for Draco, he comes across as too much of a cowardly, weak girlie-boy rather than an insidious, vicious brat who can be a threat to Harry when he chooses to.

    Also, there was no telling of what Black did to Snape in school that left him so bitter in his hatred and I wished they'd included the scene where he let slip what Lupin was, especially as this animosity between him, Black and Lupin plays a larger role as the books go on. And speaking of Lupin, the werewolf CGI was atrocious. He looked like an emaciated rat rather than the wolf-like creature who leaves even the more powerful wizards quivering in fear. I wished there was more in the ending too as I would have loved to see Vernon's face when he found out who Black was. Kloves needs to learn how to round the Harry Potter films off properly as this was also a sticking point in CoS.

    At the end of the day, there were scenes left out, some of which we didn't mind skipping but others (an explanation to Harry of James Potter's friendship to Black and Lupin) were sorely missed. It was a great film but it could have done with being made longer or skipping on non-essential scenes (less of the Knight Bus and Hermione punching Malfoy in a manner that makes her out to be a thug) to make way for scenes which are more important. I think I was disappointed because I was expecting something along the lines of RotK but it's still great viewing. I'd give it a seven-and-a-half out of ten with the hopes Cuaron will return to the helm again although preferably not with Kloves as the scriptwriter. I think Cuaron would be excellent working with a script produced by someone who has a better handle on the darker aspects of the books and a deeper understanding of the HP characters.
  • comment
    • Author: Jeb
    Well, once more we have another journey into the struggle for the future of Hogwarts. This time, the quest involves the saga of Sirius Black. Who is he? Why is he on the prowl for young Harry? And what, ultimately, is the truth behind the murder of James and Lilly Potter, Harry's parents? The tale opens with yet another killer title sequence, this time bringing the familiar Warner Bros. shield to light in spurts before focusing on Harry's 'homework assignment,' if you will --- the Lumos Maxima spell. After this, we come to the first segment of the story proper. Now aged 13, Harry is angrier, and more unsure of his destiny than in his previous adventures at Hogwarts. His rage against one of the Dursleys' relatives intensifies when he finally decides it's not worth it to remain there ("Anywhere's better than here," he complains to Uncle Vernon).

    A few moments later --- the Night Bus. What a ride, especially with British veteran comic Lenny Henry contributing the voice of the manic Shrunken Head! The film reaches its most beautiful moment, however, as Hagrid --- newly installed as Professor in Charge of the Care of Magical Creatures --- introduces his class, and us, to Buckbeak the Hippogriff. The haunting flight of Buckbeak, with Harry on his back, is complimented by a new theme from John Williams; and yes, Harry does the 'king-of-the-world' thing a la Leonardo DiCaprio (but that, of course, we can forgive).

    Director Alfonso Cuaron, who makes here a return to making films from family stories, provides us with as unexpected an ability to play mind games with the Potter legend's staunchest supporters (us, the audience) than even Chris Columbus did, when we discover at last what is really going on. That Sirius Black is Harry Potter's godfather, and would willingly sacrifice himself for Harry's honor, brings more sorrow than joy to our hero's emotional psyche, setting the stage for the major payoff sequence.

    How horrifying it is to learn that the rat you have loved and cared for for all of 12 years is no less than the traitor who brought Voldemort the means to slay James and Lilly! One can imagine what's going through Ron Weasley's mind as he, Harry, and Hermoine witness these bitter revelations.

    And finally, we have the theme of expressing freedom, as Harry sees himself, changed into a glowing stag, giving the evil Dementors what for, thus freeing both Sirius and Buckbeak --- two innocents who, like Hagrid himself, have been falsely accused and condemned. Alas, Sirius' destiny, as we know all too well, is to be a short-lived one.

    So, what did you love about the movie? I hear you asking. Well, aside from the usual smokin' performances from our regulars (and a jolly toast to Michael Gambon who, one hopes, will be given a bigger, cooler beard once Order of the Phoenix goes into principal photography), there is also the delightful spectre of darkness surrounding the story, and a ferocious bid for battling against revenge. And, for the first time, the inclusion of the Marauders' Map is not only emphasized, it also serves as the inspiration --- and literal setting --- for the movie's end-credit sequence.

