Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Film information

Alfonso Cuarón

Music by

Warner Bros.

Release date(s)
  • UK: PG
  • US: PG
Running time

144 minutes


$130 million

Gross Revenue


Preceded by

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Followed by

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

"Everything Will Change"
—Official tagline

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is a fantasy film based on the third novel by J. K. Rowling. It is the third movie in the Harry Potter film series. It was directed by Alfonso Cuarón and produced by David Heyman, Chris Columbus, the director of the first two films and Mark Radcliffe. It was the first film to be using IMAX Technology only on IMAX Cinemas. It was also the first film to take the franchise a darker turn. And it was also the first film to have comedy as genre{?} as it was the 'most humourous of Harry Potter series'. It includes the basic plot of the book; however, the story centres around the difficulties of becoming an adolescent.


The TrioEdit

Hogwarts staffEdit

Other Hogwarts denizensEdit

Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters and followersEdit

Hogwarts studentsEdit





Unknown HouseEdit

Ministry of MagicEdit

Wizarding World-relatedEdit

Ghosts, spectres, photos or flashback performancesEdit


Magic creaturesEdit



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Harry Potter is spending his summer at the Dursleys' house. Uncle Vernon's sister Marge arrives for a visit and at dinnertime, she viciously insults Harry and his parents. Harry's anger and unconscious magical powers cause her to inflate and float away. Expecting to have been expelled from Hogwarts for using magic outside of school, Harry flees. After seeing a large black dog, the Knight Bus appears and takes Harry to the Leaky Cauldron. There, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge tells Harry he will not be expelled. Harry learns that Sirius Black, who is said to be a supporter of Lord Voldemort, has escaped from Azkaban. The next day, Harry comes out of his room and finds a cat chasing a rat. Harry goes into the pub and is reunited with his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (the rat being Ron's pet rat, Scabbers and the cat is Hermione's new pet cat, Crookshanks). He is also informed by Arthur Weasley that Black will likely come after him.

Harry, Ron and Hermione journey to Hogwarts; they are now entering their third year. On the train they share a compartment with their new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Remus Lupin, who is sleeping when they enter the compartment. Abruptly, the Hogwarts Express is stopped and a Dementor boards, searching for Black. The creature has a profound effect on Harry, causing him to faint. Lupin awakens and repels the Dementor. At school, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore informs the Hogwarts students that because Black has escaped, Dementors have been set up around the school as a protection. The trio also begins a new class, Divination taught by Sybill Trelawney. When they read their tea leaves, Trelawney tells Harry she sees that Harry has the Grim. In addition to Lupin's appointment, Hagrid is announced as the new Care of Magical Creatures teacher. As lessons begin, Hermione frequently arrives at their various classes by appearing out of nowhere. Lupin's lessons prove enjoyable, as he teaches useful spells and helps less confident students like Neville Longbottom. However Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class does not go as planned, and on the first day, Draco Malfoy deliberately provokes the Hippogriff Buckbeak into attacking him. His father, Lucius Malfoy successfully has Buckbeak sentenced to death. Later, third year students are allowed to go to Hogsmeade, but since Harry's uncle Vernon did not sign his letter of permission, he cannot go, so he stays talking with Lupin on the Wooden Bridge, who says that he knew Harry's parents, and they were two great individuals.


Returning to the Gryffindor Tower, they find the Fat Lady's portrait empty, having been attacked. Dumbledore and the school Caretaker Argus Filch find the Fat Lady in another portrait, completely scared. She says that Sirius Black has entered the castle, and wanted to enter Gryffindor Tower. Dumbledore sends all the students to sleep in the Great Hall, in which Professor Snape says to Dumbledore that the appointment of a teacher may had been dangerous. Dumbledore denies this, though both think that Harry may be in danger. Later, in a Defence Against the Dark Arts class, Snape substitutes for Lupin, saying that he's "incapable of teaching". He teaches them about werewolves and animagi. An Animagus is a human who can turn into another animal and back into human when they choose. They can turn into only one animal.

During a Quidditch match, several Dementors approach Harry, causing him to fall off his broomstick; Dumbledore slows his descent. Harry wakes up to find out that his broomstick flew into the Whomping Willow and got torn apart. Harry then decides to learn how to fight the Dementors. Lupin says he will teach him, but after the holidays, since he isn't feeling well. Near Christmas, Harry attempts to sneak to Hogsmeade without permission, but is caught by Fred and George Weasley, who give him the Marauder's Map so that he can enter the village through a secret passage. At Hogsmeade, Harry overhears that Sirius Black was his godfather and his parents' best friend. Black is said to have divulged the Potters' secret whereabouts to Voldemort and murdered their mutual friend Peter Pettigrew. Harry says to his friends that is looking forward to Black finding him so that he can kill him.

The holidays pass, and Lupin teaches Harry the spell to conjure a Patronus, a 'shield' or 'force' that can repel a Dementor. A Patronus is the opposite of a Dementor which breeds on unhappy thoughts and bad memories. The happier the thought used to cast the spell, the more powerful the Patronus. After a couple tries, Harry manages to create a Patronus. One night, Harry is using the Marauder's Map, and he sees Pettigrew's name. Going where he's supposed to be, he sees no one, but is caught by Snape. Lupin appears and sees the map, he then gets Harry away. In his classroom, he says to Harry that is very irresponsible of him to wander around with the map. Before leaving, Harry says that the map may not be working properly - he has seen Pettigrew's name on it, despite the fact that he's supposed to be dead. Lupin says that it's not possible, and stays looking at the map, quietly.

In Divination class, after everyone's gone, Professor Trelawney enters into a trance while Harry's there and predicts that the Dark Lord's servant will return to his master that night. Harry, Ron and Hermione visit Hagrid to console him over Buckbeak's impending execution. While there, Hagrid gives Ron his rat, Scabbers, who had disappeared earlier in the year, and whom Ron had believed to be dead. While the trio is chasing Scabbers, a large, black dog drags both Ron and and the rat into a hole at the base of the Whomping Willow. Harry and Hermione follow, finding a tunnel leading to the Shrieking Shack. The dog is revealed to be Sirius Black, who is an Animagus.

