by Ellen Gillingham
J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a children’s book, but also appeals to adults. The series is a chase and build-up to the main character’s meeting with the main villain, who killed his parents. Scenes in the book range from a tragic family life to action-packed matches. One main theme in the book is the importance of reading and writing. This is shown by Harry’s use of letters and time spent writing essays. Another important theme in the novel is the significance of loyalty. This is shown in Harry rescuing Ron and other events in the book.
Alfonso Cuarón’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is an award-winning adaption of J. K. Rowling’s book. The film has a dark tone and mood especially when compared to earlier episodes. Cuarón works with cinematography to make the magic seem believable, thus creating a theme of naturalism among fantasy. The fanciful world is connected to a believable world.
The challenges with converting Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban from book to film include the side stories, audience’s adoration to Rowling, and incompleteness of the series. For instance, the culture of Quidditch is not included. The match is merely used as a place to focus on the primary story of the dementors. Peter Bradshaw criticizes the already limited side stories as a distraction that made his attention wonder because the plot was not driven well (Bradshaw). It is important for some audience members to have their memory of the novel replicated in the film. The Rowling fans also had a lot of informed readiness because the films receive so much media attention before they are released. Finally, at the time of filming, not all of the Harry Potter books were released. This presented the unique aspect of working closely with Rowling, so she has more influence than usual with the adaption.
This source is an interesting incite on stories, which have similar themes and plot lines to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
This article explores the theme of reading and writing in the Harry Potter series and its effects on children.
This article looks at the film from a religious point of view, specifically it lists how the film is related to the bible.
This source is important to understanding the film because it shows how its morals interpreted from a religious standpoint. It blames the scripting of the movie for children misbehaving because it is not realistic. It also compares this film to the previous two Harry Potter films with a “38% increase in Offense to God content from an average of the two previous Harry Potter films” (Carder). This alludes to the darker tone and mood of this episode.
To many critics, Alfonso Cuarón did a good job in the film in steering the Harry Potter series in a darker direction. How is Prisoner of Azkaban “dark“? And how does this relate to the growing maturity of both the main characters and the actors?
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a film that closely follows the main characters and actors that grow and mature with the audience, parallel with the film’s tone. The Prisoner of Azkaban is in the middle on a scale of “darkness” in relation to the entire series. The first two films are less dark with a nonrealistic tone, but the final two films are much more dark with characters fighting their classmates. This film shows that the series is progressing with an increasing darkness. For example, the characters are fighting magical animals and not people. The main villains are the dementors and a werewolf. Additionally, toward the end of the film, Harry Potter thinks that his father saved him, but when he goes back in time, he realizes that he is the one who saved himself. This carries the universal theme (that is popular among films for young audiences) the only powerful force that can always save you is you. The “darkness” is increasing for the age of the readers of the book. Overall, as the characters got older the “darkness” of the film increased naturally because the film had to mature with its audience, characters, and actors in order to maintain its fan base.