- "Everything will change."
- — Official tagline
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a British-American fantasy film based on the third novel by J. K. Rowling, released on 31 May 2004 in the UK, and 4 June, 2004 in North America. Alfonso Cuarón made his directorial debut for the series, while Steve Kloves returned from the first two films to write, as did David Heyman to produce. Chris Columbus (the director of the first two films) also joined the production team, as did Mark Radcliffe. Reprising their roles from the previous films are Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Griffiths, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, David Bradley, Tom Felton, Robert Hardy and Mark Williams, while Julie Christie, Gary Oldman, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson, Pam Ferris, and Dawn French make their debut for the series.
In 1993, shortly after the end of his second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during the second film, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) spends another dissatisfying summer at the Dursleys' house studying magic at night without being caught, while family vacations to Egypt and France respectively are being spent by his friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), both of whom he is determined to join in visits to village of Hogsmeade if he has either his Aunt Petunia (Fiona Shaw) or Uncle Vernon (Richard Griffiths) sign his Hogsmeade permission form. On his thirteenth birthday (July 31), he gets the opportunity to do so, as long as he hides his abilities while Vernon's sister Marge arrives for a visit. However, at dinnertime, Marge viciously insults Harry and his parents, calling James Potter "a drunk" and Lily Potter "a bitch", which in turn triggers Harry's anger and his unconscious magical powers cause her to inflate and float away. A livid Vernon orders Harry to put her right, but Harry says that she deserved it. Vernon then lunges at him, but Harry retaliates by pointing his wand at him. Vernon exclaims that Harry would not be allowed back at Hogwarts for using magic outside of school. Harry flees, expecting to have been expelled for using magic outside of school anyway.
After seeing a shaggy black dog, the Knight Bus appears and takes Harry to the Leaky Cauldron. There, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy) tells Harry he will not be expelled. Harry learns that Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), who is said to be a supporter of Lord Voldemort, has escaped from Azkaban. The next day, Harry comes out of his room and finds a cat chasing a rat. Harry enters the pub and is reunited with his best friends Ron and Hermione (the rat being Ron's pet rat, Scabbers and the cat is Hermione's new pet cat, Crookshanks). He is also informed by Arthur Weasley (Mark Williams) that Black will likely come after him and warns Harry not to go after him no matter what. Harry is confused as to why he would look for someone who is apparently looking to kill him.
Harry and his friends journey to school on the Hogwarts Express, where they share a compartment with their new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Remus Lupin (David Thewlis), who is asleep when they enter. Abruptly, the Hogwarts Express is stopped halfway to Hogwarts to let aboard Dementor sent by the Ministry, in search of Black. The creature has a profound effect on Harry and causes him to faint, forcing Lupin to awaken and repel it with a Patronus Charm. At school, famed Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) informs the Hogwarts students that because Black has escaped, Dementors have been set up around the school as a protection. The trio begin also a new class, Divination, taught by Sybill Trelawney. When they read their tea leaves, Trelawney tells Harry that he has the Grim. In addition to Lupin's appointment, Hagrid is announced as the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher. As lessons begin, Hermione frequently arrives at their various classes, seemingly appearing out of nowhere. Lupin's lessons prove enjoyable, as he teaches useful spells and helps less confident students like Neville Longbottom. However Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class does not go as planned, as on the first day, Draco Malfoy deliberately provokes the Hippogriff Buckbeak into attacking him. His father, Lucius Malfoy successfully has Buckbeak sentenced to death. Later, third year students are allowed to go to Hogsmeade, but since Harry's uncle, Vernon, did not sign his letter of permission, he cannot go. He instead stays behind, talking with Lupin on the Wooden Bridge, who says that he knew Harry's parents and that they were two great individuals.
Returning to the Gryffindor Tower, they find the Fat Lady's portrait empty, having been attacked. Dumbledore and the school Caretaker Argus Filch find the Fat Lady in another portrait, completely scared. She says that Sirius Black has entered the castle, and wanted to enter Gryffindor Tower. Dumbledore sends all the students to sleep in the Great Hall, in which Professor Snape says to Dumbledore that the appointment of a teacher may had been dangerous. Dumbledore denies this, though both think that Harry may be in danger. Later in a Defence Against the Dark Arts class, Snape substitutes for Lupin, saying that he is "incapable of teaching". He teaches them about werewolves and animagi. An Animagus is a human who can turn into another animal and back into human form when they choose. They can turn into only one animal.
During a Quidditch match, several Dementors approach Harry, causing him to fall off his broomstick; Dumbledore slows his descent. Harry wakes up to find that his broomstick flew into the Whomping Willow and got torn apart. Harry then decides to learn how to fight the Dementors. Lupin says he will teach him, but after the holidays, since he is not feeling well. Near Christmas, Harry attempts to sneak to Hogsmeade without permission, but is caught by Fred and George Weasley, who give him the Marauder's Map so that he can enter the village through a secret passage. At Hogsmeade, Harry overhears that Sirius Black was his godfather and his parents' best friend. Black is said to have divulged the Potters' secret whereabouts to Voldemort and murdered their mutual friend Peter Pettigrew. An enraged Harry tells his friends that is looking forward to Black finding him so that he can kill him.
The holidays pass, and Lupin teaches Harry the spell to conjure a Patronus, a 'shield' or 'force' that can repel a Dementor. A Patronus is the opposite of a Dementor which breeds on unhappy thoughts and bad memories. The happier the thought used to cast the spell, the more powerful the Patronus. After a few attempts, Harry manages to create a Patronus. One night, Harry is using the Marauder's Map, and he sees Pettigrew's name. However when following his name, he finds no one, but is caught by Snape. Lupin appears and sees the map. He takes it from Snape and then gets Harry away. In his classroom, he tells Harry that it was irresponsible of him to wander around with the map. Before leaving, Harry says that the map may not be working properly - he had seen Pettigrew's name on it, despite the fact that he's supposed to be dead. Lupin says that it's not possible, and stays looking at the map, quietly.
In Divination class, after everyone has left, Professor Trelawney enters into a trance in Harry's presence, and predicts that the Dark Lord's servant will return to his master that night. Harry, Ron and Hermione visit Hagrid to console him over Buckbeak's impending execution. While there, Hagrid gives Ron his rat, Scabbers, who had disappeared earlier in the year, and whom Ron had believed to be dead. While the trio is chasing Scabbers, a large, black dog drags both Ron and and the rat into a hole at the base of the Whomping Willow. Harry and Hermione follow, finding a tunnel leading to the Shrieking Shack. The dog is revealed to be Sirius Black, who is an Animagus.
Lupin arrives as well and embraces Sirius as an old friend. After being confronted by Hermione, Lupin admits to being a werewolf. Snape appears, planning to catch Black and Lupin and hand them over to the Dementors, but is knocked out by Harry's Expelliarmus spell. Lupin and Black explain that Scabbers is actually Peter Pettigrew in his Animagus form. It is revealed that everything that Black was accused of was actually Pettigrew's doing, and the pair force Pettigrew back into his human form. Lupin and Sirius prepare to kill Pettigrew but are stopped by Harry, who tells them that it was not what James would have wanted.