Lupin arrives as well and embraces Sirius as an old friend. After being confronted by Hermione, Lupin admits to being a werewolf. Snape appears, planning to catch Black and Lupin and hand them over to the Dementors, but is knocked out by Harry. Lupin and Black explain that Scabbers is actually Peter Pettigrew in his Animagus form. Everything that Black is accused was actually Pettigrew and the pair force Pettigrew back into his human form. Lupin and Sirius prepare to kill Pettigrew but are stopped by Harry, who tells them that it was not what James would have wanted. As the group head back to the castle the full moon rises, causing Lupin to transform and Pettigrew to escape. Lupin and Sirius fight in their animal forms, until Lupin is distracted and runs away after hearing the sound of a female werewolf howl (sounding like Hermione's voice), and Sirius and Harry are attacked by Dementors. As Sirius is Kissed and his soul is hanging out of his mouth, Dementors close in on him and Harry, who are ready to take Sirius's soul and Kiss Harry as well, Harry sees a figure in the distance cast a powerful stag-shaped Patronus, scattering the Dementors and saving their lives. Harry soon falls unconscious like Sirius and both are motionless.


Harry wakes in the hospital wing and Hermione tells Harry that the Dementors were going to Kiss Sirius and Dumbledore arrives, telling them where to find Sirius. Hermione reveals that she possesses a Time-Turner, which is how she has been taking multiple classes at once. She and Harry travel back in time three hours, watching themselves go through the night's events. They set Buckbeak free and return to the Whomping Willow. They are pursued by Lupin in his werewolf form, but they manage to get away from him by hiding behind a tree, but Lupin finds Harry and Hermione by taking another path and walks up behind them. As he charges towards them to attack them, Hermione is scared with Harry protecting her; but Buckbeak comes to the rescue and fights Lupin while Harry and Hermione look on with the former holding onto the latter. Hermione is scared by the attack as she hides her face in Harry's chest with Harry hugging her after Buckbeak turns to look at them. It suddenly becomes windy and cold at their feet and they see the Dementors flying above their heads and they soon rush over to the lake. As the Dementors are about to attack the "other" Harry and Sirius, Harry realises that the person he saw was actually him and casts the Patronus. Harry and Hermione rescue a captured Sirius and give him Buckbeak to escape on, as time equals out again. At the end of the year, Lupin resigns, knowing that people will not want a werewolf to teach their children. Later, Sirius sends Harry a Firebolt, an extremely fast racing broom.

Differences between novel and filmEdit

1. Owl PostEdit

  • The film starts with Harry performing the "Lumos Maxima" Spell, well aware of the Restrictions of Underage Wizards and did not receive any warnings; every time he does it, Uncle Vernon would come to see what was happening and Harry would hide under the covers. In the book, Harry uses a simple torch. Lumos Maxima is later used in the sixth film.
  • The film does not start out with Harry receiving birthday presents from his friends and Harry does not find out about the Weasley's visit to Egypt until he gets to the Leaky Cauldron.
  • The film also does not mention about Ron receiving a new wand to replace his old broken one. However, Ron actually does have a new wand, since there is no spello-tape on his wand and no malfunctions happen.

2. Aunt Marge's Big MistakeEdit

  • In the book, at the dinner party, Aunt Marge allows Ripper to drink tea off of a saucer. In the film, she allows him a drink of brandy from her glass.
  • In the book, Aunt Marge stays for a couple of nights before she gets blown up. The film makes it seem she blows up the same day she visits.
  • In the book, Harry sat at the table with Aunt Marge and the Dursleys, but in the film, he is just busy at the kitchen counter serving the Dursleys and Aunt Marge.
  • Also in the book, Marge only floats up to the ceiling, while in the film she uncontrollably floats out of the house, later to be found circling a chimney in Sheffield.

3. The Knight BusEdit

  • In the book, Harry pretends to be Neville Longbottom while on the Knight Bus, running from the Ministry of Magic. In the film, Harry doesn't pretend to be Neville; however, his identity is still kept secret.
  • The film makers added Shrunken Heads that have the ability to talk, probably to add humour. So far these creatures have been unique to this film only. In an interview on the DVD release, J.K. Rowling said the addition of the shrunken heads had her full support, and she only wished she'd thought of them herself.
  • Harry asking Cornelius Fudge to sign his Hogsmeade permission slip is omitted.
  • In the book, Harry still has only two weeks of vacation remaining left before returning to Hogwarts, following the incident of blowing up Aunt Marge as mentioned by Cornelius Fudge; But in the film, Harry returns to Hogwarts the next day after having arrived at the Leaky Cauldron, thus omitting the number of other days Harry stays at the Leaky Cauldron. This change also signifies that Aunt Marge's visit in the novel began on July 31st (Harry's birthday) and in the film instead started on August 31st.
  • In the book, Harry reunites with Hedwig in his room at the Leaky Cauldron with Tom telling Harry that Hedwig arrived five minutes after he did and after Harry's talking with Fudge; But in the film, Harry reunites with Hedwig in the room where Fudge speaks to Harry with Tom telling Harry that Hedwig arrived five minutes before Harry did and before Harry's talk with Fudge begins.

4. The Leaky CauldronEdit

  • Harry touring Diagon Alley and shopping for school supplies is omitted. This is due to Fudge saying in the film that Harry will be returning to Hogwarts tomorrow; Also, in the film, Fudge took the liberty of having brought Harry his new school books to him. The omission of the tour also omits Harry meeting his schoolmates Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas at Quality Quidditch Supplies.
  • In the book, Harry reunites with Ron and Hermione days later at Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour, but in the film, Harry reunites with Ron and Hermione in the Leaky Cauldron lounge where he sees them from a staircase, descends down the stairs and they see him.
  • In the book, Hermione purchases her cat Crookshanks from the Magical Menagerie with Ron and Harry. In the film, Hermione already has Crookshanks by the time Harry is reunited with her and Ron in The Leaky Cauldron.

