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Film / Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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"Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light."
Arthur Weasley: Harry, I want you to swear to me that whatever you might hear, you won't go looking for Black.
Harry: Mr. Weasley, why would I go looking for someone who wants to kill me?

The one with the creepy theme music.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third Harry Potter film, released in 2004. It was the only film in the series directed by Alfonso Cuarón, as Chris Columbus, who directed the previous two, opted not to return in favor of spending time with his children.

Sirius Black, a mass murderer believed to have been a supporter of Voldemort, has escaped from the wizarding prison Azkaban, and is allegedly out to kill Harry. In response, the Ministry of Magic sends Dementors, a race of dreadful wraith-like creatures, to guard Hogwarts. But the Dementors are not particularly choosy about who they seek to capture or debilitate, and they seem to have an unusual attraction (and reaction) with Harry in particular.

The film's defining characteristics are its darker tone, both in terms of subject matter and cinematography, and its being the series' first distinctly pragmatic adaptation, taking a more character-driven approach that sometimes deviated from the events of the book. Both of these distinguished it noticeably from the light and faithful approach of Columbus's movies.

While the film has gone down as arguably the most controversial installment in the series for this reason, it opened to significant critical success and is highly seen as an apex for the series not only in terms of quality but influence, as future films took similar risks to abandon a linear perspective in favour of more cinematic elements.

Came out one year after Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix hit bookshelves.

Followed by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban contains examples of:

  • Abandoned Playground: The first indications of the Knight Bus's arrival include swings that start moving softly, as does a merry-go-round and a seesaw. The effect is excellently eerie.
  • Actionized Adaptation: Less so compared to the other films in the series, but still, this one does add the brief scene of Buckbeak fighting off Lupin in werewolf form. In the equivalent scene from the book, Harry, Hermione, and Buckbeak managed to escape from the werewolf without a fight.
  • Adaptational Angst Downgrade: Despite the film's reputation for being angsty, this happens to Ron and Hermione's subplots:
    • In the book, Crookshanks supposedly eating Scabbers causes a huge rift in Ron and Hermione's friendship, and Harry points out that Ron is probably right, causing Hermione to be angry at him too. In the film, there's just a brief scene of Ron and Hermione arguing about whether Crookshanks did it, with Harry apparently staying neutral, and it's more or less Played for Laughs.
    • The book features Hermione becoming noticeably distressed and overwhelmed from taking so many classes with the Time-Turner, but in the film, she seems to handle the extra classes just fine. Hermione walking out on Divination and hitting Malfoy were portrayed in the book as instances of her snapping due to all the extra stress, but the film just treats these moments as isolated incidents.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the books, Harry needs Ron's and Hermione’s help to subdue Sirius Black. Here, it’s just him and he uses much less effort. Later in the scene, he performs a fully-fledged Expelliarmus on Snape using Hermione’s wand, a feat that would be much more difficult using a wand that hadn’t chosen him and was only accomplished in the book by Harry, Ron, and Hermione using Expelliarmus on Snape simultaneously.
  • Adaptation Distillation:
    • The film makes it seem that Harry's inflation of Aunt Marge occurs on the same night as her arrival — in the book it was on the final night of her week-long stay.
    • Harry also arrives in Diagon Alley the night before his return to Hogwarts, while in the book he still has three weeks of summer holiday left.
    • The feud between Ron and Hermione is toned down in the film. In the book, after it appears that Crookshanks has eaten Scabbers it creates a long and deep rift between them ("It looked like the end of Ron and Hermione's friendship") while in the film Ron just seems rather annoyed by it. They also fell out since Hermione had the Firebolt confiscated, but in the film, Harry doesn't receive the Firebolt until the very end.
    • Harry's two visits to Hogsmeade are combined into a single trip.
  • Adaptation Expansion: In the film, Hermione is shown popping up seemingly out of nowhere during lessons, reflecting how she's using the Time-Turner. This doesn't happen in the book, where Ron merely wonders how she is getting to all her classes and it isn't explained until the climax.