As the group head back to the castle, the full moon rises causing Lupin to transform and Pettigrew to escape. Lupin and Sirius fight in their animal forms, until Lupin is distracted and runs away after hearing the sound of a female werewolf howl (later revealed to be Hermione), and Sirius and Harry are attacked by Dementors. As Sirius is kissed and his soul is hanging out of his mouth, Dementors close in on him and Harry, who are ready to take Sirius's soul and kiss Harry as well. Harry sees a figure in the distance cast a powerful stag-shaped Patronus, scattering the Dementors and saving their lives. Harry soon falls unconscious like Sirius and both are motionless.
Harry wakes in the hospital wing and Hermione tells Harry that the Dementors were going to kiss Sirius and Dumbledore arrives. They tell Dumbledore that Sirius is innocent and Dumbledore believes them, but warns them that no-one else is likely to. He then cryptically tells Hermione that she may possess the means to save two innocent lives, and warns her to remember the laws and 'three turns' should suffice before leaving. Hermione reveals that she possesses a Time-Turner which is how she has been taking multiple classes at once. She and Harry travel three hours back in time, watching themselves go through the night's events.
They set Buckbeak free and return to the Whomping Willow. They are pursued by Lupin in his werewolf form, but they manage to get away from him by hiding behind a tree, but Lupin finds Harry and Hermione by taking another path and walks up behind them. As he charges towards them to attack them, Buckbeak comes to the rescue and fights Lupin while Harry and Hermione look on.
It suddenly becomes windy and cold, and they see the Dementors flying above their head. They rush over to the lake. As the Dementors are about to attack the "other" Harry and Sirius, Harry realises that the person he saw was actually himself, not his deceased father, and casts the Patronus himself. After saving his past self and Sirius from the Dementors, Harry and Hermione fly on Buckbeak's back to the tower where Sirius is imprisoned, and rescue him.
Harry and Sirius share a moment of contemplation as Sirius is still wanted, and without proof of his innocence, he is going to be back on the run. Their relationship will now be sadly fraught with complications and Harry's dream of living with his godfather is shattered. However, Harry takes comfort in knowing that Sirius, although still considered a fugitive, is at least free and safe for the time being. Sirius climbs onto Buckbeak and they fly away.
Harry and Hermione make it back to the hospital wing just as Dumbledore leaves (from Dumbledore's point-of-view, mere seconds after he'd last seen them) telling him they succeeded. Dumbledore feigns ignorance and wishes the two a goodnight. The two walk in just as their past selves go back in time, leaving Ron utterly confused as to what happened. At the end of the year, Lupin resigns, knowing that people will not want a werewolf to teach their children. Later, Sirius sends Harry a Firebolt, an extremely fast racing broom.
- Michael Gambon as Albus Dumbledore
- Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall
- Alan Rickman as Severus Snape
- Robbie Coltrane as Rubeus Hagrid
- Emma Thompson as Sybill Trelawney
- David Thewlis as Remus Lupin
- Warwick Davis as Filius Flitwick
- Paul Bannon as Hogwarts employee
- David Bradley as Argus Filch
- Unknown as Hogwarts Healer
- Unknown as Hogwarts Healer
Other Hogwarts denizens
- Dawn French as the Fat Lady
- Paul Whitehouse as Sir Cadogan
- Violet Columbus as Girl with Flowers
- Annalisa Bugliani as Mother in Portrait
- Tess Bu Cuarón as Baby in Portrait
- Freddie Davis as Old Man in Portrait
- Caridad Angus as Female in Portrait
- Bonnie Wright as Ginny Weasley
- Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom
- James Phelps as Fred Weasley
- Oliver Phelps as George Weasley
- Chris Rankin as Percy Weasley
- Unknown as Oliver Wood
- Unknown as Alicia Spinnet
- Danielle Tabor as Angelina Johnson
- Ekow Quartey as Bem
- Alfred Enoch as Dean Thomas
- Devon Murray as Seamus Finnigan
- Unknown as Katie Bell
- Jennifer Smith as Lavender Brown
- Sitara Shah as Parvati Patil
- Rick Sahota as Gryffindor boy
- Unknown as Fay Dunbar
- Unknown as Fay Dunbar's friend
- Kandice Morris as Kellah
- Marianne Chase as Rionach O'Neal
- Samantha Clinch as Eloise Midgen
- Joe Livermore as Cedric Diggory
- Lewis Barnshaw as Michael McManus
- Anoushka Arden as Hufflepuff student
- Lawrence Bolton as Hufflepuff student
- Tom Felton as Draco Malfoy
- Jamie Waylett as Vincent Crabbe
- Josh Herdman as Gregory Goyle
- Genevieve Gaunt as Pansy Parkinson
- Bronson Webb as Pike
- Tom Ackerley as Slytherin student
- Phil Cross, Natasha-Maria Smith, Xorael Harrison and many unknowns as Frog Choir members
- Elkie Corcoran as Student
- Kelsey Hardwick as Schoolgirl
- Oliver Lavery-Farag as Student
- Jasmin Walia as School Child
- Sheree Moutter as Voice Over Hogwarts Student
Ministry of Magic
- Gary Oldman as Sirius Black
- Julie Walters as Molly Weasley
- Richard Fish as Bill Weasley
- Alex Crockford as Charlie Weasley
- Julie Christie as Madam Rosmerta
- Jim Tavaré as Tom
- Lee Ingleby as Stan Shunpike
- Jimmy Gardner as Ernie Prang
- Abby Ford as Young Witch Maid
- Sally Samad as Burber Lady
- Paul Bannon as Train Porter
- Ian Brown as Wizard in the Leaky Cauldron
- Zakaria Sawalha as Featured Extra
- Hayley Wareham as a Gryffindor Student
- Anthony Lee as Continuity Artist
- Antonia Frampton as Extra
- Alice Bowmaker as Voice Over
Ghosts, spectres, photos or flashback performances
- Richard Griffiths as Vernon Dursley
- Fiona Shaw as Petunia Dursley
- Harry Melling as Dudley Dursley
- Pam Ferris as Marge Dursley
- Lenny Henry as the voice of Dre Head
- Binde Johal, Rusty Goffe, Andy Herd, Nathan Phillips and 2 unknowns as Goblins
- Gizmo, Ook, Wotan, Kasper, Oops, Oh Oh, Swoops, Elmo, Bandit, and Sprout as Hedwig
- Crackerjack and Pumpkin as Crookshanks
- Fern and Berry as Snuffles (Padfoot)
- Dex and 11 Unknown rats as Scabbers (Wormtail)
- 4 Unknown toads as Trevor
- Maximus, Alanis and Cornilus as Mrs Norris
- Doris and Stars and Stripes as Ghost horses
- Cheyenne and 7 Unknown Crows as Crows at Hagrid's Hut
- Unknown dog as Ripper
- Unknown hippo as Painting of a hippopotamus
- Unknown monkey as Painting of a caged monkey
- Unknown tiger as Painting of a tiger
- Unknown elephant as Painting of an elephant
Differences from the book
1. Owl Post
- The film starts with Harry performing Lumos Maxima, well aware of the Restrictions of Underage Wizards and did not receive any warnings; every time he does it, Uncle Vernon would come to see what was happening and Harry would hide under the covers. In the book, Harry uses a simple torch. Lumos Maxima is later used in the sixth film.