    All in all, Prisoner of Azkaban brings the darker Potter power to light in ways one would not dare expect out of screenwriter Steve Kloves. Alas, they're saying that Steve will be leaving the production team after having completed the Goblet of Fire script; if another writer does Order of the Phoenix proper justice, they'll be hard-pressed to take on the search for one. That being the case, I sincerely hope our legions of fans will enjoy our film. Who knows? I may have to do this again three years from now when Half-Blood Prince gets the movie treatment! (Heh-heh!) Faithfully, Albus Dumbledore
  • comment
    • Author: doesnt Do You
    Wow. I love the new direction. The style fits the movie perfectly. I also think the kids acted much better in this one. I really hope they don't get rid of Daniel Radcliff, even if he does get too broad in the shoulders. You can't swap horses mid-stream. Also, did anyone recognize the kid who played Neville at first? The biggest problem that I had was that there were a lot of things the movie didn't explain, such as "Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs." I think that it may have been hard for those who hadn't read the book to understand. It also didn't show that Harry's Patronus was a stag, which I thought was important. And Harry's eyes aren't green (which is mentioned at least once in each book), but that's a minor thing. I felt that the style fits the book well. I go back and read the first book and think "Wow, how young they all are, how naive." The books age, and I think that comes out in this movie. I hope they continue to follow the same path.

    All in all, I loved the new direction and the movie itself. I can't wait 'till the next one comes out.
  • comment
    • Author: Kazijora
    Prisoner of Azkaban is the only installment of the Harry Potter series to stray from the formula "Voldemort is trying to kill Harry". That's one of the reasons I liked this movie so much. It lacks the sense of impending peril present in "Sorceror's Stone" and "Chamber of Secrets" and the lack of oppressive atmosphere allows for the most complete (as of movie 4) character exploration of the entire series.

    I think Alfonso Cuarón is the perfect director for this type of material: this movie is so well-handled it makes Chris Columbus' and Mike Newell's efforts look like amateur productions. It is really a shame that he didn't sign on for the fourth movie.

    This movie also contains some of the finest performances from child actors I have ever seen. I must have watched this movie thirty times by now, and not only because it's picturesque, with wonderfully shot scenes and seamlessly integrated effects; not only because of the enchanting music chosen, which adds tremendously to the sense of immersion in the movie. No, I watch this movie over and over because of the master performances put in by Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe. They're very likable people, and they're charming in every scene, whether they're trying to dodge unfair punishment from Snape or saving themselves from Dementors. They're so charming, you actually feel like you're there with them.
  • comment
    • Author: Ynonno
    This work is beautifully dark and lovingly done, but it does leave gaping holes in J. K. Rowling's magical world. The close relationship between Harry and Dumbledore is obliterated, as is Hermione's almost conspiratorial relationship with McGonagal. You are never told who Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are (a necessary element). They completely avoid the fact that Snape has knowledge of Harry's Invisibility Cloak, and Harry received the Firebolt at the beginning of this work rather than the end. The whole incident at the Shrieking Shack was changed and lost too much in the translation. Crookshanks was calumniated from a beloved kneazle to a noisome feline who'd be more likely to pee in your shoes than help you, aside of course from his determination to eat Scabbers.

    Columbus's epic style is notably missing, as is the awe-inspiring score, and the magical feeling inspired by the first two. Hagrid's hut was reinvisioned (more a gripe with Columbus for not having read ahead and determining what was needed to begin with, than a grip with this movie), there is a pumpkin patch which wasn't there last year, and Hogwarts grounds seemed to have sprouted mountains and rocky hills which weren't previously there. And Dumbledore no longer bears the traits of a beloved, serenely all-knowing Headmaster who commands respect from all (the ONLY Wizard of whom He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is afraid), he is now a lesser man who barely commands notice much less great respect.