5. The DementorEdit

  • During the Dementor's attack in the book, Ginny and Neville were in the same compartment with Harry, Ron and Hermione. In the film, neither visit the trio.
  • The Hogwarts choir doesn't exist in the book and the director only added it for the film.
  • The Sorting Ceremony is omitted from the film along with the scenes of McGonagall calling away Harry and Hermione prior to the start of the ceremony to have Madam Pomfrey examine Harry after his experience with the Dementors on the Hogwarts Express, and also for McGonagall to give Hermione the Time-Turner in secret causing both of them to miss the ceremony.

6. Talons and Tea LeavesEdit

  • Professor McGonagall's Transfiguration class is omitted.
  • When the Gryffindors and Slytherins go to their first Care of Magical Creatures lesson in the book there are many Hippogriffs, but in the film it is only Buckbeak.
  • The film has scenes that suggest a growing romance between Ron and Hermione. During their first Care of Magical Creatures class, Hermione grasps Ron's hand when Harry goes up to Buckbeak, which surprises him. Later on in Hogsmeade, they stare at the Shrieking Shack with Ron confusing Hermione's dialogue when she spoke of "getting closer" to the Shack. Then after Buckbeak's apparent execution, Hermione starts crying and hugs Ron.
  • When Harry rides on Buckbeak in the film, they fly all the way to the Hogwarts lake; in the book, they fly only once around the paddock in the Forbidden Forest.
  • In the book, Harry doesn't quite enjoy his first ride on Buckbeak, and it's made clear between hippogriffs and broomsticks which one he prefers. But in the film, during his first ride on Buckbeak, Harry is fascinated by the ride and enjoying it a lot as they fly over the Black Lake, raising his arms and shouting in triumph. The film portrayal also depicts a much longer ride, with Buckbeak achieving a sort of smooth, idyllic glide not described in the novel.
  • In the novel, Malfoy is bleeding from his arm after Buckbeak attacks him which falls on the grass. In the film, Malfoy is not bleeding and only a piece of white from Buckbeak's scratch can be seen, although it's probably just Malfoy's shirt as it seems Buckbeak slashed his robe sleeve open.
  • The part of Bem was created solely for the film, he explains to Seamus Finnigan what the Grim is and also expresses his concern over the Dementors effectiveness at catching Sirius.

7. The Boggart in the WardrobeEdit

  • Professor Snape's Potions class where the students learn to make a Shrinking Solution following Malfoy's injury caused by Buckbeak, and before Lupin's Defense Against the Dark Arts class is omitted.
  • In the book, Harry, Ron and Hermione make their way to Defense Against the Dark Arts class, when Hermione disappears but then reappears a few feet behind them. In the film, Harry and Ron are already in the classroom when Hermione appears during the lesson.
  • In the book, the Boggart which had transformed into a spider to scare Ron, loses its legs when Ron casts the spell on it and rolls over to Harry, where Lupin prevents it from transforming, while in the film roller blades appeared on the spider's legs, after which another student faced it, and it transformed into a massive serpent, but was again countered, after which it was faced by Harry, upon which it transformed into a Dementor, upon which Lupin stopped it and sealed it back into the cupboard.

8. Flight of the Fat LadyEdit

  • While the book has Peeves describe Sirius Black's attack on the Fat Lady's portrait after learning about this from her when he saw her in a portrait on the fourth floor, in the film it was the Fat Lady herself that described the attack from a nearby portrait.
  • In the book, while Harry cannot go to Hogsmeade and stays with Lupin, they spend their time in his office and Harry sees a Grindylow which Lupin was taking delivery of for their next lesson, while in the film, they are talking on the Wooden Bridge. This difference creates a continuity error in the seventh film when Lupin interrogates Harry after the Battle of the Seven Potters holding his wand to Harry's face and asking him 'what creature sat in the corner the first time Harry Potter visited my office in Hogwarts.'

9. Grim DefeatEdit

  • Sir Cadogan's part is mostly omitted except briefly when Ginny says the Fat Lady's gone. His role of replacing the Fat Lady as Gryffindor's portrait is only shown as a deleted scene.
  • In the novel, when Snape substitutes for Lupin in Defence Against the Dark Arts, Harry is 10 minutes late and Snape takes 10 points then another 5 when Harry is told to sit down, but continuously asks where Lupin is. Hermione then says that they had done Boggarts, Red Caps, Kappas and Grindylows and that they're about to start something else before being cut off by Snape and a moment later when he announces that they will start a lesson about werewolves, but Hermione tells him that they are not meant to start that topic yet and that they're due to start Hinkypunks. Snape then asks the class who can tell him how to distinguish between the werewolf and the true wolf, Snape immediately criticizes Hermione and deducts an extra 5 points from Gryffindor then Ron shouts at Snape for taking points when Hermione knows the answer and he gives Ron detention. In the film, this is all different in some ways and this scene also has a few moments that did not occur in the book:
    • Harry is already in class before Snape enters, so Harry is not at all late. This also omits Snape taking the first 15 points from Gryffindor. However, Harry asks only once in the film where Lupin is and Snape replies "That's not really your concern, is it, Potter? Suffice it to say that your professor finds himself incapable of teaching at the present time."
    • Hermione tells Snape that they had just began learning about Red Caps and Hinkypunks and are not meant to start werewolves for weeks before Snape tells her to be quiet. Also, Hermione learns Snape will be teaching werewolves after he does an action that does not happen in the book: He sees Ron turning his pages one-by-one before Snape makes a movement with his wand and the book turns to page 394 (as Snape requested) and Ron says "Werewolves"?.
    • Another thing that occurs in this scene that didn't happen in the book is the class having a projector which is why Snape, when he enters, magically closes all the windows shut.
    • Snape asks the class who can tell him the difference between an Animagus and a werewolf.
    • Ron remains quiet and calm and does not get detention when Snape takes 5 points from Gryffindor when accusing Hermione of being an insufferable know-it-all.
  • Like in the previous films the majority of the Quidditch season was cut out, aside from the first match, leaving the Gryffindor-Hufflepuff match the only match in the film.
  • In the book the rain during the Hufflepuff Quidditch match makes it difficult for Harry to see until Hermione casts Impervius on his glasses, In the film, the Quidditch players wear goggles.
  • Also in the book, Harry falls off his broom and Cedric catches the Snitch. In the film, he is struck by lightning and Harry falls off his broom, leaving the Snitch apparently uncaught. Also in the film, Katie Bell crashes after her broom catches fire which never occurred in the book.
  • In the book, Harry sees the Grim in the Stands watching him. Whereas in the film, Harry flies high into the sky, and instead sees a cloud shaped like the Grim. In the game Harry sees it in the stands like in the book.

