2022 will kick off with a bang, especially for those Harry Potter fans out there. What a way to start the new year. 20 years have gone by since the start of this epic journey into the wonderful world of Harry Potter and I for one am truly excited.
Despite the controversial comments surrounding the author J.K Rowling, the world of Harry Potter is still loved by many and continue to be one of the biggest franchises this world has ever seen. Even though the books and films have ended, the magic still lives on in us. The continuation of the love the story brings in future generations is clearly seen in families, new and old, and from all around the world.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is nothing but pure delight. It makes you laugh, cry and reminisce with such nostalgia. This is something that pretty much most fans have been waiting for since the epilogue in The Deathly Hallows Part 2. Even though we now have the spin off films Fantastic Beasts and the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, it all stems from the creation of the books and film adaptations, and there will be nothing like it again.
The documentary is beautifully made and as soon as you press play you’re automatically transported into that world again. 115 minutes of pure magic with no introductions necessary. It’s a pleasure and a joy to see the actors once again, and all meeting and seeing each other. For some it’s been emotional and you can see it on their faces – the natural delight of reuniting again all these years later.
Almost everyone is there, from Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes and Jason Isaacs to Gary Oldman, Bonnie Wright, Matthew Lewis and Evanna Lynch – and of course where would we be without Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson? We finally get to see them sit down together as a threesome to discuss what it was like growing up in this world, and becoming the most popular young film stars to date. Alongside these cast interviews, there are also interviews with the directors of each of the films where they discuss their decisions and their insight into how each film was to be made. It truly is a fascinating thing to watch, and not only does it give you a raw and unseen insight into this world and behind the scenes on the sets, but it transforms you back and welcomes you yet again, into the comfort of being home.
Of course, I can’t talk about this documentary without mentioning those who sadly couldn’t be there and who were taken from this world, such as the legendary Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Richard Harris (Dumbledore in films 1 and 2), Richard Griffiths (Vernon Dursley), Roger Lloyd-Pack (Barty Crouch Sr), John Hurt (Ollivander) and the late Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy), just to name a few. The documentary highlights these losses, and more, so delicately. I might have shed a few tears myself whilst watching. How can you not?
Whether you’ve loved Harry Potter since the first book was published in 1997 or if you’ve only just started reading/watching them in 2021, all I can say is welcome to the family because that’s exactly what this franchise is. It’s a family that uniquely holds us all together and keeps us warm when we’re cold, keeps us safe when we’re frightened. We’re together holding the light in the darkness. “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”. Thanks Dumbledore.
This documentary is definitely a must watch for all the fans… and hey, even if you’re not a fan but intrigued, go and watch it. You might just get that warm and fuzzy feeling back.
Watch Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts on New Year’s Day exclusively on Sky and streaming service NOW. NOW members can watch the TV specials with a NOW Entertainment Membership and enjoy all ten movies with a NOW Cinema Membership.