  • Adaptational Explanation: In the book, Harry realizing that the Patronus that saved them all was his own comes as a random "Eureka!" Moment. The film adds a few more scenes of future Harry and Hermione influencing past events (like Hermione throwing the rocks into Hagrid's hut to warn their past selves, and howling to distract Lupin in his werewolf form), so there is a solid basis for Harry's realization.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Has its own page.
  • Adaptational Heroism: We don't get the scene of Snape forcing Neville to feed a faulty potion to his toad, with Snape gleefully saying if Neville got it wrong, then Trevor would die. 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.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • The scene where Ron defends Hermione after Snape refers to her as an "insufferable know-it-all" is replaced with him agreeing with the professor.
    • When speaking to Harry and Hermione in the hospital, Dumbledore casually taps on Ron's plastered leg several times, seemingly oblivious to Ron's winces of pain. There's no mention of Dumbledore doing this during the scene in the book.
  • Adaptation Induced Plothole: Has its own page.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Snape tells Dumbledore that Harry needs to know the truth about Sirius Black. Snape in the book was perfectly fine with keeping Harry in the dark. And if anything, he always criticizes Dumbledore for telling Harry anything because he doesn't think he's capable, competent or anyone special, and he outright resents Dumbledore for giving Harry private lessons and telling him stuff that he doesn't tell Snape. Also, when he realizes there's an angry werewolf standing behind him, the first thing he does is push Harry, Ron, and Hermione, three students he loathes, behind himself to protect them. In the book, he was knocked out for the entire event. Likewise, the entire sequence earlier in the book where Snape sadistically tries to test Neville's dodgy potion on the boy's pet toad is removed. The film also never specifies that Snape was the one who let slip that Lupin was a werewolf unlike the book.
  • Adapted Out:
    • Florean Fortescue (the ice cream seller) as Harry's three-week stay in Diagon Alley does not happen since he arrives the day before he's due to return to Hogwarts.
    • Because most of the Quidditch season is never shown, Cho is not introduced. When she first appears in the next film, it's a Remember the New Guy? introduction.
    • Sir Cadogan, although his role of replacing the Fat Lady as Gryffindor's portrait appears in a deleted scene (available as a special feature on the DVD release).
    • The elderly member of the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures who attends Buckbeak's execution is not present in the film. The filmmakers intended for Lucius Malfoy to be present for the execution, which would have constituted the merging of Lucius and the unnamed committee member. However, Jason Isaacs was unavailable at the time.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the book, Ron tries to throw himself between Harry and Sirius despite having a broken leg, saying that if he wants to kill Harry, he'll have to kill all three of them. In the film, Hermione does this while Ron doesn't do anything but lie there.
  • Almost Holding Hands: Hermione and Ron touch hands in fear when first introduced to Buckbeak, but soon pull apart.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Cuarón and David Thewlis were both under the impression that Lupin was gay and worked it into crafting the latter's performance. Cuarón specifically told him to play Lupin as a "gay junkie". In later books Lupin marries a woman, so it's unclear whether this was a good read.
  • Answer Cut: Doubles as a Rewatch Bonus; Harry asks Mr. Weasley why he would look for someone that wants to kill him and the film cuts to Mrs. Weasley moving through a crowd trying to find Ron so she can hand over Scabbers. The frame after the cut is centred on Scabbers, who is responsible for the death of Harry's parents and someone who Harry will look for later to return to his owner Ron.
  • Avian Flute: At one point, we start following a small bird as it flies around the Hogwarts grounds, accompanied by a very fast flute piece (starting at 1:50) that highlights its flight until it meets an unfortunate end at the Whomping Willow.
  • Balloon Belly: Harry subconsciously casts a spell that inflates Aunt Marge after he's had enough of her insulting his mother.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Harry says this twice to Aunt Marge at the kitchen table after she calls his mother a "bitch".
