Apples and Oranges
So last night I was talking with a couple of my students about “Lord of the Rings” and one of them asked if it was better than “Harry Potter.”
This lead to an interesting discussion about the differences between the films. I argued (as several of my friends have, and as several film critics damn well ought to but haven’t) that you can’t really compare them. Consider:
|“Harry Potter||“Lord of the Rings”|
|…is based on a book primarily read by young adults with few if any dark undertones.
…revolves around a young boy
…Involves wave-your-wand-and-say-the-magic-word spells.
…is set in the present day, in our world (with some additions)
…revolves almost entirely around human characters (wizard or muggle).
…is essentially a movie for kids.
|…is based on a book primarily read by teens and above with very dark undertones.
…revolves around a group of adults, the casting of youthful Elijah Wood notwithstanding. Frodo is supposed to be all grown up.
…involves complicated and involved spellwork and no wands.
…is set in Middle-Earth, which may or may not be meant to be ancient Earth.
…revolves almost entirely around hobbits, who are not human. Of the nine in the Fellowship, there are two humans.
I’ve probably missed some, but you see what I mean.
It’s apples and oranges. Both are very good, although “Harry Potter” stuck closer to the book.