- Harry does not receive birthday presents from his friends and Harry does not find out about the Weasley's visit to Egypt until he gets to the Leaky Cauldron.
- The film does not mention Ron receiving a new wand to replace his old broken one. However, Ron actually does have a new wand, since there is no spello-tape on his wand and no malfunctions happen.
2. Aunt Marge's Big Mistake
- In the book, at the dinner party, Aunt Marge allows Ripper to drink tea off a saucer. In the film, she allows him a drink of brandy from her glass.
- In the book, Aunt Marge stays for a week before she gets blown up. In the film, Aunt Marge blows up the same day she visits.
- In the book, Harry sat at the table with Aunt Marge and the Dursleys, but in the film, he is just busy at the kitchen counter serving the Dursleys and Aunt Marge.
- Also in the book, Marge only floats up to the ceiling, while in the film she uncontrollably floats out of the house, later to be found circling a chimney in Sheffield as Harry is leaving. The same scene also has a humorous segment where Vernon tries to save Marge and cling to her to get her back down, only to end up bitten in the leg by Ripper, causing Marge to demand that Vernon not release his grip on her, only for Vernon to reluctantly do so due to being unable to hang on for much longer thanks to Ripper, apologising just before doing so.
3. The Knight Bus
- In the book, Harry pretends to be Neville Longbottom while on the Knight Bus, running from the Ministry of Magic. In the film, Harry doesn't pretend to be Neville; however, his identity is still kept secret.
- The film makers added Shrunken heads that have the ability to talk, probably to add humour. So far these creatures have been unique to this film only. In an interview on the DVD release, J.K. Rowling said the addition of the shrunken heads had her full support, and she only wished she'd thought of them herself.
- Harry asking Cornelius Fudge to sign his Hogsmeade permission form is taken out.
- In the book, Harry still has only two weeks of vacation remaining left before returning to Hogwarts, following the incident of blowing up Aunt Marge as mentioned by Cornelius Fudge, but in the film, Harry returns to Hogwarts the next day after having arrived at the Leaky Cauldron.
- In the book, Harry reunites with Hedwig in his room at the Leaky Cauldron with Tom telling Harry that Hedwig arrived five minutes after he did, but in the film, Harry reunites with Hedwig with Tom telling Harry that Hedwig arrived five minutes before Harry did.
4. The Leaky Cauldron
- There are no scenes in Diagon Alley in the film, resulting in Harry reuniting with Ron and Hermione in the Leaky Cauldron lounge. It should also be noted that Harry sees Crookshanks chasing Scabbers before he reunites with Ron and Hermione, implying Hermione had already bought Crookshanks before meeting Harry.
5. The Dementor
- During the train ride, Malfoy, Ginny and Neville do not come into the trio's compartment.
- The Frog Choir doesn't exist in the book and the director only added it for the film, however, it was later mentioned in the sixth film as well (in the scene in which Professor Flitwick uses "emergency choir practice" as an excuse to escape a conversation with Professor Slughorn).
- McGonagall doesn't call away Harry and Hermione prior to the feast.
6. Talons and Tea Leaves
- Professor McGonagall's Transfiguration classes never happen at any point in the film, and as such, she never performs her Animagus ability or tells the students not to listen to what Trelawney says. Professor Snape's Potions classes also never happen.
- When the Gryffindors and Slytherins go to their first Care of Magical Creatures lesson in the book they visit the Hogwarts Hippogriff Herd, but in the film Buckbeak appears to be the sole hippogriff at Hogwarts.
- The film has scenes that suggest a growing romance between Ron and Hermione. During their first Care of Magical Creatures class, Hermione grasps Ron's hand when Harry goes up to Buckbeak, which surprises him. Later on in Hogsmeade, they stare at the Shrieking Shack with Ron confusing Hermione's dialogue when she spoke of "getting closer" to the Shack. Then after Buckbeak's apparent execution, Hermione starts crying and hugs Ron.
- When Harry rides on Buckbeak in the film, they fly all the way to the Hogwarts lake; in the book, they fly only once around the paddock in the Forbidden Forest.
- In the book, Harry doesn't quite enjoy his first ride on Buckbeak, and it's made clear between hippogriffs and broomsticks which one he prefers. But in the film, during his first ride on Buckbeak, Harry is fascinated by the ride and enjoying it a lot as they fly over the Black Lake, raising his arms and shouting in triumph. The film portrayal also depicts a much longer ride, with Buckbeak achieving a sort of smooth, idyllic glide not described in the novel.
- In the novel, Malfoy is bleeding from his arm after Buckbeak attacks him which falls on the grass. In the film, Malfoy is not bleeding and only a piece of white from Buckbeak's scratch can be seen, although it's probably just Malfoy's shirt as it seems Buckbeak slashed his robe sleeve open.
- The part of Bem was created solely for the film, he explains to Seamus Finnigan what the Grim is and also expresses his concern over the Dementors effectiveness at catching Sirius.
7. The Boggart in the Wardrobe
- In the book, Harry, Ron and Hermione make their way to Defence Against the Dark Arts class, when Hermione disappears but then reappears a few feet behind them. In the film, Harry and Ron are already in the classroom when Hermione appears during the lesson.
- In the book, Parvati Patil's boggart is a mummy; in the film, it is a giant snake.
- In the book, the Boggart which had transformed into a spider to scare Ron, loses its legs when Ron casts the spell on it and rolls over to Harry, where Lupin prevents it from transforming, while in the film Ron conjures some roller blades to appear on the spider's legs, after which Parvati faced it, and it transformed into a massive serpent, but was again countered, after which it was faced by Harry, upon which it transformed into a Dementor, upon which Lupin stopped it and sealed it back into the cupboard.
8. Flight of the Fat Lady
- While the book has Peeves describe Sirius Black's attack on the Fat Lady's portrait after learning about this from her when he saw her in a portrait on the fourth floor, in the film it was the Fat Lady herself that described the attack from a nearby portrait.
- In the book, while Harry cannot go to Hogsmeade and stays with Lupin, they spend their time in his office and Harry sees a Grindylow which Lupin was taking delivery of for their next lesson, while in the film, they are talking on the Wooden Bridge after apparently meeting there. This difference creates a continuity error in the seventh film when Lupin interrogates Harry after the Battle of the Seven Potters holding his wand to Harry's face and asking him 'what creature sat in the corner the first time Harry Potter visited my office in Hogwarts.' A deleted scene is assumed to show this, before the two of them went for a walk on the Wooden Bridge.
