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Happy Happy Birthday Harry P!

July 31st, 2014

harrypotter

Today, the greatest fictional character of our time (besides Sirius Black) was born. Harry Potter, based on clues from the books, is likely turning 34 today. Yes, 34. The impact that book series has had on people worldwide is immeasurable and it won’t be peetering off any time soon. People are still discovering the books and some adults who grew up with them have started reading them to their own kids. Heck, even Harry Potter has two of his own.

J.K. Rowling continues to keep us all satiated by keeping up the amazing fansite Pottermore and releasing special treats in dribs and drabs. Earlier this month she released a The Daily Prophet article about the gang’s visit to the Quidditch World Cup which made the internet explode. There were even some crazy rumours that a new book would be announced today but it doesn’t seem likely at this point. I mean the day is already done in the UK and I find it highly doubtful that J.K. is running on Los Angeles time. But there are some things that we should be grateful for on the day of our dear wizarding saviour’s birth.

New Covers:: Bloomsbury, the UK publisher of the books announced a new edition of the books with Pottermore content and more illustrations. But the major change is the new covers. For non-Potterheads, this probably seems super lame but it is actually pretty exciting. The illustrator Jonny Duddle was hand picked by JK Rowling and has an impressive resume of illustration work. The one below is the cover for my favourite book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Check out the rest of them here.

prisoner-of-azkaban-new-cover-630

New Trailer:: The trailer for the new Quidditch documentary Mudbloods came out today. It documents the journey of UCLA’s Quidditch team to the Qudditch World Cup in New York. I dare you not to get emotional. “Its actually better to be seen as a little weird and to be happy than not be the person you are,” should be the moral of our time.

New Everything: Warner Brothers announced yesterday that it has created the new Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team. Their job will be to work with JK Rowling to help adapt her works for every screen imaginable and more. That means more theme parks, more movies, more online content and more Potter. That may initially seem scary but Warner Brothers hasn’t really ever given Potter fans a reason to worry. The franchise is in pretty good hands. A big budget play will open in London next year. And can you imagine being on that team? My dream is to one day say, “Hi. My name is Jessica Ford and I am part of the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team.”

New Movie: The Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them films are still on their way! Although the likelihood of Alfonso Curon directing the movies has dimmed since it was first rumoured earlier this year (boo), the movies are moving along. There are no new details about the film’s cast, the studio did announce this month that the film will be shot at the same studio that housed the Harry Potter movies in Leavesden, UK. That is also where the Harry Potter studio tour is right now. And because you asked, here is a picture of me in front of Dumbledore’s office on the tour:

dumbledore

New Understanding: Lastly, a study came out a few days ago that says that children who read the Harry Potter series are more likely to be accepting towards people who are unlike themselves. Harry fights for people and creatures that are in stigmatized groups, like Mudbloods – wizards without pure wizard blood. The study showed that children who read the books display more empathy towards immigrants, refugees and gay people. Although there may be other factors involved, it explains something that us Potterheads have known for a long time. There is a lot top be learned from today’s birthday boy.

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