    It aggravated me that Columbus never felt it necessary to research his resource materials by reading ahead in order to make a solid determination as to where things were and how they were laid out. Negligance is never a desirable trait among any professional trade, and this single act of laziness could have cost the franchise dearly. Indeed, this attempt took a beating on DVD sales due to the lack of contentment with the finished product over the changes. Lapses in sales like this could adversely affect the studio's decision to make further films!

    However. Cuarón's style is superior in his use of light and color, and the lack of these elements. He is not afraid to approach the darkness of this work, and shows it as he rivals the power of the script, rifling through each line and page for ways to illuminate the scene through means other than mere lighting. Much has been said concerning the "darker" script, etc. While this work IS darker, so was the literary work from which this was adapted. Even with all the changes (some of them barely noticeable and some of them contemptible) this attempt is the first Harry Potter film which, in my opinion, captured the true spirit and feeling of the novel which it attempts to document.

    I, for one, am happy to see Chris Columbus move from the director's chair to that of producer. I've wondered though, why he was not Executive Producer of this work, as he was the previous two and the upcoming GOF? Ah well. I must have missed something. His sweeping epic style is beautiful but his works never achieved the level of awe, mystery, and joy present in the first two novels. This third attempt, as I've said, succeeded in capturing all the necessary elements.

    Hagrid's hut is beautifully done and the audience has a much better feel for the grounds of Hogwarts due to Cuarón's talents. As much as I detested the fact that things had to be changed, I am very satisfied with how things looked and felt on the grounds. It felt much more magical, even with a lack of epic filming (of which I am a huge fan).

    Cuarón handled the maturing of our three protagonists quite well in that he had just finished a near-porn and, indeed, a nod is given to that work in this movie. If you've seen them both, then you know what I mean. Hermione's Emma Watson is maturing well so far, as are our other favorite Hogwarts students. They do not appear to be maturing so quickly as to warrant their replacement in this series; a situation about which much speculation has been made.

    This work was incredible in that the characters, creatures, and effects were all impeccably conceived and executed. The legendary hippogryph was incredibly realistic. Some critics have charged J. K. Rowling with making up these animals by "taking one half of one animal and just sticking it onto another." This is laughable, as the hippogryph is a mystical animal of legend, and not a Rowling creation. According to legend, the hippogryph, living far beyond the seas in the Rhiphaean Mountains, is the result of the rare breeding of a male gryphon and a filly. It has the head, wings and front legs of a gryphon, and the back and hind legs of a horse. It is a large powerful creature that can move through the air more swiftly than lightning. It figured in several of the legends of Charlemagne as a mount for some of the knights. And since many types of gryphons exist, including a variation involving an eagle head and forepaws, this rendition of this legendary creature is really quite realistic. I do wish people would research before criticizing.

    While this movie is far from Oscar-worthy, it is quite entertaining and does its best to follow the main theme of the literary work. While I was a bit put off by the changes, I must acquiesce that Cuarón did a most excellent job in adapting the largest and longest Harry Potter literary alteration so far with the lowest running time of any Harry Potter film yet. Thus far, this is my favorite for film style and maintaining the appropriate atmosphere in accordance with the novel, though I do hope Gambon can pull off the rigors of the next two attempts. A lot will ride on his ability to BE Dumbledore.

    It rates an 8.4/10 from...

    the Fiend :.
  • comment
    • Author: MarF
    If there is a scene that sums up my feelings about this film, it would probably be where Harry is forced to ride Buckbeak the hippogriff ("Don't pull out his feathers," warns Hagrid, "cause he won't thank yer for that!"). Initially, Harry hangs on for dear life, but as the flight progresses over Hogwarts and its nearby lake, Harry suddenly feels a sense of complete exhilaration.

    This scene is not only terrifically executed, but makes a great statement about the "Harry Potter" franchise in general. Under Columbus, the series was keen on observing its wondrous world, but not much else. But under Alfonso Cuaron, the series does more than observe. It flies and sails through all of the possibilities. Add to that an improved script from Steven Kloves, better performances from the main trio, and some welcome musical themes from John Williams, and you have what is, to date, the best "Potter" film yet.