9. Grim Defeat
- Sir Cadogan never appears, and as such his role of replacing the Fat Lady as Gryffindor's portrait is only shown as a deleted scene.
- In the novel, when Snape substitutes for Lupin in Defence Against the Dark Arts, Harry is 10 minutes late and Snape takes 10 points then another 5 when Harry is told to sit down, but continuously asks where Lupin is. Hermione then says that they had done Boggarts, Red Caps, Kappas and Grindylows and that they're about to start something else before being cut off by Snape and a moment later when he announces that they will start a lesson about werewolves, but Hermione tells him that they are not meant to start that topic yet and that they're due to start Hinkypunks. Snape then asks the class who can tell him how to distinguish between the werewolf and the true wolf, Snape immediately criticises Hermione and deducts an extra 5 points from Gryffindor then Ron shouts at Snape for taking points when Hermione knows the answer and he gives Ron detention. In the film, this is all different in some ways and this scene also has a few moments that did not occur in the book:
- Harry is already in class before Snape enters, so Harry is not at all late. This also omits Snape taking the first 15 points from Gryffindor. However, Harry asks only once in the film where Lupin is and Snape replies "That's not really your concern, is it, Potter? Suffice it to say that your professor finds himself incapable of teaching at the present time."
- Hermione tells Snape that they had just began learning about Red Caps and Hinkypunks and are not meant to start werewolves for weeks before Snape tells her to be quiet. Also, Hermione learns Snape will be teaching werewolves after he does an action that does not happen in the book: He sees Ron turning his pages one-by-one before Snape makes a movement with his wand and the book turns to page 394 (as Snape requested) and Ron says "Werewolves"?.
- Another thing that occurs in this scene that didn't happen in the book is the class having a projector which is why Snape, when he enters, magically closes all the windows shut.
- Snape asks the class who can tell him the difference between an Animagus and a werewolf.
- Ron remains quiet and calm and does not get detention when Snape takes 5 points from Gryffindor when accusing Hermione of being an "insufferable know-it-all." In fact, he whispers his agreement with Snape to Harry, stating that the Professor has a point.
- Because the first match is the one shown in the film, it is unknown if the games against Ravenclaw and Slytherin still take place; as Harry doesn't receive his new broomstick until the end of the film.
- In the book the rain during the Hufflepuff Quidditch match makes it difficult for Harry to see until Hermione casts Impervius on his glasses, In the film, the Quidditch players wear goggles.
- Also in the book, Harry falls off his broom and Cedric Diggory catches the Snitch. In the film, the Hufflepuff seeker is struck by lightning and Harry falls off his broom, leaving the Snitch apparently uncaught. Also in the film, Angelina Johnson crashes after her broom catches fire which never occurred in the book.
10. The Marauder's Map
- The origins of the Marauder's Map are not revealed in the film. The whole storyline of the Marauders is left out. Potential continuity errors are avoided in later films when Voldemort refers to Pettigrew as "Wormtail" in the dream Harry witnesses (in Goblet of Fire) and "Mad-Eye" Moody refers to Sirius as "Padfoot" in front of Harry (in Order of the Phoenix), which allows for Harry to know their nicknames. In the film Sirius shows knowledge of the map stating that the map never lies.
- In the film, Harry's two visits to Hogsmeade are combined into a single trip.
- In the book Ron and Hermione were with Harry when he eavesdropped on Fudge's conversation with staff and Rosmerta. In the film Harry was alone as the Inn forbade under-age wizards from entering the pub that day. Also in the film Harry snuck in using his Invisibility Cloak, while in the book he hid underneath Ron and Hermione's table as he did not bring the cloak during his first visit to Hogsmeade.
- In the film, this conversation is taken to a private room, with only Harry, Rosmerta, McGonagall, and Fudge present.
- In the film, Harry's reaction to the truth is limited to a single scene where he angrily swears he would kill Black. In the book, this was more drawn out where Harry was both angry and depressed for days with nightmares over this fact and that the people who knew the truth did not bother to tell him.
11. The Firebolt
- In the book, Harry received his Firebolt for Christmas right after his Nimbus 2000 was destroyed. Eventually, Sirius Black revealed he had sent the broom. In the film, Harry receives the Firebolt at the end of the film, and although there was no note, Hermione shows Harry that one of Buckbeak's feathers came with it.
- In addition, the book had Professor McGonagall confiscating the Firebolt shortly after Harry received it to check for jinxes after Hermione notified her of it, under suspicions that Sirius Black sent it, and taking months before Harry was allowed to use the Firebolt. All of this was omitted from the film due to the switching of when the Firebolt was given and as such Harry does not get into an argument with Hermione.
- In the book, Ron and Hermione get in a huge argument because of the problems with their pets; in the film most of this is omitted, except for some of Ron's initial arguments with Hermione which didn't go as far as the book.
- Neither Hermione or Ron attempt to help Hagrid prepare for Buckbeak's trial in the film.
12. The Patronus
- In the book, during his first anti-dementor lesson, Harry tries to ward off the dementor twice unsuccessfully before succeeding. But in the film, he only tries once unsuccessfully before succeeding. Also, Harry's memory in the book that works is the memory of how happy he was that he would be leaving the Dursleys. In the film, he uses a made-up memory of his parents.
13. Gryffindor Versus Ravenclaw
- In the film, the part where Sirius tries to kill Wormtail disguised as a rat in the middle of the night with a knife scaring Ron and slashing his bed curtains is omitted. However, the scene where McGonagall is in the Common Room and Ron tells about what happened is included in a deleted scene.
- Due to Quidditch being mostly written out, Cho Chang does not appear until the next film.
14. Snape's Grudge
- Harry throws snowballs at Draco and his cronies while under the Invisibility Cloak in the outskirts of Hogsmeade. In the novel, he throws mud-balls. The scene is also extended, with Harry also debagging Crabbe and kicking his backside, pulling Pike's hat over his eyes and swinging him around by his scarf, and dragging Malfoy away by his feet. Omitted from the film is the hood of the cloak falling off Harry's head causing Malfoy to learn of Harry's unauthorised visit, so no one (except Ron, Hermione, Fred and George) knows of Harry's illegal visiting.
- Hermione is also watching this with Ron in the film. In the book, Harry and Ron had not reconciled their problems with Hermione yet so she was elsewhere.
- In the novel, while trying to make the Marauder's Map "reveal its secrets," Snape tries once and fails. He then tries again with different words and it fails. He tries once more, again with different words, and it finally insults him. In the film, he only tries once and it insults him.
- In the film, the "Snape's Grudge" scene happens at night when Snape catches Harry in the hallway after he saw Pettigrew's name one night on the Marauder's map and went to find him. In the book, Snape catches Harry in the hall right after he climbed up the One-Eyed Witch's hump after being seen by Malfoy in Hogsmeade. Both versions of the "Snape's Grudge" scene end with Lupin taking the map.