10. The Marauder's MapEdit

  • The origins of the Marauder's Map are not revealed in the film. The whole storyline of the Marauders is left out, including that James was an Animagus that transformed into a stag. However, in the film Harry still makes the connection between the stag and his dad. Potential continuity errors are avoided in later films when Voldemort refers to Pettigrew as "Wormtail" in the dream Harry witnesses (in Goblet of Fire) and "Mad-Eye" Moody refers to Sirius as "Padfoot" in front of Harry (in Order of the Phoenix), which allows for Harry to know their nicknames. In the film Sirius shows knowledge of the map stating that the map never lies.
  • In the film, Harry's two visits to Hogsmeade are combined into a single trip.
  • In the book Ron and Hermione were with Harry when he eavesdropped on Fudge's conversation with a few of Hogwarts staff (Hagrid, McGonagall, Flitwick, as well as Madam Rosmerta) in the Three Broomsticks Inn about Sirius Black and his connection with James Potter. In the film Harry was alone as the Inn forbade under-age wizards from entering the pub that day. Also in the film Harry snuck in using his Invisibility Cloak, while in the book he hid underneath Ron and Hermione's table as he did not bring the cloak during his first visit to Hogsmeade.
  • While the book had Fudge's conversation at one of the tables in the Three Broomsticks Inn, the film had the conversation moved to a private room to which only Fudge, Madame Rosmerta, and Minerva McGonagall were present aside from Harry who was hidden with his Invisibility Cloak.
  • In the film, after finding out Sirius was his godfather and had betrayed his parents Harry sobbed and was furiously angry and swore he would kill Sirius if he ever attacked him. In the book, Harry was both angry and depressed by this information along with the fact that many people knew about it but chose not to tell him and Harry suffered for days with recurring nightmares in his sleep before being able to overcome it.

11. The FireboltEdit

  • In the book, Harry received his Firebolt for Christmas right after his Nimbus 2000 was destroyed. Eventually, Sirius Black revealed he had sent the broom. In the film, Harry receives the Firebolt at the end of the film, and although there was no note, Harry knew that Black had sent it after seeing one of Buckbeak's feathers enclosed with it.
  • In the book, Harry and Ron get in a huge argument with Hermione because of the problems she caused towards their possessions (Harry's Firebolt and Ron's rat Scabbers), until Hagrid set them straight about their selfishness. In the film most of this is omitted, except for some of Ron's initial arguments with Hermione which didn't go as far as the book.
  • In the novel, a small Christmas feast is held with only thirteen people, at which Sybill Trelawney predicts that "the first to rise shall be the first to die". This is omitted from the film.
  • The film omits the part where Hermione, and later Ron (once he and Harry settle their dispute with her) help Hagrid prepare his defence for Buckbeak's trial.

12. The PatronusEdit

  • In the book, during his first anti-dementor lesson, Harry tries to ward off the dementor twice unsuccessfully before succeeding. But in the film, he only tries once unsuccessfully before succeeding. Also, Harry's memory in the book that works is the memory of how happy he was that he would be leaving the Dursleys. In the film, he uses a made-up memory of his parents.

13. Gryffindor Versus RavenclawEdit

  • In the film, the part where Sirius tries to kill Wormtail disguised as a rat in the middle of the night with a knife scaring Ron and slashing his bed curtains is omitted. However, the scene where McGonagall is in the Common Room and Ron tells about what happened is included in a deleted scene.
  • The Gryffindor-Ravenclaw game where Harry sees Marcus Flint, Crabbe, Goyle and Malfoy disguised as Dementors is omitted.
  • Cho Chang, the Ravenclaw seeker who became Harry's future girlfriend is omitted. She does not appear until the next film.

14. Snape's GrudgeEdit

  • Harry throws snowballs at Draco and his cronies while under the Invisibility Cloak in Hogsmeade. In the novel, he throws mud-balls. The scene is also extended, with Harry also pantsing and kicking Crabbe's backside, pulling Pike's hat over his eyes and swinging him around by his scarf, and dragging Malfoy away by his feet. Omitted from the film is the hood of the cloak falling off Harry's head causing Malfoy to learn of Harry's unauthorised visit, so no one (except Ron, Hermione, Fred and George) knows of Harry's illegal visiting. Hermione is also watching this with Ron in the film, while in the book she was elsewhere as Harry and Ron had not reconciled their argument with Hermione yet.
  • In the novel, while trying to make the Marauder's Map "reveal its secrets", Snape tries once and fails. He then tries again with different words and it fails. He tries once more, again with different words, and it finally insults him. In the film, he only tries once and it insults him.
  • In the film, Snape catches Harry in the hallway after he saw Pettigrew's name one night on the Marauder's map and went to find him. In the book, Snape catches Harry in the hall right after he climbed up the One-Eyed Witch's hump after being seen by Malfoy in Hogsmeade. Both versions end the same---Lupin covers for Harry and then takes the map into his possession. Ron was also present in the book to help cover for Harry due to the Zonko products Snape found on Harry.
  • In the book, when Professor Snape is insulted by the Marauder's Map, every Marauder says something different to Professor Snape, with Lupin saying the bit about Snape minding his own business. In the movie, however, that is all that the map says.

