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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Magic Never Fades

Written by Jon Williams

Recently, the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened at the Palace Theatre in London’s West End to rave reviews. Written by veteran playwright Jack Thorne based on a story idea he developed with director John Tiffany as well as Harry Potter creator and author J.K. Rowling, the play continues Harry’s story starting from the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which sees Harry sending his son Albus to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the first time. The plot then follows young Albus as he struggles to forge his own identity in the wake of his father’s heroic legacy.

Published in book form, the play’s script has already sold well over three million copies, fanning the flames of a Potter fever that never went entirely dormant. However, if you didn’t already have copies of the movies on your shelves, you (and your patrons) have been out of luck for quite some time. Until now, that is! Starting today, all eight Harry Potter movies are available for pre-order in a 2-disc Special Edition format on both DVD and Blu-ray. These new editions will release on October 4, just in time for the lead-up to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the spin-off movie coming to theaters on November 18.

As hard as it may be to believe, the Harry Potter craze has been ongoing for nearly twenty years. It was June of 1997 when the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was published in the U.K. It came to the U.S. over a year later, in September of 1998, as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The next two books, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban, were both published in the U.S. in 1999. With the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which came out in July of 2000, the publication schedule was finally standardized internationally. From there, it was three years until the next book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, came in 2005. The events of that novel whipped fans into a frenzy, which paid off when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out in 2007, one of the biggest publishing events of all time.

It was after Goblet of Fire, with the books’ plots growing in complexity and length to match the increasing maturity of their protagonists and readers, that the time in between their publication increased. However, this is also when the movie series began. In 2001, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released into theaters, starring Daniel Radcliffe in the title role, with Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as his faithful friends, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. That film, along with the second, was directed by Chris Columbus; he stepped down for the third film in favor of Alfonso Cuaron. Mike Newell took over for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and then David Yates stepped in to direct the final four films: Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows, which was split into two installments in order to maintain all the action and drama of the final book.

It’s at the end of that book that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child picks up, carrying the story into a new generation of witches and wizards as it adds to the lore for a new generation of fans. Make sure you have all the magic on your shelves for patrons who can’t get enough of all things Potter. You can use the links above to find the audiobooks and new Special Edition DVDs and Blu-rays, and don’t forget to SmartBrowse ‘Harry Potter’ on our website to find the movie scores and a wealth of other supplemental material.

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