- Due to the differing circumstances to how Harry was caught in the film, Ron is absent from this scene. In the book, Ron came and claimed the map was from Zonko's Joke Shop to help cover for Harry and was also present when Lupin lectured Harry about the map after Snape left.
- In the book, when Professor Snape is insulted by the Marauder's Map, each Marauder says something different to Professor Snape, with Lupin saying the bit about Snape minding his own business. In the film, however, that is all that the map says. Additionally, in the book, Snape recognises the Marauders' nicknames and angrily summons Lupin, wanting to know if he gave Harry the map. In the film, Snape shows no signs of recognising the names, instead berating Harry for the insults the map produced.
15. The Quidditch Final
- In the novel, Hermione slaps Malfoy and he reacts passively. In the film, this is slightly extended. Instead, Hermione first draws her wand on Malfoy, and then punches him in the face, in both situations he acts cowardly.
- In the books, Hermione was walking behind Harry and Ron on their way to Charms, but when they get to the class she is gone, and they don't know where is until later that day when they find her sleeping on the Arithmancy book in the Gryffindor Tower. None of this happens in the film.
- Due to Quidditch mostly being written out in the films, the part of Gryffindor winning the Quidditch Cup was omitted.
16. Professor Trelawney's Prediction
- In the film, after Hermione storms out of the Divination lesson from being insulted by Trelawney, on her way out, she knocks a Crystal ball off the table and it rolls down the Divination Stairwell. Harry notices it on his way out and decides to take it back to the classroom. He then finds Trelawney in a trance and it is here where she tells him a prophecy. In the book her trance takes place during Harry's Exam.
- In the book, while the trio are on their way to Hagrid's hut when Buckbeak's execution is to take place, they bring Harry's Invisibility Cloak with them, but in the film, they do not bring the cloak at all.
- In the novel, during the trio's visit to Hagrid, they follow him out in to his back garden where he comforts Buckbeak and says "It's okay, Beaky". This is omitted from the film, as Hagrid doesn't have a garden and Buckbeak is laying right outside the front of Hagrid's hut.
- In the film, in Hagrid's hut a jar of yellow powder breaks which appears to have been thrown by a kind of rock fossil and then another one hits Harry on the back of the head. This causes Harry to turn and show Hagrid that Dumbledore, Fudge and Macnair are coming. In the novel, Hagrid just sees the party coming through his window and tells the trio to leave and there is no vase broken.
- The feeble, elderly member from the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creature never appears in the film.
17. Cat, Rat and Dog
- In the film, after Buckbeak’s apparent execution, Hermione starts crying and hugs Ron while Harry comforts her. This never happens in the book.
- Crookshanks never recognises Sirius as an Animagus in the film.
- In the book, Ron is generally depicted as being brave and heroic under stress while Hermione was depicted as being nervous, terrified/frightened. In the film, Ron's bravery was transferred to Hermione and Hermione's nervousness/terror was transferred to Ron.
- In the film, Ron saw Sirius/Padfoot appear and pointed the dog out to Harry and Hermione in a quivering, frightened tone of voice. No such bit appeared in the book.
- In the book, Sirius (in Animagus form) had grabbed Ron by the arm and that Ron's leg was broken when he tried to use one of the Whomping Willow's roots to hold them in place to avoid being dragged off only for the pressure to break his leg. This was changed to Ron being grabbed by the leg in the film likely for being too graphic.
- In the novel, when Hermione and Harry find Ron in the Shrieking Shack, Sirius disarms Harry and Hermione with Ron's wand and catches their wands, but in the film, he does not as he does not have Ron's wand. However, Harry does get disarmed by Lupin the moment he enters the room in both the book and film, while in the film Hermione's wand is in her pocket, as seen when Harry uses it to blast Snape backwards, but in the novel, Lupin blasts Harry's wand away and two other wands that Hermione was holding and Lupin catches them all deftly. Also, in the film, when Lupin disarms Harry, the latter's wand disappears near the staircase. Ron is not disarmed in the film, although like Hermione, he does not consider using his wand.
- The following text appears in the book, after Harry and Hermione find Ron and Sirius in the Shrieking Shack: Ron spoke to Black. "If you want to kill Harry, you'll have to kill us too!" he said fiercely, though the effort of standing upright was draining him of more colour, and he swayed slightly as he spoke. In the film, the line was spoken by Hermione while Ron remained in the corner and did not say or do anything.
- This quote is also said in the book, after Lupin enters and greets Sirius as an old friend: "I trusted you, and all this time you've been his friend!"; It was shouted at Lupin by Harry, but in the film, it is Hermione who shouts this at Lupin when she thinks both he and Sirius are wanting to kill Harry when Sirius says "Let's kill him!" (although he was actually referring to Peter Pettigrew). She also first shouts "NO!!" before saying Harry's line from the novel.
- In the film, after seeing Pettigrew's name on the map, Harry says this to Lupin. In the book, Harry never saw Pettigrew's name on it, and Lupin was the one who saw Pettigrew's name after acquiring the map and using it on the same day as Buckbeak's execution, since he knew Harry, Ron, and Hermione would visit Hagrid that day. These events are what caused Lupin to believe that Sirius is innocent.
18. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs
- The story of Lupin's connection to the Shrieking Shack and Whomping Willow is omitted.
- In the novel, Snape appears in the Shrieking Shack after pulling off the Invisibility Cloak, but in the film, as the trio didn't bring the cloak with them, Snape appears visible and is seen when he disarms Sirius.
- Also, in the film, Snape disarms Sirius since Lupin passed his wand to him (Sirius) when Sirius was so wanting to kill Pettigrew. In the novel, Lupin never gave his wand to Sirius, so Snape never disarms the latter.
19. The Servant of Lord Voldemort
- As the identities of the Marauders are not revealed until the fourth and fifth films, it causes a bit of confusion as to why Snape has such a hatred towards Sirius and Lupin in the third for those who have not read the books. In the novel, Snape is as eager to hand over Lupin to the dementors as well as Sirius, despite the fact that there is not any evidence supporting Snape's claim that Lupin was helping Sirius into the castle, which he was not.
- In the film, Lupin pleads with Snape while Sirius continues to taunt him. Snape is more calm (albeit still spiteful), confronting the two, as opposed to the book, where he seems to be angry and even more reluctant to listen, as he bounds and gags Lupin, threatens Hermione with suspension and states that Harry deserved to be killed by Sirius.
- In the book, Harry, Ron, and Hermione all try and disarm Snape at the same time, causing him to hit against the wall and go unconscious. In the film, it is only Harry who does this, as seen when he sneakily pulls Hermione's wand from her pocket, while Ron holds onto her sleeve to keep her hand still, as Harry removes it. Still, both Ron and Hermione are shocked that Harry did this, as Snape is a teacher.
- In the book, Ron hesitates before giving Scabbers, or rather Peter to Lupin. In the film, it is Sirius who takes Peter from Ron, and he does it by force, instead of Ron giving Peter to him freely.