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The Slytherin bullies in this film are Crabbe (big), Pike (thin), and Malfoy (short).
  • Body Horror:
    • Lupin undergoes a painful transformation into a werewolf on the night of the full moon.
    • Marge is inflated into a blimp by Harry's magic.
  • Brick Joke: While riding the Knight Bus, the shrunken head warns Harry that "If you order the pea soup, be sure to eat it before it eats you." Later, while talking with Fudge, he offers Harry some pea soup, which Harry adamantly refuses.
  • Butt-Monkey: Malfoy, big time. Every scene he's in ends with him getting humiliated. Getting scratched by Buckbeak, dragged through the snow or punched by Hermione (which is shown twice), he has it coming every single time.
  • The Cameo:
  • Camera Abuse: The Whomping Willow shakes off snow and frost during the transition to spring, and wet stuff slides down the camera lens in response.
  • Canon Foreigner:
    • The filmmakers 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.
    • The Hogwarts choir doesn't exist in the book and Alfonso Cuarón 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).
    • 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.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Ron has one which segues right into a Waking Non Sequitur, in which he begins talking about spiders that wanted him to tap dance.
    Ron: Spiders! Spiders! They want me to tap dance. I don't wanna tap dance!
    Harry: completely deadpan You tell those spiders, Ron.
    Ron: Okay, I'll tell them... [passes out]
  • Catch a Falling Star: After Harry falls off his broom, Dumbledore saves him by casting the spell Arresto Momentum, which, doing Exactly What It Says on the Tin, slows his fall.
  • Chaos Architecture: Hogwarts has a drastically different layout—both inside and outside—than how it appears in previous films, and most of it stays this way for the remainder of the series. In-universe, this can be handwaved by the magical properties of not only the school but its inhabitants. Out-of-universe, the director was interested in making creative changes that he hoped would have a lasting impact on the series. This was also the first movie in the series to have been filmed at Leavesden Studios in London after WB bought it so they were able to build enough sets that they didn’t have to film on location like the first two.
  • Christmas Carolers: After coming out of The Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade, Harry, under his invisibility cloak, walks through a group of carolers, knocking some of them down.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Invisible Harry pranks Crabbe by pulling his pants down, exposing his polka-dot boxers.
  • Continuity Snarl: When Harry sees the Patronus from across the lake, it is in the form of a stag. However, when Harry casts the Patronus after having gone back to the past, it has no real form other than the non-animal-shaped circular form.
  • Darker and Edgier: This goes with the ageing of the characters and thus the target audience along with them. It marks a distinct turning point for the film franchise, where everything from the music to the cinematography to Hogwarts's very architecture has taken a turn for the complex and the noir.
  • Deadpan Door Shut: At the Leaky Cauldron, a maid knocks on a bedroom door saying "Housekeeping". The door opens to a terrible noise from within. She closes the door, saying "I'll come back later, then."
  • Decomposite Character: 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's the Fat Lady herself who describes the attack from a nearby portrait.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • In the book, Crookshanks was a significant supporting character with some considerable Amplified Animal Aptitude. In the film, he only appears a couple times and seems to be a normal cat.
    • Cedric Diggory, the Hufflepuff Seeker, is present in the film, but only in a cameo and is never referred to by name. He gets a proper introduction in the next film, where he has a much more integral role.
  • Denser and Wackier: At the same time, besides being a Breather Episode, the film's tone shifts to more overt Tim Burton-style quirkiness in its comedic moments. Even the ominous scenes have swapped the previous Voldemort-centred mood for book-specific spooks, such as werewolves, the Grim, or Dementors.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Hermione exhibits a fundamental Gryffindor trait, acting bravely but with no thought for the consequences. She imitates a wolf's howl to draw werewolf Lupin away from Harry's past self. Future Harry tries to stop her, but she points out that she's saving his life. Harry is grateful, until he realises this means werewolf Lupin is now headed straight for them.
    Hermione: Yeah, didn't think about that. Run!
