The second instalment is my least favourite of the series, but I don’t know why people always harp on Columbus for the first film of the series. For me, it encapsulates all that juvenile enchantment that you’d hope for.
Professor Dumbledore: “I should have known that you would be here, McGonagall”This transformation is my favourite part of the opening. It’s a bit overwrought but it’s so in keeping with the first book of the series, we’re now coming to terms with the magic and whatnot so the build-up works incredibly.
Professor McGonagall: “Good evening, Professor Dumbledore.”And with that we have our first look at Maggie Smith. Regardless of other points of longevity, the Harry Potter series will go down in history for the expansive cast of actors. With the exception of Helen Mirren and Judi Dench, it’s as if any Briton who’s anybody has been in it. And, sure, Maggie can probably do all this in her sleep, but she's never NOT brilliant.
Professor McGonagall: “Are the rumours true, Albus?”
Professor Dumbledore: “I’m afraid so; the good and the bad.”
Professor McGonagall: “And, the boy?”
Professor Dumbledore: “Hagrid is bringing him.”
Professor McGonagall: “Do you think it wise...to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?”
Professor Dumbledore: “Ah, professor. I would trust Hagrid with my life.”I sort of love how unsubtle J.K. us with all the seeds planted in this first series. Dumbedlore's trust - check, Professor McGonagall's shrewdness - check, misguided hopes that Harry would be happy in Privet Drive - check...and so on. Fine, it's not grade A literature, and perhaps that's why the films aren't exactly grade A films, but they make me full of whimsy from time to time.
Hagrid: “Professor Dumbledore, sir. Professor McGonagall.”
Professor Dumbledore: “No problems, I trust, Hagrid?”
Hagrid: “No, sir. The little tyke fell asleep just as we were flying over Bristol.”
Hagrid: “I tried not to wake him.”
Hagrid: “There you go.”
Professor McGonagall: “Albus, do you really think it safe leaving him with these people? I’ve watched them all day. They’re the worse sort of Muggles imaginable.”I love how Maggie says that line. And the Dursley's really are atrocious. Who can contest that fact?
Professor McGonagall: “They really are–”
Professor Dumbledore: “- the only family he has.”
Professor McGonagall: “This boy will be famous. There won’t be a child in our world who wouldn’t know his name”
Professor Dumbledore: “Exactly. He’s far better growing up from all of that.”I do find that cut to Hagrid strange. I always remember Hagrid forging that deep bond with Harry until he was grown, so it does seem strange that he’s so broken up over giving him up to the Dursley’s. Of course, with all the things going on at the time – Lily and James’ death, especially – his sadness does make sense.
Professor Dumbledore: “..until he is ready.”That second shot there is another nice moment in the opening.
Professor Dumbledore: “There, there Hagrid. It’s not really goodbye after all.”With the end of the series upon that line takes on such a deeper profundity.
Professor Dumbledore: “Good luck, Harry Potter.”
This is incredibly random, but I wonder where that child is - he's probably about eleven/twelve now.