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The Opening Scenes of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Powerful Essays
The Opening Scenes of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

In recent years the fantasy genre has undergone a huge revival.

Whereas it was once reserved for children's books of fairy tales,

fantasy in both literature and film alike is increasingly becoming a

more mainstream genre, enjoyed by people of all kinds.

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Fantasy films are probably the most frequently stereotyped genre of

all. They tend to involve things such as Dark Lords, magicians, quests

and otherworldly creatures. But only when all these are believably

portrayed are they interesting films. Fantasy films that have failed

badly because of this (in my opinion) include 'Labyrinth' and

'Willow'.

High profile fantasy films released in recent years include the 'Harry

Potter' series and 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Both were based on

sets of books, which were first released as films at around the same

time- December 2001. People are forever comparing the stories, and the

two groups of fans can be impressively passionate as they argue their

cases. But which film is truly superior?

The 'Harry Potter' books are credited with saving the genre and

introducing it to a wider audience, with their accessible storylines

and language. However, The 'The Lord of the Rings' is widely believed

to be the grandfather of all modern fantasy novels, despite earlier

efforts, foremost those of William Morris (of wallpaper fame) and Lord

Dunsany. Before the publication of the trilogy, in the 1950s, fantasy

writing rarely reached publication.

Traditional sett...

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characters introduced in the opening of 'Harry Potter' (Dumbledore,

McGonagall and Hagrid) are incredibly nice. However sometimes film

openings are too sweet, almost saccharine. 'Harry Potter' barely

escapes becoming one of these films. But escape it does, and the end

result is a cute, tasteful opening, suitable for children, certainly,

but enjoyable for adults too. I suppose there are some darker

elements, but in the end, the 'Lord of the Rings' narrator's 'darkness

crept back into the forests of the world' sequence won it for me.

In short I have, after much deliberation, chosen 'Lord of the Rings'

as an opening with more impact because (in my opinion at least) films

need tension and suspense in order to draw the viewer in. 'Harry

Potter' had a lovely opening, but it was just a little too dull for

some tastes.
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