  • Drives Like Crazy: The Knight Bus is a magical vehicle that can shapeshift and contort to quickly get through traffic, enabling the driver to perform otherwise careless manoeuvres at high speed.
  • Dropped Glasses: Harry loses his glasses in the scene where he and Hermione try to evade the Whomping Willow. We even get to see through his perspective (it looks awfully blurry).
  • Epic Rocking: The soundtrack ends with the 12-minute "Mischief Managed".
  • Fake Kill Scare: At one point, the heroes hear what they think is Buckbeak being executed. It turns out to be the executioner slicing a pumpkin with his axe after he finds out Buckbeak escaped.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Fred and George Weasley, especially when describing the Marauder's Map to Harry.
  • First-Name Ultimatum: Hermione refers to Ron as "Ronald!" when she's vexed with him.
  • Flat "What": Harry does this when Hagrid tells him that he can ride Buckbeak.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: Harry, on his Firebolt. Not only that, but just as Harry's about to fly into the camera, a freeze-frame occurs that smushes his face all over the screen.
  • Fooled by the Sound: Professor Lupin (in wolf form) responds to Hermione's imitation of a wolf's call and is drawn away from attacking the rest of the group in favor of investigating Hermione's howl.
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: A set of tubular bells is heard when Sirius Black appears in the flesh for the first time.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Near the beginning of the film, there's a Freeze-Frame Bonus where a wizard in the Leaky Cauldron is seen reading A Brief History of Time. The last act is based heavily around time travel.
    • During the Care of Magical Creatures Class, when Hermione runs up to tell Hagrid to take Malfoy up to the hospital wing, her Time Turner can clearly be seen around her neck.
    • Lupin teaching Harry's class how to deal with the Boggart, a magical creature that is warded off with the combination of a spell and positive thoughts, foreshadowing him teaching Harry how to deal with Dementors.
    • We learn that the Boggart can take on the form of a person's greatest fear. When Lupin pushes himself in front of Harry to protect him from the Boggart-Dementor, the boggart turns into a full moon. This is the most obvious hint at his true nature as a werewolf.
    • In the very next scene, Snape has to cover Lupin's class (because Lupin is "unable to teach at the moment") and he jumps ahead a few chapters to do a lesson on werewolves. He then finds an excuse to assign the entire class (or maybe it's just Gryffindor) a report on werewolves, focusing on recognizing them, due the next day.
    • One extremely subtle one — the silent executioner, Walden MacNair, grins at Harry when he walks past him. Goblet of Fire will reveal that he's a Death Eater.
    • During the first Divination class, Ron's prediction for Harry is that "You're gonna suffer, but you're gonna be happy about it." How does Harry deal with the Dementors at the climax? Using the Patronus Charm, a spell that needs happy thoughts.
    • Doubles as another sign for the ending where Harry has to be separated from Sirius Black, who is now his only legally recognized family left. Despite finally finding a godfather in him, he now has to let him get away or else he will be sent to Azkaban.
  • Fantastic Time Management: Hermione regularly uses time travel to take classes she otherwise wouldn't be able to.
  • Forgot About His Powers: Despite using the Freezing Charm in the previous film to defeat an entire army of pixies, Hermione seemingly forgets about it in this one, leading to her and Harry struggling to make it through the Whomping Willow. Lupin didn't forget and immediately uses it to freeze the plant so he can enter the secret passage to Shrieking Shack.
  • Franchise Codifier: Cuaron never directed another Potter film, but the later ones bear a strong resemblance to Prisoner: the darker and starker lighting, the new complexity of Hogwarts's grounds and castle, the covered bridge, to name just a few features.
  • Freeze-Frame Ending: The film ends with a freeze-frame of Harry flying towards the camera on his brand-new Firebolt broomstick.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • When Harry and Hermione are going back in time in the infirmary, one can see somebody getting completely wrapped in bandages from the waist up.
    • When Harry is walking the streets after leaving the Dursley home, Marge can be seen still floating around in the night sky yelling for help.