- Similarly, when Sirius Black explains that Peter Pettigrew is alive and fingers who he is, Ron initially thinks Sirius truly is insane, thinking Black was referring to him, before Sirius clarifies that he was in fact referring to his pet rat Scabbers, whom he was holding at the time.
- In the book, it takes a while for Peter to confess to betraying Lily and James Potter, while in the film, he confesses almost immediately, as the film versions almost always cut to the chase.
20. The Dementor's Kiss
- In the books, a transformed werewolf is described as looking almost like a true wolf except for a few subtle differences like the shape of the snout and tail and the eyes. However in the film a transformed werewolf looks more like the anthropomorphic versions from other werewolf films.
- In the book, Snape had been unconscious because of the spell cast by Hermione, Ron, and Harry and had to be suspended in mid-air by magic to be brought out of the Shrieking Shack. He was not there to protect Hermione, Ron, and Harry when Lupin transformed into a werewolf, but in the film, Snape was left behind, but suddenly regained consciousness to protect Harry, Ron, and Hermione from Lupin. In the book Snape regains consciousness only after Sirius, Hermione and Harry become unconscious because of the Dementors.
- In the film, while Sirius and Lupin (both transformed) fight, Harry runs up and throws a stone at Lupin, hitting him on the back of the head which causes Lupin to try and attack Harry, until the sound a female wolf (sounding like Hermione's voice) stops Lupin and then runs away. Harry never threw anything at the transformed Lupin in the book.
- In the book, Hermione is with Harry and Sirius when they are attacked by the Dementors. In the film, she attempts to run after him, but is stopped by Snape, forcing her to stay behind with Ron, who is not unconscious but has a broken leg and would likely be unable to keep up with Harry if he, himself, tried to go after him.
- In the book, Ron is obviously stunned unconscious by Peter Pettigrew with Lupin's wand (which puts him in danger of hurting his leg worse), but in the film, Ron is not stunned and remains conscious the whole time.
21. Hermione's Secret
- In the film, Dumbledore instantly believes the trio, like in the book and gives them rules how to rescue Sirius. When Dumbledore is telling them this, however, he absent-mindedly taps Ron's bandaged leg which does not happen in the book.
- In the book, Dumbledore tells Harry and Hermione that Sirius is locked up in Professor Flitwick's office in the West Tower, thirteenth window from the right of the tower, but in the film, Dumbledore tells Harry and Hermione that Sirius is locked up in the topmost cell of the Dark Tower.
- In the book, when Harry and Hermione go back in time, the whole view of the hospital wing disappears and different colours and shapes blur around them until they soon land in the deserted Entrance Hall, but in the film, when Harry and Hermione go back in time, they remain standing in the hospital wing while Harry watches themselves as well as others who were in the hospital wing since the previous three hours doing everything backwards until the whole thing stops. This means that the view does not disappear and no different colours or shapes appear around Harry and Hermione in the film.
- In the film, when Harry and Hermione go back in time, Hermione throws 2 ammonites fossils at both Hagrid's pot (because that had happened) and at Harry to get his attention, so he can see Fudge and Macnair coming to Hagrid's hut. Hermione later howls like a wolf to call Lupin away from fighting Padfoot, in turn causing him to come after them instead, at which point they are rescued by Buckbeak. In the novel, neither of these two events occur. All those events revealed they never actually changed the present, but instead were already part of the actions unseen previously by their past selves.
- This kind of time-travelling interaction is known as a "bootstrap paradox" or causal loop, where the interaction between a time-traveller and their past self is a loop of actions and inspirations without an exact beginning or end.
- In the film, Hermione is with Harry when he saves himself, and Sirius from the Dementors, instead of with Buckbeak.
- In addition in the book, when Harry is about to break out into the open, he points out to a protesting Hermione that they need to get out into the open, not to interfere, but to evade the then-incoming (and recently-transformed) Professor Lupin. This was obviously changed in the film.
- In the book, Harry figured out that he was one that cast the Patronus that saved their past selves before using it. In the film, as Hermione was with him, she convinces Harry that no one is coming to save them leading Harry to cast the Patronus and realising the truth afterwards.
- In the film Harry's patronus creates a cool light-show. This never occurs in the books; not even a full-bodied patronus produces this.
- In the book Hermione rescues Sirius Black with "Alohomora," but in the film, she uses "Bombarda," a spell made up for the films. In the French adaptation of the film, the spell "Alohomora" is used, instead of Bombarda.
22. Owl Post Again
- In the film, when Harry and Hermione go back to the hospital wing after saving Sirius Black and Buckbeak, Ron is already awake and asks how he and Hermione got outside the wing, when they were right in front of him. In the novel, Ron is still sleeping when Harry and Hermione get back.
- In the novel, when Harry arrives in Lupin's office, Lupin tells him about his resignation, that he resigned because Snape told the Slytherins about Lupin being a werewolf until Dumbledore comes in. When Dumbledore is there, they discuss about Harry feeling bad for not letting Lupin and Black kill Pettigrew, realising he would help Voldemort return from Trelawney's prophecy. Dumbledore reminds Harry that he saved Black, an innocent man, from a terrible fate, that Pettigrew owes a life debt to Harry for saving him, which Dumbledore is sure will prove useful later on. Dumbledore also mentions that Harry has some of his father's qualities, which is why his Patronus took the form of Prongs (a stag). In the film, it is Lupin tells Harry all this. Also:
- Snape is not identified as being the one revealing the secret of Lupin’s condition.
- There is no mention why Harry’s Patronus is a stag, though it was included in the original script.
- Harry appears to say that he feels sorry for not letting Sirius and Lupin kill Pettigrew although in a very different way (if this is true): “None of it made any difference. Pettigrew escaped.”
- There is no talk about Trelawney going strange, when she was actually making the second prophecy.
- Dumbledore is not present with Harry as he goes to visit Lupin in his office as he is leaving.
- The part of Ron receiving the owl Pigwidgeon from Sirius Black to replace Scabbers has been omitted. This caused a continuity error with the following films where Ron was seen with him, without any explanation on how he got an owl, though of course he could have gotten an owl by other means and as Pigwidgeon is very small he would likely be a cheap owl for Ron to get.
- The letter addressed to Harry that Sirius sent with Pigwidgeon which gave him visitation rights to enter Hogsmeade was omitted. This caused some continuity errors in the following films of Harry being able to enter Hogsmeade freely.
- The part where Harry meets his Uncle Vernon on the platform in King's Cross station is omitted in which he tells his uncle that he has a godfather, who has escaped from wizard prison.
- Many students appear in the film in classes with Harry and other named parts, more than originally sorted into each house with over ten Gryffindors in one scene alone, despite the fact Harry's year has only eight Gryffindors.
Differences from earlier films in the series
- Most wands have taken different shapes. This is marked as the first film to start making the wands for each character uniquely decorated.
- Whenever a spell is cast in the film, a faint whistling can be heard. This is the only film in which spells make this noise and are mostly used to signal when simple waves of the wand are actually some kind of spell.
