I will start this blog by telling you: I love everything about the Harry Potter world. From Hedwig’s Theme by the amazing John Williams to the white 1959 Triumph 650 T 120 Bonneville which delivered Harry to Number 4 Privet Drive in the first movie. There is a calming sense of familiar that I associate with these characters. My Children grew up watching the movies. I read the series once while commuting in NYC. Hedwig’s Theme is my ringtone and I cannot count on all my fingers the number of times I have received calls and the people around me immediately smile as they recognize the tune.
The familiar and comfortable feelings the movies offer calm my nerves, so-to-speak. In April I was struggling a bit with depression. Usually when I have a bout of the blues I try to incorporate things that help combat racing thoughts by applying a distraction. With my vision being a mess, actual reading is off the table. I have been listening to audible books while that is sorted out. This go-around I decided to listen to the Harry Potter series from beginning to end on Audible. It did not disappoint. I listened in my car, at work, at the house.
I will spare you from my droning on about theories, conspiracies and “do you think she meant THIS” tidbits. Other, far more qualified, people have covered all of the topics. While listening though, I was reminded of one thing – I find it interesting, the things that filmmakers choose to leave in a movie, and the things they choose to leave out. It goes without saying, had they kept EVERYTHING in the movies would have been HOURS long. I know that. I still miss the details anyway.
Top 10 things that stood out to me that were not included in the books:
- They totally leave out Professor Binns, which I am ok with. But can you explain why Peeves is not in a single movie?!?
- Why was there no mention of Squibs? It would have made sense to just explain that there are people born into pure blood families who do not retain magical abilities… It is the counterpoint to “mudbloods”. AND magic that does not require wands is a thing!
- Also – how in the world do you explain the Marauder’s Map and not tell the audience about the animagus?? This would have given Rita Skeeter more definition.
- WHERE IS WINKY???
- Where is SPEW for that matter.
- Ron and Hermione were prefects. (This one I thought would have enhanced a couple story lines as would “Wesley is our King” chant.)
- Holy crap Percey being a total ass is a huge thing to drop.
- The Quidditch Cup would have been nice – a triumph that was not life threatening.
- I think that Neville’s story would have been bolstered by meeting his parents.
- OOORRR that HE could have been the Boy That Lived had the cards fell differently.
There were other small details here and that that, while listening, I found myself saying “holy crap, I forgot that” (or) “I can’t believe they left THAT out”. In the end, I still LOVE the movies and I understand cuts are necessary to keep the run times from being of epic proportions.
As for the Narration of the Audible version of the series… I could just kiss whoever cast Jim Dale to read this book to me! He has 51 titles noted on his Audible page. I can promise you this: I will listen to him as many times as possible! Such an amazing range of voices. The animation in his presentation allowed me to easily visualize the story as it came together.
I just now pulled up his wikipedia page and I am ashamed to say, I did not know who he was until looking there. His entertainment catalog is so freaking impressive. Too much to list here, check out:
I found a series of video on YouTube that is of Jim Dale reading excerpts of the books at a Barnes and Noble gathering. To SEE him as he reads makes me love his narration all the more!
In closing, I would HIGHLY recommend this audible series. Not only for those who have not read Harry Potter but most definitely for those who HAVE eyes-on read the books. It was an utter delight and I am thankful that the book and Jim Dale helped me out. of a blue spot.