15. The Quidditch FinalEdit

  • In the novel, Hermione slaps Malfoy and he reacts passively. In the film, this is slightly extended. Instead, Hermione first draws her wand on Malfoy, and then punches him in the nose, in both situations he acts cowardly.
  • The Gryffindor-Slytherin Quidditch match where Gryffindor defeats Slytherin and wins the Quidditch Cup was omitted.

16. Professor Trelwaney's PredictionEdit

  • In the film, after Hermione storms out of the Divination lesson from being insulted by Trelawney, on her way out, she knocks a Crystal ball off the table and it rolls down the Divination Stairwell. Harry notices it on his way out and decides to take it back to the classroom. He then finds Trelawney in a trance and it is here where she tells him a prophecy. In the book her trance takes place during Harry's Exam.
  • In the book, while the trio are on their way to Hagrid's hut when Buckbeak's execution is to take place, they bring Harry's Invisibility Cloak with them, but in the film, they do not bring the cloak at all.
  • In the novel, during the trio's visit to Hagrid, they follow him out in to his back garden where he comforts Buckbeak and says "It's okay, Beaky." This is omitted from the film, as Hagrid doesn't have a garden and Buckbeak is laying right outside the front of Hagrid's hut.
  • In the film, in Hagrid's hut a jar of yellow powder breaks which appears to have been thrown by a kind of rock fossil and then another one hits Harry on the back of the head. This causes Harry to turn and show Hagrid that Dumbledore, Fudge and Macnair are coming. In the novel, Hagrid just sees the party coming through his window and tells the trio to leave and there is no vase broken.
  • The feeble, elderly member from the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures does not accompany Dumbledore, Fudge and Macnair to Hagrid's hut before Buckbeak's execution and is omitted from the film.

17. Cat, Rat and DogEdit

  • In the film, after Buckbeak’s apparent execution, Hermione starts crying and hugs Ron while Harry comforts her. There is no crying in the book, although Hermione does become shocked and her breathing becomes shallow and uneven.
  • Crookshanks' role is almost entirely removed. His friendship with Padfoot, and his role in the Shrieking Shack were completely cut.
  • In the book, Ron is generally depicted as being brave and heroic under stress while Hermione was depicted as being nervous, terrified/frightened. In the movie, Ron's bravery was transferred to Hermione and Hermione's nervousness/terror was transferred to Ron.
  • In the movie, Ron saw Sirius/Padfoot appear and pointed the dog out to Harry and Hermione in a quivering, frightened tone of voice. No such bit appeared in the book.
  • In the film, Sirius in his animagus form had grabbed Ron by the leg and broken it in the process while dragging him off to the Shrieking Shack. In the book, Sirius had grabbed him by the arm instead and that Ron's leg was broken when he tried to use one of the Whomping Willow's roots to hold them in place to avoid being dragged off only for the pressure to break his leg.
  • In the novel, when Hermione and Harry find Ron in the Shrieking Shack, Sirius disarms Harry and Hermione with Ron's wand and catches their wands, but in the film, he does not as he does not have Ron's wand. However, Harry does get disarmed by Lupin the moment he enters the room in both the book and film, while in the film Hermione's wand is in her pocket, as seen when Harry uses it to blast Snape backwards, but in the novel, Lupin blasts Harry's wand away and two other wands that Hermione was holding and Lupin catches them all deftly. Also, in the film, when Lupin disarms Harry, the latter's wand disappears near the staircase.
  • The following text appears in the book, after Harry and Hermione find Ron and Sirius in the Shrieking Shack: Ron spoke to Black. "If you want to kill Harry, you'll have to kill us too!" he said fiercely, though the effort of standing upright was draining him of more colour, and he swayed slightly as he spoke. In the movie, the line was spoken by Hermione while Ron remained in the corner and did not say or do anything.
  • This quote is also said in the book, after Lupin enters and greets Sirius as an old friend: "I trusted you, and all this time you've been his friend!"; It was shouted at Lupin by Harry, but in the film, it is Hermione who shouts this at Lupin when she thinks both he and Sirius are wanting to kill Harry when Sirius says "Let's kill him!" (although he was actually referring to Peter Pettigrew). She also first shouts "NO"!! before saying Harry's line from the novel.
  • In the film, after seeing Pettigrew's name on the map, Harry says this to Lupin. In the book, Harry never saw Pettigrew's name on it, and Lupin was the one who saw Pettigrew's name after acquiring the map and using it on the same day as Buckbeak's execution, since he knew Harry, Ron, and Hermione would visit Hagrid that day. These events are what caused Lupin to believe that Sirius is innocent.

18. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and ProngsEdit

  • The story regarding the origin of the Shrieking Shack and the planting of the Whomping Willow at Hogwarts is omitted.
  • In the book, it is revealed in the Shrieking Shack, how Harry's father, James saved Snape's life during their time at Hogwarts as students, which was Sirius's idea of a joke, telling Snape about the tunnel under the Whomping Willow and how to access it. However, in the film, the joke is never mentioned nor James saving Snape's life.
  • In the novel, Snape appears in the Shrieking Shack after pulling off the Invisibility Cloak, but in the film, as the trio didn't bring the cloak with them, Snape appears visible and is seen when he disarms Sirius.
  • Also, in the film, Snape disarms Sirius with Lupin's wand since Lupin passed it to him when Sirius was so wanting to kill Pettigrew. In the novel, Lupin never gave his wand to Sirius, so Snape never disarms the latter.

