Harry Potter Movie Review: Symbolism in the Adaptation of the Sorcerer’s Stone

Exclusively available on PapersOwl
Updated: Aug 28, 2023
Cite this
Category:Harry Potter
Date added
Pages:  6
Words:  1795
Order Original Essay

How it works

Differences Between the Harry Potter Book and Movie

The Harry Potter series first started to be converted into movies in 2001. With the change in medium came many differences. There are many differences that can be shown throughout the entire series, but in the first book, the differences between the book and the movie are more important to the way they are portrayed. When the first book of the Harry Potter series was turned into a movie, the changes that were made to the movie affected the symbolism of some of the things described in the book.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

The Zoo Incident

One difference that is very noticeable between the book and the movie is at the beginning of the story when they go to the zoo. Harry was allowed to come inside the zoo with them because he could not stay inside. He was very interested in the snake. Christine Distasio states, “Rowling writes that Harry spoke Parseltongue and released a Boa Constrictor, but in the film, the snake is said to be a Burmese Python.” (insert citation) The Boa Constrictor lives outside of the United States, and the Burmese Python lives inside, mostly in North America, and is the biggest snake in the world. In the movie, the writers wanted to make the snake seem more violent and aggressive because of its size and how they eat its prey.

Physical Appearances: The Dursleys

Another one of the differences between the movies at that Aunt Petunia and Dudley are both described as blonde in the book, but in the movie, their hair appears dark brown. Christine Distasio states, “In Rowling’s books, Dudley and Petunia Dursley are described as having blonde hair, but in the films, they both have nearly black hair.” (citation) In the movie, all of the Dursleys have dark brown hair, but in the book, Petunia and Dudley have blonde hair. These characters having brown hair instead of blonde could be because of various reasons while making the movie.

First Encounter with Draco Malfoy

Another thing that made the difference between the book and the movie even more noticeable is the meeting between Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter. In the book, they meet at a way earlier time than in the movie. In the movie, Malfoy meets Potter in the hallway outside of the great hall and makes a remark about choosing his friends wisely. In the book, Malfoy meets Potter meet once outside of the robe shop and then a second time on Hogwarts Express, where he then makes the remark to Potter about choosing his friends wisely. (citation) Draco Malfoy makes these remarks in the movie and in the book about Ron Weasley because he thinks that he and Potter could do a lot of things together. This does not stop Harry from being Ron’s friend because he does not want to be like Draco Malfoy. This difference has a big impact on the story. Malfoy and Potter have many different conflicts with each other throughout the story. The different times that they meet change when all the conflicts happen between them and how they happen.

The Nimbus 2000 and Harry’s Position

One huge difference in the story is when Harry Potter receives his Nimbus 2000. In the book, it is kept a secret, and in the movie, the whole school knows that he received the Nimbus 2000. Christine Distasio states, “In the book, McGonagall keeps Harry’s Nimbus 2000 delivery a secret so as to keep his position as Gryffindor seeker, the team’s secret weapon. The Sorcerer’s Stone Film, however, shows Harry getting the massive delivery and opening it with an audience — hardly concealing that he’s the youngest House player in a century.” (citation) The movie announces that Harry has become the youngest member in history but also allows the other teams to know what they can expect during a game. In the movie, when he receives the Nimbus 2000 in front of everyone in the great hall, he is no longer the secret weapon. In the book Professor McGonagall keep the whole school from knowing that he is the new seeker on team Gryffindor. In the movie, the opposing team is able to prepare when they find out that Harry is the new seeker and can know what is coming because they knew that his dad was a great seeker when he went to Hogwarts.

The Missing Ghost: Peeves

In the movie, the ghost, Peeves, was cut from the film. Harry was never able to meet Peeves while roaming the halls of Hogwarts. In the book, Harry Potter is caught by Peeves while roaming the halls, and he calls Harry a “nutter.” By taking Peeves out of the script for the movie, Harry Potter was never caught while roaming the halls in this scene. In the book, Harry could have been in trouble from roaming the halls when he was caught by Peeves. Taking the ghost completely out of the movie made Harry roaming the halls of Hogwarts insignificant.