    • When Hagrid is announced as a teacher, Draco silences Crabbe who claps for Hagrid.
    • When Hagrid asks who wants to ride Buckbeat, while everyone else backs up, Neville can be seen hiding behind a boulder.
  • Gaslighting: Every time Hermione magically shows up in class because of her time-turner, and the boys ask where she came from, she says she was there all the time.
  • Genius Book Club: Played for Laughs with a sight gag in the Leaky Cauldron, where an anonymous wizard (one who clearly has questions about living in a fantasy universe) is reading A Brief History of Time.
  • Glass Smack and Slide:
    • An unusual variant is when Aunt Marge is blown up and floating away, she slides along the Dursleys' sunroom ceiling.
    • Whenever the Knight Bus stops, Harry winds up slamming into the front window.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: The Fat Lady attempts this, but has to resort to breaking the glass on her frame.
  • Got Volunteered: When Hagrid asks who in the class wants to ride Buckbeak, everyone but Harry takes a step backwards.
  • Grew a Spine: A little teenage angst and a willingness to turn his spellcasting on the Dursleys (or at least exploit his uncle's fear that he might) have produced this effect in Harry.
  • Hands Looking Wrong: When Harry accidentally jinxes Aunt Marge to inflate, she first notices it by seeing her finger bloat.
  • Hidden Depths: In the film, Dean is the one who identifies that a boggart is in the banging closet and not Hermione. Lupin praises him for answering the question correctly.
  • High-Up Ice-Up: Harry flies upward to escape the Dementors when they attack during a Quidditch game in a violent, winter thunderstorm. As Harry climbs higher and higher, ice forms on his hair, clothes, and broomstick while his face sustains multiple cuts from the rain becoming more icicle-like.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: Intentionally invoked with Sirius and Lupin, according to Alfonso Cuarón. Apparently, the director thought that Lupin was a "gay junkie".
  • Iconic Outfit: Hermione's pink hooded sweater and Harry's blue shirt make their debuts in this film.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Sirius invokes this to stave off Remus's transformation. It doesn't work.
  • Implausible Synchrony: In the book's time-turner scene, Dumbledore tells Hermione that it's five minutes to midnight. In the movie, this is replaced as visual cues in the two clocks present—the one on the hospital room's wall and the giant one integrated into the tower. Just a few moments after Dumbledore exits the room, as Hermione loops the time-turner's chain around her and Harry's necks, the second clock starts to chime, indicating it's midnight. That same time is displayed in the wall clock. While it could be magic that keeps them in sync, it's never confirmed.
  • Involuntary Shapeshifting: Remus Lupin is a werewolf. Should he forget to drink his Wolfsbane potion, he loses his mind upon transforming and becomes a feral, highly aggressive beast.
  • Iris Out: Used frequently in scene transitions, to subtly highlight something important to the audience.
  • Irony: The students are taught that, to defend themselves against a Boggart, they must transform the monster into a source of laughter, so Parvati casts a spell that turns it into a giant Jack-in-the-Box. However, Harry is shown to be disturbed by the clown, as it reminds him of a Dementor. This enables the Boggart to transform into such a creature, which is far more dangerous than any of its previous forms.
  • Lighter and Softer: Not for the most part, but a minor example in regards to Harry's past. In the books, the happy memory he uses to create a Patronus while training with Lupin is finally leaving the Dursleys. In the film, he has a memory (albeit one he admits may not be real) of his parents talking to him as a baby.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Lupin and Sirius start arguing, even with Snape pressing his wand into Sirius's neck. Snape even lampshades it.
    Lupin: Severus, don't be a fool.
    Sirius: He can't help it, it's bound to be a habit by now.
    Lupin: Sirius, be quiet!
    Sirius: Be quiet yourself, Remus!
    Snape: Oh, listen to you two, quarrelling like an old married couple.