    The "Prisoner of Azkaban" is Sirius Black, a mass murderer who has escaped. A former supporter of Lord Voldemort, Black is reportedly going after Harry to finish off the Dark Lord's work. Harry, of course, would much rather live out his third year at Hogwarts without unpredictable distractions. But more than Sirius Black is concerning Harry now. The guards of Azkaban, the dementors, are snooping around Hogwarts and forcing Harry to rehear his worst memories. The new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Remus Lupin, is revealing that he had connections with Harry's father. And for all of the security around Hogwarts, how is Black breaching the castle walls and attacking portraits?

    Steven Kloves has written a far better script this time around, thanks in large part to a greater emotional heft he puts on the story. Harry's parents take on a greater importance this time, and they are the source for some of his motivations in dealing with the Dementors, Remus Lupin, and Sirius Black. In fact, speaking of Lupin, I was quite impressed with how well Kloves wrote all of the interactions between Harry and Lupin. His manner reminded me of some of my favorite teachers from high school, and how they would sometimes care about more than just their students' academia, but their personal lives too.

    And not only is the script better, but so is the acting. Reportedly, director Cuaron had Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson all had to write essays on their characters before filming began. Smart move. Racliffe, Grint, and Watson all interact with each other like there's real history between them, and don't just look like they're trying to hold their own while reciting lines. Several new casting choices are inspired as well. David Thewlis plays Professor Lupin, and he brings humanity and compassion to the role. Gary Oldman is Sirius Black, and his interactions with Harry are not only credible, but you get a sense that he has truly cared for him for many years now. Emma Thompson is a hoot as Professor Trelawney, Harry's eccentric Divination teacher. Several have criticized Michael Gambon taking over for Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore, but I think he's fine for the role. He may not be the Albus Dumbledore of the book, but I bought into his more stern, yet still sensible portrayal of the revered Headmaster.

    I missed John Williams' film score in "Chamber of Secrets" because I rarely heard it. Here however, Cuaron lets him come back in full force. Time and time again, Williams comes up with other memorable theme, including "Aunt Marge's Waltz," "Buckbeak's Flight," and "Double Trouble" (the song the Hogwarts choir sings). This marked the last time Williams worked with "Harry Potter," so it's good he went out on a high note.

    I don't know what I can add to the appraisal of Alfonso Cuaron's direction, but I'm going to try anyway. The guy nailed it. For the first thirty minutes, I had this big grin on my face as he took great fun in blowing up Aunt Marge, making Harry's ride on the Knight Bus as wild and face-flattening as possible, and having students eat candies that made them act like monkeys and lions (or in Harry's case, blow steam out of his ears). He employs several clever camera tricks, including gazing into a mirror and having the reflection become the dominant shot, and having the Whomping Willow shake snow off its branches and having the snow hit the camera lens. And he's not afraid to exploit Hogwarts darker side, from the sinister, soul- sucking dementors to Lupin's tense transformation. There are too many "little touches" he adds on for me to mention, but I think my favorite was that when Harry and Hermione travel back in time and attempt to save Buckbeak, Hermione sees herself, and questions, "Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?" You won't find that comment in the book. Not only does that line add humor, but it also shows how Cuaron was willing to separate this film from the book and make it its own entity.

    Does "The Prisoner of Azkaban" deserve the 10 I bestow on it? Maybe, maybe not; I will not deny, I am a little biased when it comes to "Harry Potter." But I do believe it to be great filmmaking, and great entertainment. Practically all elements from the previous "Potter" pictures have been improved upon. The result is a film that can hold it's own against the best of fantasy entertainment, and it's also one of the rare strong 3rd installments of any given film series.