The Potion Scene with Hermione

A really big part of the book that was taken out of the movie is when Hermione is making the potion. In the movie, Hermione stays with Ron because he is injured, and Harry keeps going. In the book, Hermione makes a potion for protection. (citation) The protection spell was a big part of the scene in the book but was completely looked over in the movie. Instead, she stayed behind and took care of Ron while he was hurt. Taking this out of the movie left a big part of this scene in the movie out.

Sorting Hat’s Introduction at Hogwarts

At the beginning of the story, the Hat starts to sort all of the children at Hogwarts. In the book, the Hat sings a song before he starts. The author states, “Oh, you may not think I’m pretty, but don’t judge on what you see; I’ll eat myself if you can find a smarter hat than me.’ (citation) In the book, the Hat starts off by singing, but in the movie, the Hat just goes right to sorting the children. The movie takes out the opening lines of The Hat. The song makes the Hat seem more confident in choosing what house they go to. Going straight to sorting them into their houses skips the Hat making a statement of how smart he is and that there was no other hat smarter than him.

Harry’s Journey to Hogwarts

When Harry first finds out that he is a wizard, Hagrid comes to get him on his birthday so that he would be able to go to Hogwarts. His aunt and uncle try to stop it from happening. In the movie, Hagrid picks him up on his birthday it goes straight into them going to Kings Cross together. In the book, he stays at the Dursleys until it is time for him to go to Kings Cross, and they have to take him. (citation). In the movie, it does not show all that he had to go through when his aunt and uncle were trying to keep him from going to Hogwarts. The book shows all that the Dursleys did to try to keep him from going to Hogwarts, but in the end, they could not stop it.

The Mirror of Erised’s Reflection

When Harry finds the Mirror of Erised, Harry is able to see his parents. The big difference between the book and the movie is that Harry is able to see his extended family in the mirror, as well as his parents in the book. In the movie, it is only him and his parents standing behind him. Christine Distasio states, “In the film, Harry only sees his parents standing beside him in the Mirror of Erised, but in the book, Harry sees his entire extended family standing behind him in the mirror.” The fact that Harry is able to see all of his extended family standing behind his parents gives him more support for everything to come in the rest of the book. By only seeing his parents, Harry still had support, but it was more the hatred toward Voldemort and the sadness because his parents were gone that he felt when he saw his parents in the Mirror of Erised. The book showing his whole family did not fill him with hatred towards Voldemort but with love and support from his entire family.

Comparing Similarities

There are many similarities in the book and the movie, despite all the differences that change the storyline of them. The book and the movie still have the same plot and outcome. Most of the things that happen in the book also happen in the movie, but they happen at different points in the story. Hermione, Harry, and Ron all still become best friends throughout the first book, and they are all placed in the Gryffindor House. The three still go on all of the same adventures throughout the first book, as in the movie, but some of them do happen in different ways than how the author wrote the book. Harry Potter lived with the Dursleys in both the movie and the book. Aunt Petunia was Harry’s mom’s sister, and Harry was left to them when his parents died. Harry was still treated like he did not belong in the Dursley house. (citation) The plot of The Sorcerer’s Stone did not change when they turned the series into movies. The movie came from the book, but some of the events were taken out and changed.


J.K Rowling’s book, the Sorcerer’s Stone, was transformed into a movie created by Warner Bros. There are many very noticeable changes in the movie. The changes between the movie and the book were made for various reasons, some they could not help, but they still affected the movie greatly. Though these changes seem very small when you just think of one at a time, all together, they change a lot of the storyline as the movie goes on. Because of these changes in the movie, all of the events and conflicts happen in different ways and at different times. Some of the changes that happen in the movie even change the way the whole scene is acted out compared to the book. Although they have the same plot, the changes to the movie cause it to be drastically different from how the author first wrote the book.

Works Cited

  1. Rowling, J.K. (1997). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  2. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (2001). [Film]. Directed by Chris Columbus. Warner Bros. Pictures.
  3. Sragow, Michael. (2001). “Magic, the Hard Way: How Chris Columbus Brought ‘Harry Potter’ to the Screen.” Salon.
  4. Vercamer, I. (2023, July 20). Harry Potter: The biggest differences between the books and the films.Movieweb
The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay
Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

Harry Potter Movie Review: Symbolism in the Adaptation of the Sorcerer's Stone. (2023, Jun 21). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/harry-potter-movie-review-symbolism-in-the-adaptation-of-the-sorcerers-stone/