I had a lot of thoughts about this film, and I thought I'd do a little list of the pros and cons of the adaptation (just in case anyone else has been wary about watching it).
Not just the casting of the main characters, because I feel everyone agrees that those are spot on at this point! I was very impressed with the casting of Professor Quirrell and Oliver Wood in particular - I'm just hoping that in the future installments we get to see more of the three female Quidditch players: Angelina, Katie and Alicia.
It's gorgeous, and they use the space so well!
Dudley in the snake enclosure:
Need I say more?
The first half of the film was so true to the book, with hardly anything getting cut out, which I thought was brilliant. I particularly loved the way they handled this scene, with Hagrid breaking the door down just after midnight on Harry's 11th birthday.
"They've only got one good jump in 'em to begin with".
Again, this speaks for itself.
I was SO DISAPPOINTED that this quote wasn't in the book!
Why does he have an iguana? What does it have to do with Defence Against the Dark Arts? This is the most out of context moment of the film, and I WANT TO KNOW MORE!
I find it very hard to visualise Quidditch when I'm reading it, because it's so fast and impossible to follow. I enjoyed Harry's first Quidditch game much more on the screen.
I adored the dog who was portraying Fang - LOOK AT HIS FACE, ISN'T HE SO PRECIOUS - while Fluffy was the best thing about the film.
No robe fittings:
The scene in the book where Harry first meets Draco Malfoy is one of my favourite moments, so I was disappointed to see that cut - it would only have taken a minute at most!
The Sorting Hat:
In the books, the Sorting Hat seems so happy! He sings his song, introducing all of the houses - rather than there just being a focus on Slytherin and Gryffindor - and he seems overjoyed to sort all of the children into their houses. The film Sorting Hat just kind of scares me... He's so menacing!
Severe Lack of Neville:
Yes, we still had Neville getting knocked off of his broomstick, but he doesn't go to detention with Harry and Hermione - he gets replaced with Ron. This means it doesn't really make sense when he threatens to fight Harry later in the film... Would he really be that defensive just because Gryffindor lost a few points?
Draco's one-liners are just horrible and mean in the film: they don't carry the same sass and humour that they do in the books.
Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback:
Nobert's a much bigger deal in the books than he is in the film. I think it should be the other way around: he's a DRAGON, for Christ's sake!
No potion puzzle:
I know, it would have taken too long to explain it and Hermione saved the day with the Devil's Snare instead, but I liked this logical puzzle in the books and it would have been nice to see it solved on screen.
So, with a ratio of 11:6, you can clearly see that I enjoyed this adaptation much more than I disliked it. The things I've picked up on that I was unhappy about are also really minuscule: most people probably don't even remember the robe fitting scene, it's just because I've read the book so recently that those magical moments are still at the forefront of my mind.
I'm already working on the second film - 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets' - as I finished the second book in the series yesterday: look out for my thoughts on that one coming soon!