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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Chris Columbus

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) learns on his eleventh birthday that he is the orphaned son of two powerful wizards and possesses unique magical powers of his own. He is summoned from his life as an unwanted foster child to become a student at Hogwarts, an English boarding school for wizards. There, Harry meets several friends who become his closest allies and help him discover the truth about his parents' mysterious deaths at the hands of a powerful adversary.

Persons of interest

  • Daniel Radcliffe .... Harry Potter
  • Rupert Grint .... Ron Weasley
  • Emma Watson .... Hermione Granger
  • Richard Harris .... Headmaster Albus Dumbledore
  • Alan Rickman .... Professor Severus Snape
  • Robbie Coltrane .... Hagrid
  • Maggie Smith .... Professor Minerva McGonagall
  • Verne Troyer .... Peeves
  • John Cleese .... Nick the nearly headless ghost
  • Ook the owl .... Hedwig the owl
  • JK Rowling .... Author
  • Steven Kloves .... Screenwriter
  • Chris Columbus .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Woo hoo!

It's been a while since anyone has produced a fantasy film that's worth seeing (Dungeons and dragons anyone?) but this first of the Harry Potter series is a hoot (no pun intended). Wizards, monsters, mysteries, magic, humour, twists and intrigues: what more could you ask for?

The characters are all more than two-dimensional fantasy freaks, the wizardry is blind to gender (ie the girls are just as good as the boys), the Quidditch game is fun and rough, the monsters are scary... the only let-down is that Ron Weasley is more interesting than Harry, possibly because Ron is more of a geek and more of an underdog. Hollywood heroes have always had a tendency toward blandness - they should be more like the classical Greeks: how about that Oedipus Rex?!

Robbie steals every scene he's in, not only because he's a zillion feet tall, but because he's a gentle giant and a bit of a goof. Meanwhile, Alan's creepy professor makes for a very effective red herring.

If you have relations under the age of 16 you'll probably be forced to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone whether you like it or not, but you'll be able to secretly enjoy yourself anyway. If you're too grown up for that sort of thing, slip along to a night session when there aren't so many kids to catch you out.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby digital 5.1
  • Disc: Single side, single layer
  • Features:
    • DVD-ROM
      • Real-time tour: Hogwarts including Hagrid's hut, the great hall and Harry's room! Viewers can look in all directions as well as view a split screen of forward and reverse views simultaneously
      • Electronic trading cards
      • Game demos: that will put users in the spotlight as they allow players to take on the role of Harry and to navigate through Hogwarts. An additional demo offers users an "activity centre" in which they can create their own version of Harry's world
      • Personalised owl emails that will allow users to receive Harry Potter updates and information
      • Sorting by the sorting hat: gives users the opportunity to be assigned to one of Hogwarts' houses
      • Video biographies that will allow viewers to become better acquainted with the Hogwarts faculty
      • Downloadable screensavers and rememberalls
    • New scenes: completed specifically for the home video release
    • Interviews: Christopher Columbus and David Heyman (producer), includes insights into Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
    • Interactive tour: allows fans to experience Hogwarts as a first year student, includes the great hall and the Gryffindor common room
    • Quidditch lesson: allows viewers to catch a snitch with their remotes
    • Soundtrack
    • Spell casting: lets viewers watch Harry and his friends perform a scene in eight different languages
    • Visits:
      • Snape's, McGonagall's and Flitwick's classrooms which allow viewers to discover the "secret" at the heart of the DVD
      • Diagon Alley: access to Gringott's Bank, Ollivander's Wands (fans can be "chosen" by a wand) and Eeylop's Owl Emporium
      • Hogwarts' Library which allows users to open a screaming book, catch a clue to the mirror of Erised, choose video biographies of favourite characters and meet the ghosts of Hogwarts
  • Languages: English
  • Picture: Widescreen 16:9 enhanced
  • Subtitles: English

Security censorship classification

PG (Supernatural themes)

Surveillance time

179 minutes (2:59 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 29 November 2001
DVD rental: 28 May 2002
VHS rental: 28 May 2002
DVD retail: 16 November 2002 - Widescreen collector's edition
DVD retail: 1 December 2004 - Collection

Cinema surveillance images

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