Revisiting Harry: Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite HP movie for years, until the 7th movie came out. It’s dark and cinematically beautiful, with brilliant directing choices and pristine writing. Everything about it is great, and rewatching it for the first time in years was a treat.

I present 75 Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

  1. To start, this was my favorite Harry Potter movie until the last two. It’s dark and dreary and wonderful.
  2. It really bothers me that the drawing on Harry’s bureau is of a barn owl, not a snowy owl. 
  3. This would be an instance where a flashlight is better than the magic spell for light. That noise is intensely annoying. 
  4. OMFG, his Uncle’s sister is Ms. Trunchbull. Yessssss. And she ain’t afraid to get her dog drunk with brandy.
  5. This little fight with Trunchbull is AMAZING. She’s quite the adversary.
  6. OMFG what’s happening? I don’t remember this lady or this part.
  7. This has to be the most absurd part of any Harry Potter film. The mean lady floating away while hanging onto the Uncle and a bulldog.
  8. I love how dark the visuals are in this movie. It’s the first turning of the movies from kid stuff to adult stuff.
  9. The Knight Bus! I’m amazed at how many things I’ve forgotten about the series. Clearly I need to read the books again. 
  10. I can get behind a bus that has an enormous chandelier handing in the middle. And the shrunken head is just brilliant. Love the personality.
  11. Now that Sirius has been introduced, I can’t remember why people thought he supported Voldemort. Obviously he was a part of the Order of the Phoenix, so why did people think he was evil?
  12. Oh great, Cornelius Fudge is here. He’s in the top 5 worst characters for sure.
  13. Why doesn’t Harry get in trouble for blowing that lady into a balloon? He almost gets expelled at the end for saving someone. Quite the change of heart.
  14. Yessssss, the best book in the whole series. The Monster Book of Monsters. How is there not some special edition version of this book. I would pay all the money for it. 
  15. I love Mrs. Weasley’s style. It’s like Grandma meets Etsy meets carpet. 
  16. This is such a change to the cinematography. I LOVE IT. I’m also noticing how much more realistic all of the settings are. The train looks like an actual rundown train and they’re wearing regular clothes.
  17. This first sighting of the dementors is brilliant. Terrifying and oh so brilliant. And WTF, why is it eating Harry?!
  18. And now there’s actual spooky songs being sung by a choir? This feels like a Tim Burton film now. And why are they holding enormous frogs?
  19. Ah yes, the first Michael Gambon film. His portrayal is so different from Richard Harris but it’s brilliant in its own way.
  20. The look on Snape’s face is the face of anyone watching idiots constantly getting promoted over them. 
  21. Am I crazy, or are Michael Gambon’s fingers a foot long? That has to be some kind of effect.
  22. Wow, the lady in the painting is hilarious.
  23. It’s weird to see the guys just hanging out. It seems like they’re constantly angry or sad or dealing with things that are so far above their actual ages.
  24. It’s SOOOO creepy to just see the dementors floating in the air around Hogwarts, never moving. 
  25. Yaasss Professor Trelawney. There’s a professor like this at every college in the world. I guarantee. You know who you are.
  26. I love Hagrid as a teacher. But please tell me why he has a necklace of dead ferrets. 
  27. Buckbeak! Makes sense now.
  28. These kids really need to learn how to tie a tie. Ron’s is like four inches long. Terrible.
  29. WHAT. Hermione grabbed Ron’s hand. I don’t remember that kind of thing starting so early. THEY LOVE EACH OTHER. I ship it.
  30. OMFG Hagrid, are you really throwing a student onto a flying creature without any kind of restraint or protection? Maybe you shouldn’t be teaching…
  31. There’s a surprising amount of time spent with Buckbeak. I’m starting to remember that about the book. It almost seems like a precursor for Fantastic Beasts.
  32. Malfoy, YOU ARE SUCH A TOOL. Attacking a wild animal and thinking you can somehow fight it? WTF, go back to your mansion. 
  33. Harry literally lost the bones in his arm and was fine. A scratch on Malfoy’s arm is the least impressive injury ever. Idiot.
  34. Sirius really needs to get a better photographer. He does nothing but scream in his photos.
  35. I really hate Malfoy. He just says crap that means nothing. NOTHING. Just being mean to be mean. 
  36. This bogart scene is great fun. A mix of terror and hilarity. Paired with the unusual music, it’s perfect.
