Orphaned Harry (Radcliffe) is billeted in the suburbs with his cruel aunt and uncle until a blizzard of letters arrives from Hogwarts School offering a chance to study wizardry. He is yet to learn that he bears a famous name in that skill, and that the lightning-flash scar on his forehead was the result of a clash with the Most Evil One, Voldemort, in babyhood. Harry goes from deprivation to elevation in true fairytale style, school career benignly supervised by headmaster Dumbledore (Harris), the assistant head (Smith) and the kindly, hulking Keeper of Keys and Grounds, Hagrid (Coltrane), but threatened by sneering contemporary Draco Malfoy (Felton) and malevolent Professor Snape (Rickman). All the boarding school stuff is terrific, and the lessons quick and funny. Harry's pals are Ron Weasley (Grint) and Hermione Granger (Watson), both jumps ahead of the Children's Film Foundation. The game of Quidditch, the most eagerly awaited visualisation from JK Rowling's first book, is as fast as Top Gun, but then becomes incomprehensible. What a feast for children! Long, and engrossing. Kids will love it! Wizard!
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