There are so many reasons why the Harry Potter movies are so much better than the books. The quality of the films is amazing, the special effects are breathtaking, the casting is perfect, and the story is so much more exciting on the big screen. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant differences between the two and why they work so well together.

Better Quality

The books are definitely on the smaller side when it comes to the Harry Potter series. The first Harry Potter book, Chamber of Secrets, only has five main characters and was originally published in 1997. Since then, the series has only gotten longer and more complex, so there are definitely a lot more details to keep track of. One of the best things about the Harry Potter movies is that they are much more visually stunning than the books. While the books have a very minimalistic style to them, the movies have a very ‘film magic’ feel to them. Even the smallest details such as costume and make up look incredibly realistic, which is something that cannot be said for the books. For example, the costumes for the seven dwarf men were designed by Michele Clapton and made by TriForce Apparitions, whilst the costumes for the other characters were designed by Patricia McTeague and made by Synedri Amrai.

Wider Appeal

The Harry Potter series is massive, with more than 500 million copies sold worldwide. With over 100 installments already, the series is almost as famous as the works of J.K. Rowling herself. Naturally, this makes it incredibly appealing to both adults and children, which is quite unprecedented for a children’s book series. The Harry Potter movies are widely available to the general public, which makes them appealing to a much wider audience than the books alone could ever accomplish. While the books have mostly focused on the school life of Harry, the films have taken the opportunity to expand their audience by showing scenes from Harry’s early life and including several references to famous movie characters and stories. It is safe to assume that the Harry Potter movies have reached a larger audience than any previous Harry Potter book or game has, simply due to the fact that they have been released throughout the year rather than being limited to just one or two months during the year.

Improved Sound Quality

Even the most diehard Harry Potter fans have to admit that the movies have a much improved sound quality compared to the books. This can largely be attributed to three factors; the decision to use the original English versions of all the spells instead of the French language as used in the books, the inclusion of music and sound effects to enhance the film’s atmosphere, and the fact that all the actors’ lines were recorded first and then synced to the soundtrack. While all of these factors do contribute to the improved quality of the films, the biggest factor is definitely the talented British and Irish cast. You may know some of their names from other movies or TV shows, such as Merlin, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Jim Broadbent, but these were all exceptional performances that will be cherished by Harry Potter fans for years to come.

Bigger Budget

With a budget of over $250 million, the Harry Potter movies were definitely a different animal to the original Harry Potter book. They needed to make a substantial investment in order to bring the magic of the books to life on the screen. The sheer volume of money alone would not have been enough to fund such an endeavor. It took $250 million just to make the first two Harry Potter movies in the series. After that, the budget increased to over $300 million for the remaining five movies. In other words, the money was there, it was just a matter of spending it wisely.

More Complexity

Another significant difference between the Harry Potter books and movies is the complexity of the story arcs. In the Harry Potter books, most of the characters are depicted as mostly two-dimensional, which makes it easy for the reader to get into the heads of the story’s main protagonist, Harry Potter. With the aid of magic, Harry traverses the mysteries of his family’s death, learns to trust people again, and overcomes the many trials and tribulations that come with being the Chosen One. This storyline is certainly very compelling and would make a great movie, however, it is only one part of a much larger story. The other parts are told through flashbacks and flashforwards, which give the story a somewhat ‘jersey shore’ feel as characters come and go, but the fundamental plot lines remains relatively the same. The more ‘grown-up’ feel of the flashbacks and flashforwards makes them much less appealing to young audiences, who would normally be the intended audience of the Harry Potter books.


Finally, we come to the most significant difference of all, which is undoubtedly the fact that the Harry Potter movies are an incredible piece of entertainment. It is not just a question of whether or not you wanted to be entertained by the books or movies, because both are undoubtedly entertaining, it is a matter of the type of entertainment that the Harry Potter movies provide. While we have already established that the sound quality is greatly improved over the books, the special effects, costumes, landscapes – all these things contribute to the ‘film magic’ that makes watching the movies such a joy. The books are great to read, the effects are incredible to watch, but the biggest bonus is that you can watch the movies anytime, anywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection.

There are so many reasons why the Harry Potter movies are better than the books, however, the most significant one is that they are based on an incredible piece of fiction that transcends the limitations of time and space. The books are an amazing achievement and have affected millions of readers and moviegoers, but they simply cannot compare to the living, breathing world that is the Harry Potter movies. It is an eternal testament to the talent of J.K. Rowling and the entire Harry Potter team that they were able to bring her vision to life in such spectacular fashion. They truly did magic with the screen, and we are all the better for it.