EFC Classics: Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

Feat. The Original Score by John Williams

“First years, this way please.”

Hello, and welcome to EFC’s: A Harry Halloween. In the previous post I told you the story of how a young, penniless single-mother overcame the odds to craft one of the most popular book series of all time. Each of J.K. Rowling’s 7 novels were subsequently adapted into movies. The first of which, Philosopher’s Stone, hit theaters in November, 2001. That movie is the subject of this present post. Stick around for the Sorting Hat Ceremony at the end to learn your house.

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Philosopher’s Stone is my dad, Eric’s favorite Harry Potter film. That is worth mentioning because, objectively speaking, nobody has better taste in movies than my pops. He knows the classics when he sees them. And, if we are talking about which HP film is the purest ambassador of this series, you might be looking at it.

The Story

Orphaned at birth, 10 year-old, Harry now lives with his cruel Aunt and Uncle, The Dursleys, and their boorish son, Dudley.No Such Thing as magic gif 1

Like Cinderella to her stepsisters, Harry thanklessly waits on his foster family, serving them meals, and cleaning the house. He sleeps in a broom cupboard underneath the staircase so that his cousin, Dudley, can have a second bedroom.

It’s a dull life. However, better fortune awaits this good-natured, unassuming little boy.

Hagrid Crash 1

On the stroke of midnight on his 11th birthday, a giant man named Hagrid crashes like the Kool-aid man through the front door to rescue Harry from his evil foster family, and to show the little tiger his true stripes.

“You’re a wizard, Harry” he says, as Harry stares at him bewildered.

“I’m a what?”

Hagrid informs Harry that he has been accepted to the prestigious, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry, where his Mother and Father attended. The start of term is just days away!


In addition to being the first, and the most faithful to its respective source material, Philosopher’s Stone is also the most joyous film in the Harry Potter series.

Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire, The Goonies (Writer)) follows one cardinal rule: “magic” is that which makes a person smile, and fills the heart with love until it is overflowing. The director allots ample screen time toward celebration of the holidays, and time spent with friends, both inside, and outside of the classroom.

Hermione Granger, an “insufferable know-it-all,” and also “the brightest witch of her age.”

In between learning to caste spells, and riding brooms for the first time, Harry and his new friends, Ron and Hermione explore the castle after hours, play Wizard’s chess, and Quidditch, and attend a colorful Halloween feast in the great hall. Harry and Ron even open gifts together by the fire of their dormitory common room on a whiteout Christmas morning.

Nearly Headless Nick
John Cleese portray’s Nearly Headless Nick, in the spirit of Monty Python.

For me, the most magical element of Philosopher’s Stone, however, is the symphonic musical score, composed by none other than the legendary, John Williams. There is so much feeling in every bar. The chimes inspire wonder, and the strings, hope. The horns triumph, and the woodwinds flutter like the butterflies in the first years’ stomachs as they meet their classmates for the very first time.

Listen below as Harry & his friends arrive at Hogwarts.

I like how, about half-way through the boat ride, the sounds of hope triumph over the initial foreboding sounds of apprehension. I find this music so befitting the house of Gryffindor, who’s members never shy away from a challenge.

Once the first years arrive at the castle, each must be sorted into one of the four Hogwarts Houses – factions of Hogwarts students with similar personality traits, goals, and values.

McGonagall_and_the_Sorting_Hat-2-SSHarry and Friends Gathered 1

Here are the four houses: Which is your house? You can look at the qualities of each house to decide for yourself, or you can take the official Pottermore sorting hat test Here.

4 Houses Better One 1

Thanks for reading! The next stop on this Harry Potter Halloween journey is just around the bend: The Phenomenon of The Defense Against The Dark Arts Teaching Position.Β 

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Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone

Release Date: November 16th, 2001
Rated: PG

Director: Chris Columbus (Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone, Adventures in Babysitting)
Writer: Steve Kloves
Music: John Williams

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Ian Heart, John Cleese, Julie Walters, and John Hurt.

