Celebrating 20th Anniversary of the Harry Potter Films

Image credit: imdb.com

By Grace Kaiser

Whether you know it as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone or Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first Harry Potter movie is being celebrated around the world for its 20th anniversary. The film, which kicked off the 8 movie world renowned series, turned 20 on November 14, 2021, which has led to a lot of fanfare remembering the movie and its stars. First, Warner Bros announced Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Secrets of Dumbledore, which will be the third film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series, a series that intertwines with the Harry Potter series in the same universe.

Following this the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses quiz show began, a game in which contestants from each Harry Potter house, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff were selected and played in a trivia tournament of four parts. The show was announced in May of 2021, but it spread throughout four consecutive Sundays in 2021, starting on November 28th. Warner Bros used this event to promote the soon following 20th anniversary special on HBO Max and the new Fantastic Beasts movie, along with bringing in some famous Harry Potter fans, with Helen Mirren hosting it, guest appearances from Pete Davidson, Jay Leno, and even stars from the series such as Matthew Lewis, Luke Youngblood, and Tom Felton. To conclude the 20th anniversary fanfare was a special released on HBO Max on January 1st of 2022. Titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, the special brought together the series’ greatest stars, Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Robbie Coltraine (Hagrid), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), and many others. It consisted of discussion style interviews, including some stars talking with Chris Columbus, the director of the first two films. The special was broken up into parts, following one or two movies or eras at a time. All of the discussions were extremely insightful and impactful, but the ones between Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint were truly moving. They discussed how much Harry Potter changed their lives and them as people, and it was eye opening to see what the series meant to them. The special concluded with a clip from the movies, a conversation between Snape, played by the late Alan Rickman, and Dumbledore, played by Michael Gambon in movies 3-8. Dumbledore asks Snape “After all this time?” and Snape replies, “Always.” Harry Potter fans all over the world will be saying that for many more generations and anniversaries to come. The series will always be an important part of history, and marking each anniversary is a crucial step in honoring it in every way it should be.