Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

1: Analysis of the Book

The third book in the Harry Potter series marks the beginning of a change from a fun, fantasy children’s adventure to a full-on dramatic story full of mistaken identities, misguided deeds and wonderful, magical coincidences. As the story develops, Harry becomes more adventurous and independent; he learns more of the truth about his past, and forges new allies with his parents’ old friends. A spiritual dimension also comes forward as Harry, the wizard-world’s hope for the future, battles the dark forces who steal souls and deliver death kisses. This book is certainly one of the favorites in the series as it has most all of the elements that make the world of Harry Potter such a rich one.

2: Analysis of the Movie

The movie version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is really good and very well made. Most, if not the entire movie was filmed in the United Kingdom and the Scottish Highlands. For the scenes that included the Dementors, the director initially wanted to use puppetry instead of the regular CGI, but once it became apparent that puppetry would be too expensive and unable to portray specific elements of the Dementors, Cuaron turned to CGI. A well-known technique that was popularized in “The Matrix” series of films, called Bullet Time, was used in the Knight Bus segment when Harry was being taken to The Leaky Cauldron.

3: Analysis of the Adaptation

While the movie edition tries hard to stay true to the movie, there are times where the movie can’t exactly stay true to the book. For example, in the book when Harry is in his first anti-dementor lesson, he tries to ward off a dementor twice before successfully doing so. However, in the movie, he only has to do it once before succeeding. There were also some characters, which while in the book, never made it into the movie, which included Colin Creevey. At the time of its publication, Azkaban was the series’ longest book. Because of this, the increasing plot complexity necessitated a looser adaptation of the book’s finer plot lines and back-story. 

4: Online Research


This site is part of the Harry Potter Wikia, a wikia dedicated to all fans of the series.


Interesting site that shows all the trends, like a twitter page, on the movie.


A facebook page about the movie, which is really just a wiki page on facebook.


The TV tropes page of the movie. One of the most obvious tropes from this movie is “The Alcatraz”, which in this case is Azkaban. One of the most popular tropes from the movie series is “Chekhov’s Gun”, which is a literary technique whereby an unimportant element introduced early in the story becomes significant later on. This Trope happens almost all the time with all the wizardry things going off.

5: Critical Argument Paragraph

To many critics, Alfonso Cuarón did a good job in the film in steering the Harry Potter series in a darker direction. How is Prisoner of Azkaban “dark”? And how does this relate to the growing maturity of both the main characters and the actors?

Basically, the Prisoner of Azkaban can be considered a “Dark” movie because of all the dark related beings that were introduced in the movie and that one very dark place that our heroes were first told about during the movie. The first dark related beings are the Dementors, and they are dark because they basically feed off human happiness, and in turn cause depression and despair to anyone near them. Azkaban is first mentioned in this movie and it is a very dark place too because this prison had Dementors acting as the guards. As a result, most of the prisoners eventually went insane and slowly died under the Dementors’ influence. This relates to the growing maturity of both the main characters and the actors because in the next film, “The Goblet of Fire,” the one who must not be named (otherwise known as Lord Voldemort) rises from the dead and starts going off on his legendary killing spree. With the next movies, the main characters start going off in very dark directions, which can include killing, magical curses, and anything that has to do with dark Lord Voldemort.


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