    (And one last note: I believe this film gets the award for "weirdest ending to any 'Harry Potter' movie")
  • comment
    • Author: Sironynyr
    POA was by far the best of the three Harry Potter films. The actors (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint) have gained more confidence in their abilities. They have become more and more like the characters they play in their own life which has shown in the films.

    Besides the acting, the film was better shoot than the previous two: In the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the parts picked were sometimes less important than the parts left out. A great deal of the stuff from the books was cut in the other two movies, but this was not the case in this one: It appeared that there were only two scenes out of order from which they happened in the books; Harry receiving the Firebolt (at the end of the film, but early in the book,) and Harry's Patronus (supposed to be a Stag, galloping down the Dementors, but was a dome-shaped shield in film.) Other than those two inconsistencies with the books, the film was virtually flawless; the CG improved a great deal; the Dementors had nearly the same affect as they did in the books – to the reader/viewer.

    To most fans, the best part of the movie was by far was the scene where Hermione socked Draco in the nose (another very slight deviation from the books, but perfectly acceptable!)
  • comment
    • Author: Gri
    (6/10, out of which 4.5 goes to Buckbeak) How I looked forward to this movie cannot be summarized in a paragraph.. and then when I saw it...hmmm...this looked like a regular movie that had some magic but was in "No way Magical enough" as I quite liked the Chris Columbus presentation and his attention to detail in the previous two.. Don't get me wrong, Cuaron does a pretty good job but his style is more 'Artsy'.

    The first one was just cute.. and curiosity got the better of all of us in 'How is Harry Potter going to be depicted?' on screen.. CoS was more mature. Very occasionally it did seem that the movie's were long (if you have watched the DVD's enough) but they captured the essence of the books and there was a continuity to the scenes even for the non-Harry folk.

    I guess the length of the previous two movies must have made some kind of impact on the way PoA has been condensed. The pace of PoA was "too fast" compared to the previous two. From the initial scenes, Harry in his room to Aunt Marge to Harry leaving the Duddleys was < 10 minutes (or so it seemed). Magnolia Crescent and the 'black dog' was a trifle slow and then came the triple decker bus which was pretty brisk. The introduction of Sirius Black was not menacing enough by 'Stan' the conductor on the T.D. bus. Gary Oldman definitely deserved more (+5mins)*

    The entry into Leaky Cauldron and the inn-keeper 'Tom' (who looked like a character from 'Adams Family') swinging Harry off the street to meet 'Cornileus Fudge' (whose name is not even mentioned) was moderately funny. The re-union of Harry, Ron and Hermione lacks any friendship or bonding strength and 'Mr. Weaselys' warning to Harry isn't any more serious than watching 'Saturday Night Live'.

    I was particularly disappointed that 'AZKABAN' prison is just left to imagination (more like a passing comment) and the crime that Sirius committed, killing 13 with one curse & Pettigrew losing a pinky is NOT even shown in an abstract fashion (like Voldermot killing Harry's mother in HP1(+5mins)*

    The trip to Hogwarts with the train stranded and the Dementors/Lupins introduction was kinda neat (especially the fading of Harry - the soul screaming etc) but a gifted actor like David Thewlis could have had two more minutes at that point, especially when he explains what a dementor is (+2mins)*

    Cut, horseless carriages, cut, 'Choir group – very neat with Something Wicked This Way Comes', cut, 'Welcome Welcome' says DumbleDore, introduces Hagrid and Lupin.

    THE BEST PART - the Hippogriff and Hagrid's class, Harry's first flight on BUCKBEAK. The special effects team deserves an award for Buckbeak who IMHO was the SAVING GRACE or the HERO of the film, continued to impress me till the very end.

    Quidditch with the dementors swooping on Harry (very imaginatively handled) who falls and is going to be stopped by Dumbledore (very unimaginative after he starts falling as it fades dark and pop comes the next scene in the Hospital Wing). Divination room was much different than the book without the trap door etc although Emma Thompson was funny.

