There’s no doubt about it, children and adults all over the world are obsessed with Harry Potter and his adventures. From Harry Potter Book Nights, where fans gather to celebrate the Harry Potter series, through to tours of the locations and the studio where the movies were made, if you’re a Harry Potter aficionado you can always find something to satisfy your thirst for further knowledge of the young wizard.
In fact, the Harry Potter phenomenon has even stretched as far as Japan, where their enduring fascination has generated unheard of book sales, box office receipts, and even his very own theme park, since the release of the first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, over 15 years ago. Just this week, the Japanese have taken their obsession one step further as a series of Harry Potter Manga characters created by a Japanese design company were released, albeit only in Japan for the moment.
The illustrations, which were created in collaboration with Shockhiku, a Japanese movie studio, and licensed by Warner Bros, represent 13 characters from the quintessentially English adventure, and include all the major players in the series from Harry himself, Hermoine Grainger and Ron Weasley to Albus Dumbledore and Professor Snape, who was played by the great British actor Alan Rickman who died recently. There’s even a Manga representation for Harry’s owl, Hedwig. Released as plastic folders with a character on the front and the four Hogwart’s houses on the back, the characters have typical Manga features, with enormous eyes, tiny feet and glossy hair.
However, for real Harry Potter fans, there’s nothing like being in London and taking a tour of the locations used in the Harry Potter movies. Whether you want to see Kings Cross Station, where they filmed the famous Platform 9¾, or 12 Grimmauld Place and the sites used for the Leaky Cauldron, an organised bus tour of the London locations is one of the best ways to get around London and see not just the places featured in the movies, but also some of the iconic London landmarks. With a tour guide to give you all the insider information about how the movies were actually made, it’s one of the best ways to immerse you and your children in the whole Harry Potter experience. Plus, if you really want to get in the mood, you can even dress as one of your favourite Harry Potter characters, although this is not a requirement.
Visiting London offers the perfect opportunity to find out more about how the movies were made, and to learn more about movie making in general if you’ve got any budding Steven Spielbergs in the family; so for this reason a Harry Potter Studio Tour is a must for any die-hard fans. During the tour you’ll get an up-close-and-personal view of the actual sets used to film all eight of the Harry Potter movies, plus you’ll get to see the stunning costumes, props and visual effects that were used to bring these truly iconic movies to life and to the big screen. Children will love visiting the sets, including the Great Hall, Diagon Alley and Hagrid’s Hut, and they’ll also be given the opportunity for a photo shoot sitting in the flying Ford Anglia, made by Arthur Weasley, and used by Fred, George and Ron to rescue Harry who’d been locked up in his room.
Both of the above tours are available from Brit Movie Tours who offer a range of Harry Potter Tours in London and other locations throughout the UK.
Photo credit: Barry Benbridge