Cover image for Discovering the real world of Harry Potter
Discovering the real world of Harry Potter
Laurie, Hugh, 1959-
Publication Information:
[United States] : Questar Video, [2001?]
Physical Description:
1 videocassette (48 min.) : sound, color ; 1/2 in.
Explore the myths and legends that inhabit the world of Harry Potter; learn about witches and wizards, Greek gods, the Celts, ghosts, magical creatures and ancient spells. Discover where a school like Hogwarts is located, what lies beneath Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross Station, what ancient civilization had a 3-headed dog like Fluffy, what are the real origins of the Philosopher's Stone, and what links Harry Potter to the journeys made by King Arthur and Odysseus.
General Note:
Originally produced for public television broadcast.

Inspired by the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling.
Reading Level:
MPAA rating: Not rated.
Added Author:
Added Corporate Author:
Format :
Video Cassette


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6068.O93 Z63 2001V Adult VHS Cassette Central Library

On Order



Receiving high ratings on American Public Television, this critically acclaimed documentary (produced by Atlantic Productions, London) explores the inspiration behind the popular book and film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, and includes an interview with author J.K. Rowling.


Explore the myths and legends that inhabit the real world of Harry Potter. Follow along as you are offered insights to witches, wizards, Greek Gods, Ancient Celts, ghosts, magical creatures, alchemy, and ancient spells.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

With the Harry Potter craze in full tilt, offshoots of the enormously successful books and first film have created a huge demand for everything Harry. Unauthorized by author J.K. Rowling, this documentary, which runs a slow 48 minutes, offers its audience an interesting and informative perspective on the world of Harry Potter. Although severely overdramatized, the film does offer revelations on the mythology of many of the book's characters and on the actual castle that inspired Hogwarts. Several of the "experts" interviewed seem less then credible, especially the "white witch" who demonstrates Harry and his Hogwarts buddies' improper broom use. But apart from its mildly ridiculous bits, the video presents lots of information, including an exterior tour of the house where Rowling grew up and an interview with her childhood inspiration for the books. Additionally, there is a history of real-life alchemist Nicholas Flamel, who played an intricate role in The Sorcerer's Stone (here referred to by its original British title, The Philosopher's Stone). The video gives its audience a fresh look at the genial Mr. Potter's literary heritage. Even jaded adults will overlook the kitschy dramatizations and gain info on everyone's favorite wizard in training. Essential for strong Harry Potter collections.-Rachel Collins, "Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5 Up-Did you know that Nicholas Flamel was a real person, or that Privet Drive is based on J. K. Rowling's own childhood neighborhood? These interesting facts are divulged here, as well as many other coincidental connections. British actor, Hugh Laurie, narrates the documentary that gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at Rowling's popular first book. Although primarily conjecture, the tidbits of information offer avid fans a chance to explore the myths and legends underlying Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Scholastic, 1998). The exploration takes viewers to the oldest house in Paris to visit with a scholar of Nicholas Flamel, an ancient alchemist, to Sussex to chat with a white witch who explains the correct way to fly a broomstick, and to Scotland to visit the boarding school that is believed to be the basis for Hogwarts. Through brief conversations with Rowling and authors Lindsey Fraser (Conversations with J.K. Rowling, Scholastic, 2001) and David Colbert (Magical Worlds of Harry Potter, Lumina Press, 2001), the legends and myths behind the books are carefully examined and discussed. Though a well-paced plot, beautiful scenery, and interesting dialogue make this documentary worth watching, it may disappoint fans who can't get enough of Harry Potter when they discover that it is more about the legends than their favorite hero.-Sarah Prielipp, Chippewa River District Library, Mt. Pleasant, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.