  • Loophole Abuse: A Boggart can assume the form of a person's greatest fear, but can be easily defeated provided the wizard can think of something funny to transform the creature into. However, if the Boggart takes the form of a Dementor, it can drain the victim's happy memories, leaving them helpless against it. As Harry learns later in the film, the only way to counter the Boggart in this scenario is with the Patronus charm, which is much harder to master than the ordinary Boggart-banishing spell.
  • Malingering Romance Ploy:
    • Draco is genuinely injured by Buckbeak the hippogriff, but plays up the severity of the injury because Pansy Parkinson is fawning over him.
    • Much later, when Ron is injured by the Whomping Willow and enjoying Hermione's concern, he does something very similar, remarking that the leg might need to be amputated. (Needless to say, it does not.)
  • Meta Casting: David Thewlis and Gary Oldman, who portray Remus and Sirius respectively, were frequently typecast as villains and criminals, usually murderers, in other roles prior to their casting in this film. To viewers familiar with these actors, this immediately paints Sirius as a dangerous threat while also making Remus seem potentially suspicious and untrustworthy, making it even more surprising when both characters turn out to be Good All Along.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: The bird shown fluttering through the grounds and having an unfortunate meeting with the Whomping Willow appears to be a bluebird, a species not found in Britain.
  • Musical Nod: Parvati's snake Boggart is accompanied by the snake theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Of course, both films were scored by John Williams.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Harry and Hermione have this reaction when they realize they've followed Scabbers actually Peter Pettigrew towards the Whomping Willow. Ron has one immediately after when he sees what he thinks is "the grim" really Sirius Black standing behind Harry and Hermione.
    • Hermione when she notices the full moon a few minutes after they get out of the Shrieking Shack, due to one of the people with them being a werewolf. Said werewolf Professor Lupin also looks terrified as he changes to his werewolf form, while Sirius tries his best to bring him to his senses and asks if he's taken his potion to control his condition. Pettigrew is also visibly cowering at that moment.
  • Papa Wolf: When he realizes that Harry's Boggart has turned into a Dementor, which Ridikkulus can't repel, Lupin dives in front of Harry so that it will change shape. Later, due to Adaptation Induced Plothole, he doesn't acknowledge this and instead told Harry he thought Voldemort would appear.
  • The Oner: The scene where Mr. Weasley discusses Sirius Black with Harry is done in one long take.
  • Pet the Dog: When Snape realizes there's an angry werewolf standing behind him, the first thing he does is to push three students he loathes behind himself to protect them.
  • Precision F-Strike: In Aunt Marge's scene, she uses the word "bitch", albeit as a term for a female dog. The intent, however, is very much there. Using the metaphor of dogs breeding was just a convenient way for her to call Harry's mother that.
  • Prompting Nudge: Ron has to nudge Harry during the Hippogriff lesson in order for him to go forward as Hagrid had asked.
  • The Quiet One: 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 two of Aunt Marge's buttons fly off her shirt and hit him on the forehead those two different times.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Goyle has a smaller role in this due to his actor breaking his arm and being unable to film certain scenes. Bronson Webb was cast as a Slytherin boy called Pike to fill Goyle's role for those scenes.
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: Hermione using her Time-Turner to attend multiple classes at once is depicted by her appearing in classes between shots.
  • Revealing Cover Up: Arthur explains to Harry that Sirius Black will be coming for him. However, he messes up when he asks Harry not to go looking for Sirius, and Harry asks the reasonable question of why he'd go looking for someone who wants to kill him. It stirs Harry's curiosity and sets him on a path towards finding out about Sirius and seeking revenge after all.
  • Scooby Stack: The trio does this on their way out of Hagrid's hut when Fudge, Dumbledore, and the executioner arrive.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Harry spells this out to the Dursleys after Vernon has the nerve to demand he restore Marge to normal after the relentless verbal abuse he had been dealt by her earlier and takes his leave back to school alone.
    • Lupin in his werewolf form also does this when confronted by Buckbeak. A werewolf is clearly no match for a pissed-off Hippogriff, and the werewolf wastes no time getting away from Buckbeak.
