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Image copyright: see contents page of each issue. All other material © Visual Imagination Ltd 1998 - 2002
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Feature: Harry Potter DVD

Harry Potter & the Disc of Delights

Draco Malfoy lights the way for Harry

We light the way for the first extras-packed Harry Potter DVD, materializing in May

Records for DVD sales are broken with alarming regularity; The Matrix, Gladiator, Shrek, The Mummy Returns and The Phantom Menace have all enjoyed their own brief spell as the best selling title so far. All this looks set to change, however, when the biggest cinema hit of 2001 comes to DVD in May. And take a look at these extras:

  • Disc One - The Feature in 2.35:1
  • Anamorphic Transfer or 1.33:1 (depending on edition) with DD5.1 sound.
  • Disc Two - Interviews with director Chris Columbus and producer David Heyman
  • 360-degree Self-Guided Tour of Hogwarts
  • Learn How To Play Quidditch montage
  • Catch a Snitch, Have a Wand, Create Potions and Sneak Past Fluffy games
  • Meet The Ghosts of Hogwarts Featurette
  • Harry Potter Throughout the World Featurettes
  • DVD-ROM content including:
  • Be Sorted By the Sorting Hat, Wizard card trading game and Screensavers
  • Your own Rememberall, a Harry Potter e-mail address, Game demos and more
  • The DVD will be reviewed in issue #30

The credentials of the first Harry Potter movie are more than impressive: a big budget adaptation of JK Rowling's literary phenomenon, it's taken a stunning $316 million to date at the US box office, and remained in theatres for months. Then there's the cast: a roster of names that puts Merchant Ivory to shame… plus three unknowns who look destined to become the most famous children in the world.

Interviewing hundreds of potential Harrys had wielded no positive results, until the casting director discovered the perfect candidate on a tape of a BBC adaptation of David Copperfield: 11-year-old Daniel Radcliffe. Perhaps wisely, the boy's parents were less than enthusiastic about their son assuming a role that would change his life.

"I've auditioned for things before and I always get my hopes up really high," says Radcliffe. "They knew there were thousands of boys auditioning, and it was pretty unlikely I would get it, so they didn't want me to be upset about it." Their concerns, however, were unfounded. "I was in the bath and my dad came up after talking to the producer and he said they wanted me to play Harry Potter," admits Radcliffe. "I just cried."

The search was then on for Harry's closest friends: ginger-haired Ron Weasley and snooty Hermione Granger. The roles eventually went to Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. Prior to Harry Potter, Watson had only appeared in school plays. Two years on, with a sequel underway, Watson seems to have taken it all in her stride. "It was the scariest thing that's ever happened to me, it's the biggest thing that has ever happened to me, and it's the best thing that has ever happened to me," enthuses the 11-year-old Watson. "I really enjoyed making the film."

Ask these young performers to consider the highlights of making the film, and they invariably settle upon the more complex special effects sequences. "It was very surreal playing Quidditch [a kind airborne combination of hockey and football]," says Radcliffe, giving that trademark grin, "because [in the book] you see it in your mind so clearly, and then you see it in the film and it's just the same. We went so fast on those broomsticks – we were very high."

"I did my own stunts in the Troll scene," boasts Watson. "In one of them I had to climb under the cubicles and I actually measured it – 30 cm. I might as well have joined the army. I think that day I swallowed 50 per cent dust and 50 per cent food. It was great fun though."

by Brian Barratt

Read the full feature in this issue:
Ultimate DVD #29

© Warner Brothers
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Ultimate DVD #29, see below for ordering options
Ultimate DVD #29
May (Spy Game) 2002
ships from Apr 11 2002
News-stand Price

UK £3.99 / US $7.99

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