2021 marks the twentieth anniversary of the first Harry Potter movie. Though the books were already a sensation, Harry’s first on-screen adventure introduced many people to the wizarding world, and as such, the film means a lot to many Harry Potter fans.
The set designs and the music are top-notch – a trend that continues throughout the franchise. And given the shorter length of the source material, it’s great to see the first book adapted so closely. There’s also something immensely satisfying about going back to the start of Harry’s journey.
On the other hand, only a fool would argue that The Philosopher’s Stone is perfect. Child actors – in any context – are always a bit of a problem. The central performances are a bit patchy when compared with the later films. The story also deviates from the original novel a few times, and whilst this isn’t always a problem, some changes don’t work too well.
But ironically enough, some of the following issues don’t make the film less enjoyable to watch. All these years later, many of these problems only add to the film’s charm.
7. The Sorting Makes No Sense
The Sorting Ceremony is an iconic part of the Harry Potter series. Every Potter fan dreams of putting on the hat and discovering which house they belong to.
In the original novel, the students are sorted in alphabetical order, starting with Hannah Abbott and ending with Blaise Zabini.
In the movie, however, Professor McGonagall appears to prioritise the students who are most important to the plot: Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, Ron Weasley, and – of course – Harry Potter. Susan Bones – a Hufflepuff – is thrown in at one point, but this seems like a feeble attempt to make the Sorting Ceremony more random.
Whilst this isn’t a particularly big problem in terms of the central plotline, the overemphasis on the main characters knocks you straight out of the movie.
The filmmakers should've used a quickfire montage of all those students being sorted before Harry – like in the book. This would give the Sorting Ceremony a greater sense of longevity, tension, and authenticity.