19. The Servant of Lord VoldemortEdit

  • As the identities of the Marauders are not revealed until the fourth and fifth films, it causes a bit of confusion as to why Snape has such a hatred towards Sirius and Lupin in the third for those who have not read the books. In the novel, Snape is as eager to hand over Lupin to the dementors as well as Sirius, despite the fact that there is not any evidence supporting Snape's claim that Lupin was helping Sirius into the castle, which he was not.
  • In the film, Lupin pleads with Snape while Sirius continues to insult him. Snape is more calm, confronting the two, as apposed to the book, where he seems to be angry and even more reluctant to listen, as he bounds and gags Lupin, threatens Hermione with suspension and states that Harry deserved to be killed by Sirius.
  • In the book Harry, Ron, and Hermione all try and disarm Snape at the same time, causing him to hit against the wall and go unconscious. In the film it is only Harry who does this, as seen when he sneakily pulls Hermione's wand from her pocket. Ron and Hermione are actually shocked Harry did this, as Snape is a teacher.
  • In the book it takes a while for Peter to confess to betraying Lily and James Potter, while in the film, he confesses almost immediately.

20. The Dementor's KissEdit

  • In the books, a transformed werewolf is described as looking almost like a true wolf except for a few subtle differences like the shape of the snout and tail and the eyes. However in the film a transformed werewolf looks more like the anthropomorphic versions from other werewolf films.
  • In the book, Snape had been unconscious because of the spell cast by Hermione, Ron, and Harry and had to be suspended in mid-air by magic to be brought out of the Shrieking Shack. He was not there to protect Hermione, Ron, and Harry when Lupin transformed into a werewolf, but in the film, Snape suddenly regained consciousness and he protected Harry, Ron, and Hermione from Lupin. In the book Snape regains consciousness only after Sirius, Hermione and Harry become unconscious because of the Dementors.
  • In the film, while Sirius and Lupin (both transformed) fight, Harry runs up and throws a stone at Lupin, hitting him on the back of the head which causes Lupin to try and attack Harry, until the sound a female wolf (sounding like Hermione's voice) stops Lupin and then runs away. Harry never threw anything at the transformed Lupin in the book.
  • In the book, Hermione is with Harry and Sirius when they are attacked by the Dementors. In the film, she stays behind with Ron.
  • In the book, Ron is obviously stunned unconscious by Peter Pettigrew with Lupin's wand, but in the film, Ron is not stunned and remains conscious the whole time.

21. Hermione's SecretEdit

  • In the book, in the hospital wing, Snape, Fudge and Madam Pomfrey are present when Harry and Hermione try to explain that Sirius is innocent before Dumbledore enters. In the film, only Dumbledore is there who try to convince him and instantly believes them, like in the book and gives them rules how to rescue Sirius.
  • In the book, Dumbledore tells Harry and Hermione that Sirius is locked up in Professor Flitwick's office in the West Tower, thirteenth window from the right of the tower, but in the film, Dumbledore tells Harry and Hermione that Sirius is locked up in the topmost cell of the Dark Tower.
  • In the book, when Harry and Hermione go back in time, the whole view of the hospital wing disappears and different colours and shapes blur around them until they soon land in the deserted entrance hall, but in the film, when Harry and Hermione go back in time, they remain standing in the hospital wing while Harry watches themselves as well as others who were in the hospital wing since the previous three hours doing everything backwards until the whole thing stops. This means that the view does not disappear and no different colours or shapes appear around Harry and Hermione in the film.
  • In the film, when Harry and Hermione go back in time, Hermione throws 2 ammonites fossils at both Hagrid's pot (because that had happened) and at Harry to get his attention, so he can see Fudge and Macnair coming to Hagrid's hut. Hermione later howls like a wolf to call Lupin away from fighting Padfoot, in turn causing him to come after them instead, at which point they are rescued by Buckbeak. In the novel, neither of these two events occur.
  • Hermione throwing ammonites fossils is obvious of not occurring in the novel, especially since neither the pot or Harry got hit by any of the fossils.
  • In the book, Harry is alone when saving himself, Hermione, and Sirius from the Dementors due to Hermione and Buckbeak being in Hagrid's empty cabin when they went there to hide after Lupin transformed to avoid for Lupin to attack them and Harry went out to scout ahead. In the film, Hermione is with Harry.
  • In the book, Harry figured out that he was one that cast the Patronus that saved their past selves before using it. In the film, as Hermione was with him, she convinces Harry that no one is coming to save them leading Harry to cast the Patronus and realising the truth afterwards.
  • In the book Hermione rescues Sirius Black with "Alohomora," but in the film, she uses "Bombarda", a spell made up for the films. In the French adaptation of the movie, the spell "Alohomora" is used, instead of Bombarda.

22. Owl Post AgainEdit

  • In the film, when Harry and Hermione go back to the hospital wing after saving Sirius Black and Buckbeak, Ron is already awake and asks how he and Hermione got outside the wing, when they were right in front of him. In the novel, Ron is still sleeping when Harry and Hermione get back.
  • In addition to Ron being asleep, the novel also has a part where Snape is talking to Dumbledore, Fudge and Madam Pomfrey about Sirius Black escaping, and it being Harry's fault. This is omitted from the film.
  • In the novel, when Harry arrives in Lupin's office, Lupin tells him about his resignation, that he resigned because Snape told the Slytherins about Lupin being a werewolf until Dumbledore comes in. When Dumbledore is there, they discuss about Harry feeling bad for not letting Lupin and Black kill Pettigrew, realising he would help Voldemort return from Trelawney's prophecy. Dumbledore reminds Harry that he saved Black, an innocent man, from a terrible fate, taht Pettigrew owes a life debt to Harry for saving him, which Dumbledore is sure will prove useful later on. Dumbledore also mentions that Harry has some of his father's qualities, which is why his Patronus took the form of Prongs (a stag). In the film, it is Lupin tells Harry all this and Dumbledore does not come into the room at all, but there are some parts omitted:
    • Snape is not identified as being the one revealing the secret of Lupin’s condition.
    • There is no mention why Harry’s Patronus is a stag.
    • Harry appears to say that he feels sorry for not letting Sirius and Lupin kill Pettigrew although in a very different way (if this is true): “None of it made any difference. Pettigrew escaped.”
    • There is no talk about Trelawney going strange, when she was actually making the second prophecy.
  • The part of Ron receiving the owl Pigwidgeon from Sirius Black to replace Scabbers has been omitted. This caused a continuity error with the following films where Ron was seen with him, without any explanation on how he got an owl.
  • The letter addressed to Harry that Sirius sent with Pigwidgeon which gave him visitation rights to enter Hogsmeade was omitted. This caused some continuity errors in the following films of Harry being able to enter Hogsmeade freely.
  • The part where Harry meets his Uncle Vernon on the platform in King's Cross station is omitted in which he tells his uncle that he has a godfather, who has escaped from wizard prison.
  • Many students appear in the film in classes with Harry and other named parts, more than originally sorted into each house with over ten Gryffindors in one scene alone, despite the fact Harry's year has only eight Gryffindors.