The Inside Out: Joy (36), Sadness (26), Fear (14), Disgust (6), Anger (3)Β 

Joy & Sadness backs togetherFear looking1


19 thoughts on “EFC Classics: Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

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  1. Great review! As I mentioned am not a really big fan of Harry Potter, but I am still looking forward to your posts on them. I’ve seen this film years ago with my parents. I remember liking it, but my parents did not (the exact opposite of your father I guess). It was definitely a bright abd fun film, unlike the sequels that seemed to get darker with each outing. As for your question: I think I’m going with the Hufflepuf house, although being lazy is not really one of the things I usually am lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can appreciate you not being a really big fan of HP. I only am because, growing up, I could not escape this sweeping phenomenon. My mom read the first book to me, and all my schoolmates were always reading the books. And, going to see the movies became a tradition with me and my older sister and parents.

      I think you’d make an excellent Hufflepuff (I am one too). You are uncannily loyal and responsive to your readers, open-minded (e.g., reading posts about Harry Potter even though it isn’t your favorite), kind, enthusiastic, and inclusive of outsiders, welcoming to fledgling anibloggers, etc. As a result of you’re demonstrated leadership, I’d recommend you for Prefect!

      Honey badgers, fear no evil! HOORAW!


    1. I am not surprised, I think you’d fit well in either house. Psst, come over to Hufflepuff though haha πŸ˜‰ From my perspective, you are intelligent, creative and sharp, and CURIOUS! Qualities all associated with Ravenclaw. Moreso, you believe in your individual preferences; you know which sci-fi movies are the best, for example, and are stubborn in your tastes.

      Stubborness lends well to Hufflepuff too, so does your kindness, loyalty, and open-mindedness toward people, art, leading to the discovery of hidden gems in film and music especially. In Hufflepuff, we value hard work, humility, and kindness. We also appreciate the value of chilling TF out once in a while (or regularly). Come to Hufflepuff and we can kick our shoes off, relax, and enjoy some good smoke and fine wine. Our dormitory is right by the Kitchen, after all. πŸ• πŸ‡ πŸ₯ 🍺 πŸ˜‹ Salud!🍷

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They are so young! Haha. And it is a good set up indeed. One of the best things about this series is watching them grow up, and seeing how the themes and tone of every film changes, usually becoming darker. Thanks for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just reading your post had moi humming silently to the wonderful score that you equally mentioned, especially the journey through the sea on the boats was indeed an iconic butterfly of emotions to remember. My favourite of such moments being the entrance to the hall of Hogwarths and seeing their faces light up with excitment at the grand dining room and floating candlelights.

    The sorting hat told me I was to be put in RavenClaw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah but I knew it was you by the way it was writ, Madame. So witty and whimsical. I love it! Ravenclaw fits you so well from my perspective. It amuses me so, examining all the movies you have chosen to write about, how so many remind me of the house of Ravenclaw. You gravitate toward cool noir characters, and dark antiheroes, and movies that, by their intricacies, satisfy your ravenous intellect, and curiosity. I revere the house of Ravenclaw, I certainly do. Thanks for sharing! πŸ¦…πŸ•―πŸŽƒ


  3. The houses always seemed to me to closely resemble the temperaments this way:
    Gryffindor – NF
    Ravenclaw – NT
    Hufflepuff – SJ
    Slytherin – SP

    By the way, have you watched β€˜mother!’? It’d take your Ni on a ride.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have lazily searched for MBTI correlation. I agree there seems to be one. But I think it’s more like this: (I’m not confident though)
      Gryffindor – SJ! / E
      Ravenclaw – NT
      Hufflepuff – NF / FP
      Slytherin – SJ / ST / SP / NT?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. While both Gryffindor and Hufflepuff place a heavy emphasis on helping others (Slytherin and Ravenclaw are more self-serving), Gryffindor values are more abstract and big-picture than the more concrete Hufflepuff values (e.g. courage & determination vs. hard work & fair play). Hufflepuffs seem to help in more tangible and practical ways whereas Gryffindors stand up and fight for what they feel is right and just for the worldβ€”a much broader scale.

        FPs can get sorted into Hufflepuff as well, and Gryffindor seems to be the most all-encompassing and all-accepting in that most everyone and every type can see themselves in or be sorted here, while Ravenclaw seems to be the most elitistβ€”it’s very 5-like, though a smattering of NFs and type 3 SJs/SPs could be found there as well.

        As for Slytherin, since it values cunning, it is definitely not SJ. Because they typically partake in pranks, they come across SP to me, particularly STP. But as it also values ambition and resourcefulness, I can see type 3s, 7s, and NTs here as well, especially the ENTP trolls.

        What do you think?


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