  37. The sign of being an adult is siding with Professor McGonnagal in her refusal to let Harry go to Hogsmeade without a permission slip.
  38. I love how dramatic the paintings are as they freak out about the Fat Lady. 
  39. This movie forces you to remember that this fanciful school is actually a pretty scary medieval castle.
  40. I laughed way too hard at the Whomping Willow just stripping itself of leaves in one second.
  41. Dude, Snape is a Hermione hater. Taking away points from the only student who cares is petty AF.
  42. If there was ever a sport that should be cancelled when it rains, it would be quidditch.
  43. IT’S JUST A GAME. DON’T DIE FOR A SNITCH.
  44. The closeup of the dementor mouth is hella upsetting. Those tiny teeth are a big NO for me.
  45. Everybody’s acting like Harry couldn’t just buy himself another damn broom. Kid has millions of wizard dollars in his bank vault. I guess waiting for someone else to buy you a new broom is how you stay rich.
  46. The changing of the seasons is BRILLIANT, following Hedwig across the landscape. This is amazing filmmaking. 
  47. The Marauder’s Map is the most epic invasion of privacy ever concocted. It doesn’t require the internet or a power source. It just knows.
  48. Aha, that’s why they think Sirius Black is evil.
  49. Whyyyy are the floating candles in Lupin’s office mounted on disembodied spines? That’s so disturbing.
  50. OMFG Hagrid’s fancy dress clothes are absurd. It looks like he’s wearing a skinned bear suit along with a clown tie and a potato sack shirt. Quite the look.
  51. Hiding Peter Pettigrew in Scabbers was a BRILLIANT character choice by J.K. Rowling. And it’s the perfect representation of a deplorable character.
  52. Snape is always so wonderfully dry. Everything is the biggest affront to the safety of the school. It’s a piece of paper dude. Chill.
  53. Emma Thompson is a master of quirkiness with Trelawney. Love her to pieces. Her prophecy voice is straight out of an old school haunting horror movie.
  54. The Buckbeak executioner has NO CHILL. That is the largest axe I’ve ever seen. You could chop the head off a dinosaur with that damn thing.
  55. Yesssssss, assert that Queendom Hermione. Punch that turd square in the face.
  56. WTF is that stick monster in the corner of Hagrid’s house?!
  57. Why the hell is Cornelius Fudge at the execution of a random animal held by the groundskeeper of a school? That makes no sense. Dude needs to get more work on his plate.
  58. This version of Sirius as a dog is really terrifying. He looks like some kind of hell hound.
  59. Why is there a fully built passageway under a tree? Seriously, they need to do a FULL audit of the Hogwarts grounds to figure out what the hell is happening. 
  60. OMFG Sirius’ teeth are FOUL. Azkaban sure as hell doesn’t practice dentistry with the inmates.
  61. Man, Sirius is intense in this movie. The nice guy persona is broken AF.
  62. ICK, Peter Pettigrew is the most disgusting character. It’s an amazing performance — he’s the human embodiment of a rat.
  63. So many kids must have had such horrible nightmares from this movie. The werewolf transformation is hella horrifying.
  64. I love the concept of a seed of life floating out of Sirius’ mouth. It’s such a delicate little thing and can be taken so quickly.
  65. The time turner is another bit of magic I desperately wish was real. Imagine the books you could read. Imagine the things you could do. 
  66. The worst use of a time turner would be figuring out how you can improve your hair now that you can see it from a different angle.
  67. Yay! Buckbeak is saved!
  68. The depiction of night in this film is so beautiful. That seems like a strange statement, but the lighting, the various effects — they’re all done flawlessly.
  69. I love getting the second perspective on the film. It seems like it would feel redundant, but it adds a lot to the story.
  70. Buckbeak saves the day! That’s why you listen to your teachers and do your homework. You might bond with an enormous horse bird that will be there when you need it.
  71. That moment when Harry realizes he was his father with the patronus is so epic. Paired with the epic music, it’s an amazing scene.
  72. I’m not sure I would fly on a hippogriff. They look epic and all but it’s still an enormous bird. 
  73. OMFG that moment with Dumbledore before they get back into the hospital wing is amazing. Yesssss.
  74. Nothing says 14-year old like ending a movie on the Ferrari of brooms hurtling toward possible death.
  75. I just realized, this is the last happy ending in the Harry Potter series. Noooooo.

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash