Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of HARRY POTTER by Watching the First Film in a Different Way
It was 20 years ago today, Near-Dead Dumbledore taught the band to play.
On the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I want to spotlight an essential, and related, film experience. To watch it is to enter a baroque otherworld of magic, mystery, and the impossible. I am by no means referring to Chris Columbus’ film adaptation of the first Harry Potter novel, however. I’m talking about Wizard People, Dear Reader.
Brad Neely’s alternate audio track for the first Harry Potter movie veers from slightly inaccurate narration to vivid tangents on wholly imagined side plots involving such misremembered characters as Hagar the Horrible, Prof. Hardcastle McCormick, and Roast Beefy. Released in 2004 as a downloadable file meant to play over the film’s true audio, it turns the movie’s hokey child acting and sub-par CGI into a backdrop for over-the-top descriptions of Harry Potter, destroyer of worlds.
What was once a bland whiff of a first entry in the film series becomes a canvas for the hilariously long-winded narration of Brad Neely. Imagine an over-exuberant Stan Lee crossed with the Neely’s Professor Brothers somehow managing to use word “hoary” in a totally natural way twice in the first four minutes.
Wizard People is also noteworthy as a testament to Neely’s many talents. You might also know him from his song about George Washington, his other web animations, his Adult Swim shows (China, IL and Brad Neely’s Harg Nallin’ Sclopio Peepio), or even his surprisingly affecting one-panel comics. If not, this warped wizarding parody might be the introduction you needed.
Wizard People, Dear Reader is (currently) viewable on YouTube, which is embedded below.