- This is the first film to feature hand-gesture magic, with Dumbledore igniting a candle with a wave of his hand, Lupin opening a chest with just passing his hand over the lock, and Dumbledore's cast of "Aresto Momentum" to stop Harry from falling after the Dementors caused his fall off his broom.
- The Spell Expelliarmus was changed in effect and appearance. In the previous film, it was a bright, golden beam that propelled the user several feet backwards, from this film and onwards, it became a fast, bright spark that can accurately hit the opponent's wand and send it flying away.
- The Harry Potter logo itself has changed. The tail of the "y" is longer and extends further to the left. The "P" lightning bolt is longer. The logo has an overall silver colour whereas the logos of the two previous films were gold. This reflects the darker tone of the film, and on subsequent films, the darker the tone, the darker (and decaying) is the logo.
- This is the first and only film not to feature the title in clouds.
- It is the only film that uses a technique where black iris fade in and fade out for scene transitions (which is a similar technique used in silent films).
- The Leaky Cauldron has now changed location and structure.
- In the first film, Tom, the bartender and landlord of the Leaky Cauldron was portrayed by Derek Deadman; but in this film, Deadman has been replaced by a different actor, Jim Tavaré. There is also a sharp difference between these two portrayals: in the first film, Tom appeared quite normal with balding brown hair but in this film, he looks like a hunchback, and is bald. The same is true for the console versions of both the LEGO games. From the in-universe part of it, one can say that Tom simply got older and his mind was weakened by the ageing. It's also possible that the original Tom was simply a bartender who worked at the Leaky Cauldron, whereas the one in this film is the one from the books.
- Scabbers, Ron's rat, now has excess hair on his ears.
- In the single most noticeable change of cast, Michael Gambon now plays Dumbledore, following the death of Richard Harris who played the wizard in the first two films. Gambon's portrayal in this and future films is of a more robust and eccentric wizard. The films have made no attempt to reconcile the change in Dumbledore's appearance and demeanour, although given the concept of the series, it is not impossible to do so (Rowling, for her part, did not suggest any change of appearance in Dumbledore in the books she wrote after the part was recast). One change noted several times on the associated DVD featurettes is that Gambon plays Dumbledore with a more pronounced Irish accent than his predecessor, who was also Irish. (Coincidentally, Gambon's very first film role was as an unnamed bit character in Laurence Olivier's 1965 version of Othello, which starred Maggie Smith as the female lead.)
- Hogwarts itself has new features:
- The Clock Tower, Clock Tower Courtyard, Wooden Bridge and the Sundial Garden are added to the back of the school.
- The Central tower and the two Bell towers now have different shapes.
- The North Tower is added just behind the clock tower courtyard.
- The Dark Tower is also added in between the Central tower and Defence Against the Dark Arts tower.
- Hagrid's Hut has changed location and shape; In the first two films, the hut is made up of only one room and is located close to the entrance to the Bell towers and Greenhouses. In this and future films, the hut now consists of two rooms and is located down the hill to the back to the castle, about half way between the Entrance Gates and the Sundial Garden and now has a pumpkin patch next to it.
One possible explanation could be that Hagrid was promoted to new bigger living quarters closer to the castle after getting the Care of Magical Creatures job, enabling him to perform both his teaching and grounds-keeping duties easily. It would also give students a safer place to take lessons, away from the forest.
- The location of the portrait of the Fat Lady, the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room, has been moved to the Grand Staircase. The appearance of the Fat Lady has also changed, with a different actress, background, and ball gown from the first film: In the first film, the Fat Lady is played by Elizabeth Spriggs. She is shown with black hair and a pink silk dress and she doesn't seem to have much personality. Oddly, this version of her is not particularly fat. Her portrait is located at the end of a corridor somewhere in the castle, but its location is never specified. The Fat Lady as portrayed by Spriggs moves only when approached by a student and very little at that. She also asks for the password, ensuring more effective concealment of the common room. In the first film, given the Fat Lady's dress and background, she seems to have lived in the sixteenth century Europe. The Spriggs version of the Fat Lady's portrait is also used in the video game adaptations of Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets.
In this film she is played by Dawn French, who portrays the character with a more humorous side, such as giving her a bad singing voice (possibly from the saying "the fat lady sings"). This iteration of her is much, much fatter than the previous one. She is much louder and more flamboyant and would be obvious to any passing members of other houses, who would also be able to hear Gryffindor students as they gave her the password, which this version of the portrait is reluctant to listen to. By this time, her portrait has been moved to the seventh floor of the Grand Staircase Tower. The portrait is shown to swing backwards rather than forwards in this film as well. In the third film, given the Fat Lady's dress and background, she seems to have lived during the Classical period.
In the first film, the entrance to Gryffindor Tower is on one end of a hallway. Whereas in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the video game adaptations of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it is located on the Seventh Floor of the Grand Staircase Tower. As the shape of the common room doesn't change, one explanation of this change of location may be that these particular stairs were not there in the first film, and were built to replace the corridor during the summer of 1992, before Harry's third year started.
- The Whomping Willow is in a different location than it was in Chamber of Secrets; in the earlier film, the Willow was very close to the school and inside the Training Grounds. In this film, the willow is a considerable distance from the school, on the side of a slope and amidst rocky terrain.
- The Whomping Willow also went through a significant design change. In the previous film, it had thick, club/fist-like branches that attempted to punch and crush anything that comes nearby, with thin branches protruding from the tips. In this film, it looked more like a regular willow, with long, thin branches it used to slap and grab anything that moves too close. (and flick any bird that flies too close)
- The floating candles in the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall look melted and most of them float in groups and are irregular in sizes. In the previous two films, each of the candles float tall and with enough distance from the other.
- The Hogwarts uniforms have changed; in the first two films, the students wore plain black robes with thick striped ties and the house shields on the robe located at the left side of the chest were bright, and in the third film and onward, they wear robes with coloured hoods and pinstripe ties and the house shields looking dimmer, in addition to the rest of the uniform being darkened. However, in the previous film, the memory of the 16 year-old Voldemort was wearing a tie that had the exact look the ties do in this and future films, for an unknown reason.
- Professor Flitwick was not cast in this film. Instead, his actor, Warwick Davis, appeared as the choir conductor (credited only as "wizard"). In Goblet of Fire, Davis was again credited as Flitwick, but retained the appearance of the choir conductor.
- This is the first film to feature specialised closing credits. The ones in this film are made to look like the Marauder's map with the cast names accompanied by the "footsteps".
- Dumbledore does not say Harry Potter's name at all in the film. This is the only film in which this happens, although Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 would not count, due to Dumbledore having died near the end of the previous film and flashbacks and voices of Dumbledore saying hints and the like.
- Dudley Dursley has no lines in this film, due to not having any lines in the script. However, only a bit of his voice can be heard when he laughs before Aunt Marge kisses him and when he grunts the first time and the second time after 2 of Aunt Marge's buttons fly off her shirt and hit him on the forehead those two different times.