Differences from earlier films in the seriesEdit

  • Most wands have taken different shapes.
  • Whenever a spell is cast in the film, a faint whistling can be heard. This is the only film in which spells make this noise.
  • The Harry Potter logo itself has changed. The tail of the "y" is longer and extends further to the left. The "P" lightning bolt is longer. The logo has an overall silver colour whereas the logos of the two previous films were gold.
  • This is the first and only film not to feature the title in clouds.
  • It is the only film that uses a technique where black iris fade in and fade out for scene transactions (which is a similar technique used in silent films).
  • The Leaky Cauldron has now changed location and structure.
  • In the first film, Tom, the bartender and landlord of the Leaky Cauldron was portrayed by Derek Deadman; but in this film, Deadman has been replaced by a different actor, Jim Tavaré. There is also a sharp difference between these two portrayals: in the first film, Tom appeared quite normal with balding brown hair and regular features and acted quite normal too, but in this film, he looks like a hunchback, has gone completely bald and acts very oddly, laughing irrationally loudly at the wrong times and brutally grabbing Harry by the collar. This is likely due to the complete change in styles between the first and third films - while the first film, which had a very regular feel to it, was directed by Chris Columbus, the third film, which had a comparable quirkier feel to it, was directed by Alfonso Cuarón. The same is true for the console versions of both the LEGO games. From the in-universe part of it, one can say that Tom simply got older and his mind was weakened by the ageing..
  • Scabbers, Ron's rat, now has excess hair on his ears.
  • In the single most noticeable change of cast, Michael Gambon now plays Dumbledore, following the death of Richard Harris who played the wizard in the first two films. Gambon's portrayal in this and future films is of a more robust and eccentric wizard. The films have made no attempt to reconcile the change in Dumbledore's appearance and demeanour, although given the concept of the series, it is not impossible to do so (Rowling, for her part, did not suggest any change of appearance in Dumbledore in the books she wrote after the part was recast). One change noted several times on the associated DVD featurettes is that Gambon plays Dumbledore with a more pronounced Irish accent than his predecessor, who was also Irish. (Coincidentally, Gambon's very first film role was as an unnamed bit character in Laurence Olivier's 1965 version of Othello, which starred Maggie Smith as the female lead.)
  • Hogwarts itself has new features:

One possible explanation could be that Hagrid was promoted to new bigger living quarters closer to the castle after getting the Care of Magical Creatures job, enabling him to perform both his teaching and grounds-keeping duties easily. It would also give students a safer place to take lessons, away from the forest.

  • The location of the portrait of the Fat Lady, the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room, has been moved to the Grand Staircase. The appearance of the Fat Lady has also changed, with a different actress, background, and ball gown from the first film: In the first film, the Fat Lady is played by Elizabeth Spriggs. She is shown with black hair and a pink silk dress and she doesn't seem to have much personality. Oddly, this version of her is not particularly fat. Her portrait is located at the end of a corridor somewhere in the castle, but its location is never specified. The Fat Lady as portrayed by Spriggs moves only when approached by a student and very little at that. She also asks for the password, ensuring more effective concealment of the common room. In the first film, given the Fat Lady's dress and background, she seems to have lived in the sixteenth century Europe. The Spriggs version of the Fat Lady's portrait is also used in the video game adaptations of Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets.

In this film she is played by Dawn French, who portrays the character with a more humorous side, such as giving her a bad singing voice (possibly from the saying "the fat lady sings"). This iteration of her is much, much fatter than the previous one. She is much louder and more flamboyant and would be obvious to any passing members of other houses, who would also be able to hear Gryffindor students as they gave her the password, which this version of the portrait is reluctant to listen to. By this time, her portrait has been moved to the seventh floor of the Grand Staircase Tower. The portrait is shown to swing backwards rather than forwards in this film as well. In the third film, given the Fat Lady's dress and background, she seems to have lived during the Classical period.

In the first film, the entrance to Gryffindor Tower is on one end of a hallway. Whereas in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the video game adaptations of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it is located on the Seventh Floor of the Grand Staircase Tower. As the shape of the common room doesn't change, one explanation of this change of location may be that these particular stairs were not there in the first movie, and were built to replace the corridor during the summer of 1992, before Harry's third year started.

  • The Whomping Willow is in a different location than it was in Chamber of Secrets; in the earlier film, the Willow was very close to the school and inside the Training Grounds. In this film, the willow is a considerable distance from the school, on the side of a slope and amidst rocky terrain.
  • The floating candles in the enchanted ceiling of the Great Hall look melted and most of them float in groups and are irregular in sizes. In the previous two films, each of the candles float tall and with enough distance from the other.
  • The Hogwarts uniforms have changed; in the first two films, the students wore plain black robes with thick striped ties and the house shields on the robe located at the left side of the chest were bright, and in the third film and onward, they wear robes with coloured hoods and pinstripe ties and the house shields looking dimmer, in addition to the rest of the uniform being darkened. However, in the previous film, the memory of the 16 year-old Voldemort was wearing a tie that had the exact look the ties do in this and future films, for an unknown reason.
  • Professor Flitwick was not cast in this film. Instead, his actor, Warwick Davis, appeared as the choir conductor (credited only as "wizard"). In Goblet of Fire, Davis was again credited as Flitwick, but retained the appearance of the choir conductor.
  • This is the first film to feature specialised closing credits. The ones in this film are made to look like the Marauder's map with the cast names accompanied by the "footsteps".
  • Dumbledore does not say Harry Potter's name at all in the film. This is the only film in which this happens, although Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 would not count, due to Dumbledore having died near the end of the previous film and flashbacks and voices of Dumbledore saying hints and the like.
  • Dudley Dursley has no lines in this film. This is the only film in which this happens; However, only a bit of his voice can be heard when he laughs before Aunt Marge kisses him and when he grunts the first time and the second time after 2 of Aunt Marge's buttons fly off her shirt and hit him on the forehead those two different times, knocking him on the forehead.

