What is the purpose of Harry Potter being retold in a different media (film)?I am looking for a few points regarding the adaptation of the Harry Potter books into film so that I can understand the...

What is the purpose of Harry Potter being retold in a different media (film)?

I am looking for a few points regarding the adaptation of the Harry Potter books into film so that I can understand the role it plays within changing childhood and young readers' needs  Thank you. 

Expert Answers
besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I personally enjoyed all of the Harry Potter books and when the movies came out I was very excited. For me, the books being made into movies brought the book to life in a whole new way. I had visualized what the characters looked like before the movies were made but the movies made it more real.

One problem I see with the book being made into movies is that a lot of information is left out of the movie version. It is impossible to include everything into a 2 hour movie. The school that I work for has a reading program that all students must participate in. They have to take a test on a book every so often and they receive a grade for it. I have seen students who think they can pass a test because they watched the movie version but did not read the book. Needless to say, they fail miserably.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Personally, my opinion is that the only real reason that the Harry Potter books (or any books, really) are made into films is to make money.  The books were so popular that it was obvious that movies of them would make a lot of money.

To me, adapting books like this into film helps change childhood and young readers' needs by commercializing them.  The adaptation encourages kids to consume more products (buy the DVD, buy the action figures, etc) instead of having the books live in their minds.

So I think that this is done for money and one of its effects is to make kids into consumers instead of thinkers.

hatsuemiyazaki | Student

It is no secret that more children's books are borrowed and sold after an adaptation has appeared - and that this continues over the years, since DVD and video sales keep the story alive.  But financial advantages is not the only motivating factor for adapting literature to other media.  If we think of the earliest literary adaptations to film was Cyril Hepworth's 1903 eight-minute silent film of Alice in Wonderland, we might agree with those who claim that children's literature as a cultural form has a historically long and perhaps even a special relationship with adaptation, which may explain why it is so frequntly mediated and recontextualised through film, theatre, television, radio and other digital technologies. 

An adaptation is not vampiric: it does not draw the life-blood from its source and leave it dying or dead, nor is it paler than the adapted work.  It may, on the contrary, keep that prior work alive, giving it an afterlife it would never have had otherwise.  A good story deserves retelling - and shown again and interact anew - with stories over and over; in the process, they change with each repetition, and yet they are recognisably the same.

chrisyhsun | Student

Making a film adaptation of Harry Potter increases marketability of the Harry Potter brand because there is wider appeal of the new form of media. Books are fantastic for a calm Sunday afternoon, but sometimes audiences crave action and excitement, which is more easily delivered through film. Literature provides excitement individually inside the mind as the reader follows the actions of the protagonist. However, movies flood audiences with sounds and visuals that bring the book plot (which had previously only existed in the mind) to life. Even though the same (overall) plot line is being told, movies provide individuals with a very different experience (more group-oriented, more dynamic) compared to that of reading the book (individual, calm).

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