By this point I imagine pretty much everyone and their grandparents has been to The Making of Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studios Tour in Leavesden, but I went a couple of years ago and thought I’d share my pictures in case anyone is still contemplating a trip.
To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the Harry Potter films! Controversial, I know, but let me clarify…
I am very much a part of the ‘Harry Potter Generation’, the kids that grew up with Harry. I was 7 when I read the first book and 17 when I read the last one. I queued at midnight to be the first the get my hands on copies of new releases; I stayed up until 2am on school nights trying to figure out who R.A.B was (and, I’ll have you know, I predicted it exactly right!); I had my own set of robes and a replica wand; I own a limited edition version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard and a plethora of other Potter merchandise – I had a Harry Potter cover for my Nokia 3310, if anyone remembers those? But that was all in the good old days before the films came out.
I wasn’t instantly disappointed. Philosopher’s Stone isn’t a half-bad interpretation. Some of the acting is a slightly questionable, but the plot is pretty close to the book. I appreciate that film adaptations of books can’t be 100% faithful but beyond Philosopher’s Stone, when they started taking out important parts of the books and adding in absolutely pointless scenes that neither developed the plot or characters, I lost interest.
However, they do have, in my opinion, two saving graces! The first is the soundtracks, which are pretty much flawless, and the second is the sets, which are beautiful and pretty much, for the most part, exactly as I imagined Harry’s world would look. That’s why I was pretty excited to get to the Studios and see how they went about creating them, and all the while ‘Hedwig’s Theme’ is playing in the background, so it was pretty much perfection.
The amount of detail and thought that’s gone into some of pieces, even bits you never even see in the films, is incredible. You can actually walk down Diagon Alley, stand on the lawn at Privet Drive, or sit in Mr. Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia. And of course there’s a gift shop for all your wizarding needs.