Character OmissionsEdit


  • In the scene where Harry, Ron and Hermione go to Hagrid to talk about Buckbeak's fate, Harry is sitting. As Hagrid says he's been put to death, Harry stands up and walks to the others. However, in the next shot, he is sitting down again.
  • After Buckbeak is released, a crow lands on Cornelius Fudge's top-hat. The Minister raises a hand to scare it off, but in the next shot, Fudge seems unaware of the crow, as both his arms are to his side.
  • The first time Hermione throws the fossil at the pot in Hagrid's hut it breaks differently to the second time she throws it.
  • Lupin's school-time nickname of 'Moony' is misspelt on the Marauders Map as 'Mooney.' This is an inside joke from visual effects supervisor, Karl Mooney. Also, Albus Dumbledore's name is spelled 'Albvs' when he is seen pacing in his study on the map. However, this might be an influence from Latin, where "u" is replaced by "v".
  • When the movie begins Harry is shown performing "Lumos". According to the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, he is not allowed to perform magic, even at night, under a blanket and even without any Muggles present - whereas in the book he uses a flashlight. (Since Lumos acts similarly to a torch, the Ministry may have given an exception to this spell.)
  • During the scene where the Fat Lady goes missing, Filch is holding his cat, Mrs Norris. Her eyes throughout this scene are yellow, whereas in most other occurrences her eyes are red, as in the books.
  • In the scene in which Harry and Hermione go back in time, Dumbledore states that 'The word of three thirteen year old wizards will convince few others'. However, only Harry is still thirteen at this point – Ron and Hermione have both had their fourteenth birthdays. Buckbeak is sentenced to death in April 1994, but Ron turned 14 in March 1994 and Hermione in September 1993. However this could be explained as the headmaster of a school that has probably hundreds of students at any one time Dumbledore cannot be expected to remember the personal details, such as dates of birth, of every single one of them.
  • Before the first attack of dementors on the lake, Sirius woke up and started to panic when he noticed them. But when the angle changes to the top camera, He's shown to be blacked out again.


Prisoner of Azkaban has the dubious distinction of being, as of 2013, the lowest-grossing film in the series. It was far from a failure by any means: it generated worldwide box office of US$797 million and is currently ranked the 41st highest grossing film of all time.[6]

Despite being the lowest-grossing film of the series, it did earn notable critical and general acclaim. It is the second highest rated film of the series, after only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, with a 7.7 score on the Internet Movie Database[7] and an 82 (out of 100) score on Metacritic.[8] Deathly Hallows: Part 2 received an 8.1 and 87 score respectively.[9][10]

Behind the Scenes Edit

  • Michael Gambon was cast in the role of Professor Dumbledore, after the death of Richard Harris who was in the first two Potter films. Gambon remained in all of the films since.
  • Ian McKellen was at one point offered the role of Dumbledore, but turned it down.
  • The only film in the series where Voldemort does not appear in some form.
  • Apparently the first film in the series to have rainy scenes at Hogwarts.
  • Charlie Weasley's only real appearance is in the Weasley family photo of their vacation in Egypt. The role was played by Alex Crockford.
  • The only film where Dumbledore does not say Harry Potter's name in any way (Harry, Mr. Potter, Mr. Harry Potter, Harry Potter, but not Potter).
  • This is the second time actors Timothy Spall and Richard Griffiths appeared in a film together, their first film together having been Vatel, released in 2000.



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Official postersEdit

Home Video Release DatesEdit

  • 23 November, 2004 (VHS/DVD) (The last of the series to be released on VHS)
  • 11 December, 2007 (HD DVD/Blu-ray)
  • 19 October, 2010: United States (DVD/Blu-ray Ultimate Edition Box Set)
  • 1 June, 2011: United States (Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Copy Combo Pack)
  • 7 September, 2012: Wizard's Collection (Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet + "Creating the World of Harry Potter")

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series
Philosopher's Stone book film game film soundtrack game soundtrack
Chamber of Secrets book film game film soundtrack game soundtrack
Prisoner of Azkaban book film game film soundtrack game soundtrack
Goblet of Fire book film game film soundtrack game soundtrack
Order of the Phoenix book film game film soundtrack game soundtrack
Half-Blood Prince book film game film soundtrack game soundtrack
Deathly Hallows book film 1 game 1 film soundtrack 1 game soundtrack 1
film 2 game 2 film soundtrack 2 game soundtrack 2
Other written works Other games
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Harry Potter: Trading Card Game
Quidditch Through the Ages LEGO Creator: Harry Potter/Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
The Tales of Beedle the Bard Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup
Harry Potter Prequel Harry Potter: Find Scabbers
Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book Harry Potter DVD Game: Hogwarts Challenge/Wizarding World
Harry Potter Film Wizardry Harry Potter: Spells
Harry Potter Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4/Years 5-7
LEGO Harry Potter: Building the Magical World Motorbike Escape
LEGO Harry Potter: Characters of the Magical World Harry Potter: The Quest
Encyclopaedia of Potterworld (potentially cancelled) Harry Potter for Kinect
Other canon Other films/documentaries/soundtracks
J.K.Rowling Official Site Harry Potter and Me
Pottermore The Queen's Handbag
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life
Harry Potter: The Exhibition Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup (video game soundtrack)
The Making of Harry Potter Magic Beyond Words: The J.K. Rowling Story
Wonderbook: Book of Spells Harry Potter: Beyond the Page
Wonderbook: Book of Potions The Tale of the Three Brothers
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
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