    Fat Lady was wasted. Sirius coming to kill Scabbers was cut. The FireBolt and its introduction without Hermione's suspicions looks 'hollow' in the end. Honeydukes (getting there was assumed) and Marauder's Map needed some more time (+5mins)*. Changing 'Three Broomsticks' to 'Hogs Head' was weird. Who is Sirius to Harry (as explained by Mcgonnagal) did not give enough detail (+5mins)*.

    Lupins class, Harry's scenes with Lupin, his encounter at night with 'Peter Pettigrew' in the courtyard and the last 40 mins with Lupin, Sirius, Snape and the dementors which is the CRUX of the movie was done very well although 'Who exactly is Peter Pettigrew' is not communicated clearly even in the climax. Hermione's Time Turner, which is confusing unless you have read the book could have used additional time (3mins)*

    All in all this movie would have made a 'magical' impact on me if we could have experienced those extra 30 minutes of detail to bring continuity in the film, but that was not to be. Maybe the DVD will be better.. I sure hope so.
  • comment
    • Author: Ienekan
    Like most Harry Potter fans, I found this movie disappointing. I felt that Director Alfonso Cuaron choose style over substance, which is never a good thing in a movie.

    Some critics say that the previous movies were too stiff in how they stuck close to the book. THAT IS THE POINT!! If I want to see a Harry Potter movie, I want to see the book, the plot, brought to life. I don't want to see the plot changed.

    However, I must admit, I loved the darker, more Gothic look of the film. The books are taking a turn for the darker and this movie sets that tone.

    But there was so many plot holes, so much left out. It was hard for this HP fan to ignore. This book, while the smallest of the 5 out there is crucial. This is my main complaint with the movie.

    It introduces Lupin, Black, and Pettigrew, all of which are important to Harry, as they fill in the gaps of his past.

    In this book, you discover why Snape hates Harry, Lupin, Black, and James Potter. This is important later. The relationship between Snape and Harry is important to the Order of the Phoenix.

    Who is Wormtail, Prongs, Moony, and Padfoot? What is and who created The Marauders map. And why is Black an Animagus?

    The above are all questions that the movie leaves unanswered (but are in the book).

    I would have sat through another hour to hear the explanations and see the full story. Instead, plot points replaced by unnecessary (but yet funny) cut scenes. Not a good thing.

    Buckbeak looked great; the CGI was very well done. The time warp effect was also cool. I was disappointed in how Lupin looked as a Werewolf, I thought they were more hairy.

    The best part of this movie - the acting. Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson are growing into their roles and as actors. Although Radcliffe could have actually shed some tears during the Hogsmade visit. Tom Felton was great as Draco, who tries to be brash, but is really a coward under it all. He played it excellently.

    The adults were also fantastic. Maggie Smith was the stern, yet almost motherly Minerva McGonagall. We needed to see more of her; she only had about 2 lines. Robbie Coltrane comes back as Hagrid and he plays the part perfectly. Emma Thompson plays a wonderfully flaky Sybil Trelawney. Michael Gambon had a tough role to fill by following Richard Harris. Gambon brings his own slant to Albus Dumbledore, which in this movie was a bit off-kelter, but I think as we get used to him in this role, it will seem more natural.

    Alan Rickman.... He is the most underrated actor in this movie. The critics seem to ignore his astounding acting in these films. He is absolutely fantastic in his role as the sharp, harsh, angry, but troubled Severus Snape. Any lesser actor would have made Snape flat, but Rickman gives him life and dimension. Also, he has some of the greatest lines in this movie. "Revenge is very sweet..."

    Gary Oldman was good as Sirius Black, but we didn't seen enough of him. His confrontation with Rickman was emotion filled and was one of the best parts of the movie. I wish it had gone on longer.

    Timothy Spall plays a disgusting and revolting Peter Pettigrew. He looked the part and played it well.

    Remus Lupin was played by David Thewlis. I was not sure what to think at first; I was hoping Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from Buffy) was going to get the part. But Thewlis was excellent, he made Lupin a character you liked and cared about, a feeling you didn't get from the book. But Thewlis makes you feel that for the character. He got a fair amount of screen time, but I wanted more. Fantastic acting. I can't wait to see him come back in the next few films.