- Under Covers Prologue
- Aunt Marge's Big Mistake
- The Knight Bus
- The Leaky Cauldron
- The Monster Book of Monsters
- In Grave Danger
- The Dementor
- Welcome and Warning
- Tea Leaves
- Boggart in the Wardrobe
- Talent for Trouble
- Flight of the Fat Lady
- Substitute Teacher
- Grim Defeat
- The Marauder's Map
- Who's There?
- I Hope He Finds Me
- The Patronus
- Seeing the Impossible
- Professor Trelawney's Prediction
- Witnesses to an Execution
- The Whomping Willow
- Sirius Black
- Peter Pettigrew
- Friends Become Foes
- The Dementor's Kiss
- Hermione's Secret
- Onlookers to the Rescue
- Saving Lives
- Truly Seen, Truly Free
- Two Places at Once
- Mischief Managed
- The Firebolt
- End Credits Map
- The scene where Harry greets the Weasley family in the restaurant portion of the Leaky Cauldron, Arthur Weasley takes Harry aside to speak with him for a moment. He asks Harry if he is looking forward to the new term, which Harry replies that it “should be great.” Now, if you watch very carefully, just after Mr Weasley restates Harry’s name, if you look just under the wanted poster of Sirius Black, the number 301 will flash for a split second under the lower right corner of the poster, across the brick.
- In the scene where Harry, Ron and Hermione go to Hagrid to talk about Buckbeak's fate, Harry is sitting. As Hagrid says he's been put to death, Harry stands up and walks to the others. However, in the next shot, he is sitting down again.
- After Buckbeak is released, a crow lands on Cornelius Fudge's top-hat. The Minister raises a hand to scare it off, but in the next shot, Fudge seems unaware of the crow, as both his arms are to his side.
- The first time Hermione throws the fossil at the pot in Hagrid's hut it breaks differently to the second time she throws it.
- Lupin's school-time nickname of 'Moony' is misspelt on the Marauders Map as 'Mooney.' This is an inside joke from visual effects supervisor, Karl Mooney. Also, Albus Dumbledore's name is spelled 'Albvs' when he is seen pacing in his study on the map. However, this might be an influence from Latin, where "u" is replaced by "v".
- When the film begins, Harry is shown performing "Lumos". According to the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, he is not allowed to perform magic, even at night, under a blanket and even without any Muggles present - whereas in the book he uses a torch. (Since Lumos acts similarly to a torch, the Ministry may have given an exception to this spell.) In any case, this seems more like an intentional thing rather than a mistake.
- During the scene where the Fat Lady goes missing, Filch is holding his cat, Mrs Norris. Her eyes throughout this scene are yellow, whereas in most other occurrences her eyes are red, as in the books.
- In the scene in which Harry and Hermione go back in time, Dumbledore states that 'The word of three thirteen year old wizards will convince few others'. However, only Harry is still thirteen at this point; Ron and Hermione have both had their fourteenth birthdays. Buckbeak is sentenced to death in April 1994, but Ron turned 14 in March 1994 and Hermione in September 1993. However, this could be explained as the headmaster of a school that has probably hundreds of students at any one time Dumbledore cannot be expected to remember the personal details, such as dates of birth, of every single one of them.
- In the scene where Sirius fights Lupin, Harry is very brave since he tosses a rock at Lupin. However, when Lupin turns his attention on him, he suddenly acts cowardly.
- When Lupin finds Harry and Hermione, they had enough time to pull out their wands and use spells on him, but instead of it, they both cower in fear.
- Before the first attack of dementors on the lake, Sirius woke up and started to panic when he noticed them. But when the angle changes to the top camera, he's shown to be blacked out again.
- When Dre Head counts down (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 3½ 2 1¾), he says 3½ after he says 3, however he should say 3½ before he says 3.
Home video release dates
- November 19, 2004: United Kingdom
- November 23, 2004: Canada, United States
- December 15, 2004: South Korea
Prisoner of Azkaban has the dubious distinction of being, as of 2018, the lowest-grossing film in the series. It was far from a failure by any means: it generated worldwide box office of US$797 million and is currently ranked the 41st highest grossing film of all time.
Despite being the lowest-grossing film of the series, it did earn notable critical and general acclaim. It is the second highest rated film of the series, after only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, with a 7.7 score on the Internet Movie Database and an 82 (out of 100) score on Metacritic. Deathly Hallows: Part 2 received an 8.1 and 87 score respectively.
Behind the scenes
- This is the last film to be released on VHS in the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom.
- All US DVDs from this film onwards, use the synth strings Warner Home Video logo. The VHS version uses the acoustic strings version, however.
- Michael Gambon was cast in the role of Professor Dumbledore, after the death of Richard Harris who was in the first two Potter films. Gambon remained in all of the films since.
- The film makers included a Highland Cow during the Christmas scenes, likely as a reference to the remote areas of Scotland where the castle is supposed to be situated. It may also be as a reference to Dufftown, which is mentioned by Hermione at one point in the film, for which Highlands are known to exist.
- Ian McKellen was at one point offered the role of Dumbledore, but turned it down.
- This is the only film in the series to not feature Voldemort instead focusing on Sirius Black's escape from Azkaban Prison.
- Apparently the first film in the series to have rainy scenes at Hogwarts.
- Charlie Weasley's only real appearance is in the Weasley family photo of their vacation in Egypt. The role was played by Alex Crockford he is mentioned only for the rest of the series.
- This is the only film where Dumbledore does not say Harry Potter's name.
- This is the second time actors Timothy Spall and Richard Griffiths appeared in a film together, their first film together having been Vatel, released in 2000.
- When Harry enters the Leaky Cauldron, a wizard can be seen reading Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time.
- Daniel Radcliffe's hair in this film received praise from fans, who believes it captured Harry's described messy hair in the books more than in any of the other films.
- This is the last film in the Harry Potter film series to receive a PG rating in the US and either the equivalency of a G or PG rating in all other countries (exceptions being Hong Kong, which gave this film, along with all the other films, the equivalency of a PG-13 rating, and some countries that gave most of the other films the equivalency of a G or PG rating).
For more Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban videos, check out our gallery.
Notes and references
- Madam Hooch is mentioned when we see a witch on a broom on one of the portraits and the narrator asks the witch if she had practised with Madam Hooch. The Portrait Gallery is after The Quest of Sir Cadogan
- List of highest-grossing films on Wikipedia
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Reviews - Metacritic
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Reviews - Metacritic
|J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series|
|Philosopher's Stone||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Chamber of Secrets||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Prisoner of Azkaban||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Goblet of Fire||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Order of the Phoenix||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Half-Blood Prince||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Deathly Hallows||book||film 1||game 1||film soundtrack 1||game soundtrack 1|
|film 2||game 2||film soundtrack 2||game soundtrack 2|
|Fantastic Beasts film series|
|Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them||book||screenplay||film||soundtrack||game|
|The Crimes of Grindelwald||screenplay||film||soundtrack|
|The Secrets of Dumbledore||screenplay||film||soundtrack|
|Fantastic Beasts 4||film|
|Fantastic Beasts 5||film|