Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Based on the smash sleeper hit children’s series written by J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” is about a baby who is dropped off at the footstep of his only living relatives (or “Muggles” as they are called by magical people) house by two strangers. He is now ten and is an outcast by his uncle and aunt who spoil their fat son. Soon, strange things begin to happen and Potter begins to wonder why. Soon enough, he is confronted by a huge man who claims Potter is a master magician who must attend the “Hogwarts school of magic and wizardry”. There, he meets Ronald Weasly and Hermoine Granger; two precocious and rambunctious wizard’s in training who instantly become Potter’s friends.

Harry soon begins to suspect that an evil sorcerer, thought to be dead, is attempting to claim the heavily guarded “Sorcerer’s Stone”, a magical gem that is heavily desired. Now, he and his friends must race to retrieve the gem before it falls into evil hands. I tried my fates with the books, but never really became a real fan. This movie is a delight to watch. The entire movie’s extravagant production is excellent with it’s magical backdrops and enchanting devices. The characters are all well-thought out and very likeable. There are many epic scenes that will be a joy to watch for many little kids. Potter fans will enjoy the sheer brilliance behind the many different mythical characters and beasts along with a great plot that will bring delight to many audiences.

Beware though, there are some scenes that may be a bit graphic and scary for toddlers even though this is a PG film. Daniel Radcliffe is excellent as the imp-ish yet surefooted Potter as he gives the character a true charm and human nature, even though he is a powerful wizard in the making. All three kids are excellent together, just giving off natural chemistry between one another while holding their own against a power pack cast including Maggie Smith and Alan Rickman to name only a few. The movie is magical and breathtaking as Chris Columbus does an excellent job with wide-open scenes giving us a true experience into this magical world known only to Potter fans. Though this is an excellent film, don’t expect this to translate well towards the adult audience.

Parents who watch this with their toddlers should find something to do meanwhile, because I doubt this will entertain adults. The movie has some plotholes and not much emphasis on the focus of the movie. We never get to learn why everyone wants the “Sorcerer’s Stone” and why its so important. It’s only mentioned a few times and we’re never told what it does and Harry Potter is destined to retrieve it. The movie also tends to lose its energy and spontaneity towards the second-half of the movie and becomes pretty dull. The movie also seems to rush itself towards the end, making its ending pretty anti-climactic. Otherwise, this is a surprisingly excellent film with lots to offer towards the children’s audience. A surprisingly excellent exciting fantasy flick for the entire family to watch and enjoy. It’s a thriller.