  • Sequel Escalation: As with the book, averted; this is the only entry without some form of Voldemort, the antagonist is actually not after Harry at all, and the climax doesn't involve a heavy action sequence coming off the titular Chamber of Secrets scene in the previous movie.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: Two to Macbeth:
    • The song "Double Trouble" is composed of lines from the Three Witches' chant.
    • The film's tagline in the poster pictured above is a direct quote from one of the Witches.
  • Shrunken Head: The film has a number of talking shrunken heads, most prominently the one on the Knight Bus that speaks instead of Ernie, the bus driver. They are mostly wise-cracking Plucky Comic Relief characters, although they also provide some exposition. They don't appear in the book, though J.K. Rowling has said she wishes she'd thought of it.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: While Harry interacts with Buckbeak the hippogriff, Draco Malfoy casually munches on an apple to show his contempt for the proceedings.
  • Snow Means Love: Adds an Innocent Innuendo to a snowy, wintry scene between Ron and Hermione.
    Hermione: Do you want to get closer?
    Ron: Huh?!
    Hermione: To the Shrieking Shack?
    Ron: Um ... I'm fine here.
  • Stab the Salad: When the execution of Buckbeak is thwarted, the executioner chops a pumpkin in frustration.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    Harry: [while crying] "He was their friend...and he betrayed them..." [beat] "HE WAS THEIR FRIEND!"
  • That Poor Car: When the Knight Bus arrives at the Leaky Cauldron, it is unable to completely stop, and while it decelerates, it nudges into a car, sounding its alarm. It apparently belongs to Tom, who shuts off the alarm.
  • That Poor Cat: Directly after the Knight Bus leaves after dropping off Harry at the Leaky Cauldron.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Vernon can be seen in the background reacting as Marge starts blowing up, and he's holding his head in his hands groaning as Marge calls for him to do something.
Marge: Vernon!
Vernon: Oh, no...
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Downplayed, and only an isolated case, but Vernon is much more subdued in this film, even readily agreeing to sign a Hogwarts form if Harry behaves himself at dinner. It helps that he manages to look a saint next to his even more spiteful and downright cruel sister Marge and that he's clearly frightened of what Harry is capable of.
    • Snape compared to his book counterpart; when Lupin transforms into his wolf form, Snape immediately shields the heroes by putting himself in front of them.
  • Undercrank: Used for the Knight Bus. The sequence was filmed with the bus driving at normal speed and the rest of the traffic driving slowly. Then they sped up the footage so that the bus would look fast and the other vehicles would look normal.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Dudley is taking the sight of his own aunt blowing up into a balloon much too calmly and focuses more on dinner and the TV when she floats off. True, it's clear he isn't exactly fond of his aunt, but still.
    • When Marge comes out of the house and starts floating away into the sky, Petunia's response is... to wave slowly, as if Marge were merely driving away.
    • Marge's reaction can qualify as this to herself getting blown up. Her response is to call out to her brother to help her as if this was a normal occurrence. She then chastises him not to let her go when she is about to float away outside. Normal people would freak out that they are blowing up like a balloon and floating away.
  • Weirdness Censor: When Marge is being blown up, she doesn't react as if what is happening to her is impossible. It is more "Help me, Vernon!" than "What is happening to me!"
  • Wolf Man: Unlike the book where Lupin's werewolf form looks almost like a normal wolf, in this film, he has a generally humanoid shape with a wolf-like snout and ears, clawed hands, and digitigrade feet.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Neville confesses that Professor Snape is his worst fear, and Lupin smiles, saying that Snape scares everyone. He reassures Neville as the class is laughing, telling him a Boggart helps you face your worst fear. Then he whispers to Neville a suggestion, and Neville is able to summon Snape in his grandmother's clothes.


From Quirrell to Carrow

To be a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts is to last one year. Only most of them turned out to be evil.

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