    All in all, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is an good movie, as long as you don't compare it to the book or other HP movie. The plot holes really damage the film. The acting and the feel of the movie are great, but still don't quite make up the difference.
  • comment
    • Author: Runeterror
    Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a "fan film". By this I mean the makers have made the assumption the majority of viewers, the core audience - are fans of the Potter series. As a stand alone film would leave a viewer confused by a fast moving plot devoid of a lot of detail contained in the original book which the film quite closely follows. To fully appreciate the movie, prior knowledge through reading the book would be most beneficial, it would allow you to fill in the many blanks.

    Concepts, background, and explanations are skipped in the movie, which gives it a rushed, incomplete feeling, even for a Potter fan. Users have commented the movie is darker, this is somewhat true, it definitely has a different feel from the first two films, much of this can be attributed to the new director. He has changed the sets considerably, to the point where they barely resemble the first tmo films. The fine cast of adult stars is under utilized throughout the film. Maggie Smiths role could be considered a cameo for the limited screen time she got.

    Overall the rest of the film is acceptable. If I didn't previously know the plot I would rate this film lower than I did. Though this IS Harry Potter and he still has the midas touch.
  • comment
    • Author: Urtte
    You can watch the entire Harry Potter series and skip this pointless borefest entry and yet NOTHING would be lost.

    Terrible new characters, a convoluted storyline with zero suspense, a beyond anti-climactic ending that will have anyone with an actual brain saying "......that's it??? where's the epic 3rd act!?!?", and the single biggest offender of all: HORRENDOUSLY BAD ACTING across the board, especially from the kids with just one or two lines, who the hell cast these beyond talentless children?!?

    1/10 (would give a straight ZERO if available)
  • comment
    • Author: Punind
    This movie is a disgrace to the series. The consistency issues in regards to the book and the first two films are readily apparent. Even to fans who have not read the books, the change in the geography of Hogwarts and how the characters dress are easily recognized as a break in continuity.

    The screenplay is chunked and leaves many important pieces to the overall storyline unexplained. Needless to say, the scenes do not flow very well and it leaves the non-reader confused in many places.

    This movie will unfortunately stick out like a sore thumb if the following films stick to the wonderfully developed world of Harry Potter.
  • comment
    • Author: Precious
    My opinion of the recently released Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban is that the new director totally changed the mood and feeling of the Harry Potter series. Those of you who watched PoA and read the book saw many things cut out, I am aware that a lot had to be cut out for time reasons but in doing this many things were lost that were important in the storyline. An Example of this is how Heromine was able to attend all her classes this was shown briefly in two scene and could have easily been missed. Another thing that was troubling was why was the scenery of the movie changed. The grounds of Hogwarts were totally different than the first two movies.I believe that the change of director could have turned off many Harry Potter fans from the movies. As for myself I enjoyed the first two films and did not like the third. I do very much though enjoy the books and also I hope that the the next movie will be a little better put together.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Daniel Radcliffe Daniel Radcliffe - Harry Potter
    Richard Griffiths Richard Griffiths - Uncle Vernon
    Pam Ferris Pam Ferris - Aunt Marge
    Fiona Shaw Fiona Shaw - Aunt Petunia
    Harry Melling Harry Melling - Dudley Dursley
    Adrian Rawlins Adrian Rawlins - James Potter
    Geraldine Somerville Geraldine Somerville - Lily Potter
    Lee Ingleby Lee Ingleby - Stan Shunpike
    Lenny Henry Lenny Henry - Shrunken Head
    Jimmy Gardner Jimmy Gardner - Ernie the Bus Driver
    Gary Oldman Gary Oldman - Sirius Black
    Jim Tavaré Jim Tavaré - Tom the Innkeeper
    Robert Hardy Robert Hardy - Cornelius Fudge
    Abby Ford Abby Ford - Young Witch Maid
    Rupert Grint Rupert Grint - Ron Weasley
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