ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth though you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), PG
Analysis Date: November 15, 2001
CAP Score: 55
CAP Influence Density: 1.07

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE (PG) -- ...presenting evil as something to admire and emulate.

Distributed by: Warner Brothers
Director(s): Chris Columbus
Producer(s): David Heyman
Written by/Screenplay: Steve Kloves (from the novel by Mrs. J.K. Rowling)
Cinematography/Camera: John Seale
Music: John Williams

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. An amazing excursion through dazzling computer animation and computer-aided graphics. A colorful display of goth art. A bunch of delightful and bright kids displaying great talent and skills. Ingenious planning and outstanding attention to detail rivaling commercial nuclear power production (and I spent 14 years as a nuke). Several points of wisdom, integrity and honor skillfully placed. And all to present evil as good. [Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.]

The 6th Day, The Blair Witch Project, 8MM, Bless the Child and many other films have presented evil in many forms and flavors. They have been corruptively influential on their own. But until now, to the best I can recall, all films about evil presented evil as ... well, evil. But now comes Harry Potter presenting evil as something to admire and emulate; something to use against evil. Using evil for good? Do you hear what that is saying? As God said in Isa. 5:20, you cannot make something light with darkness and something sweet with bitterness.

I have not read any of the "Harry Potter" books. Thus I am not influenced or biased by them. But I can say the movie is just as the books are described by the ones with the open mindedness to see precisely what they are. And what better time to embrace evil in entertainment than now when we have kicked God out of schools, government and many, many homes and what used to be the family. I guess Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is a logical extension of I Dream of Genie, Bewitched and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, all benevolent on the surface and all since we kicked God out of our schools.

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Shortly after birth, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) is delivered by witch McGonagall (Maggie Smith), wizard Dumbledore (Richard Harris) and a giant named Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) to Harry's aunt and uncle Dursley on 4 Privet Drive. Harry's parents were murdered by the wizard Voldemort during a killing spree. Though Voldemort tried to kill Harry, he failed which made Harry an arch enemy of Voldemort. Voldemort's attempts to murder the infant Harry left a scar in the shape of a lightning bolt on his forehead (I wonder why it is on his forehead?) [Rev. 13:16] Harry was the only one Voldemort did not kill. Now there's a good topic for our kids to ponder while waiting for sleep to come at night -- kill, kill, kill.

Harry lived with his brutal and hateful aunt and uncle Dursley - and vindictive spoiled cousin - for more than 10 years. Much of those ten years were spent locked up in a makeshift bedroom under some stairs. Near his 11th birthday, Harry received an invitation which his aunt and uncle took from him out of spite. Then another invitation arrived which his aunt and uncle also took away. Then more arrived ... which were also taken away. Soon, hundreds of birds arrived, each with an invitation. Invitations flew in through the mailbox slot in the front door like mail from a sorter. They even floated down through the roof. Stopping at nothing, Harry's uncle relocated the family to a small island to get away from the mail. Then Hagrid appeared at the door, burst it down, stooped to get through the doorway and hand-delivered an invitation to Harry. Harry accepted the invitation to the Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. [Rev. 21:8, Rev. 22:15]

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Before going to Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hagrid and Harry travel to a witches town to buy some sorcery trappings. There they find a secret that had been locked away for at least the ten years Harry had been in the care of his unkind relatives - the Sorcerer's Stone. But only Hagrid knew that. Harry also meets some particularly nasty imps or goblins at Gringot's bank, serving as accountants and security for the keeping of treasures, including those Harry's parents left for him.

Once at Hogwart's Harry meets several colorful characters. The staff of the school was headmaster Dumbledore, the wizard that helped deliver Harry to his aunt and uncle: McGonagall, professor of Transfiguration (shape-shifting); Snape (Alan Rickman), professor of potions; Flitwick (Warwick Davis), professor of charms; Quirrell (Ian hart), professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Harry also befriends and is befriended by two special schoolmates: Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), a delightful young lady with the gift of intellect and study; Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), not talented in much of anything. Harry also gains a new enemy, fellow schoolmate Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), a young man with a quite nasty tattle-telling, conniving personality. Harry, Hermoine and Ron belong to one of four houses of the school. Malfoy belongs to a rival house. Part of the rivalry is expressed in broom-riding sports much like roller ball with as little concern for the safety of fellow players. There was even a like reminiscing of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi(tm) in some of the maneuvers displayed riding the brooms as Harry and another player looked amazingly like Luke Skywalker and the Storm Trooper as they battled while riding the speeder sleds.
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I am not going to go into any great length describing the storyline. My interest is in telling you the truth about the content of the film so you can make an informed decision whether this film is fit for your kids and/or yourselves using you own standards. Please visit the rather lengthy listing in the Findings/Scoring section to get the most complete information available.

By the way, Harry converses with a snake in this movie. Not a cow, not a dog, not a cat, but a snake. And the Alchemist who made the Sorcerer's Stone 665 years old.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is numerically equivalent to a PG-13 of the movies in the CAP comparative baseline database. In the baseline database, PG-13 movies earned from 67 to 55 of 100. This movie earned a CAP final score of 55. Offense to God, Wanton Violence/Crime and Impudence/Hate earned scores equivalent to R-rated programming. Sex/Homosexuality, Drugs/Alcohol and Murder/Suicide earned scores equivalent to G-rated programming.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Rev. 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars -their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." [Note that God did not say "little white lies are okay." He said ALL [unforgiven] liars...]
  • Rev. 22:15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]


    More insight available at Twelve reasons not to see Harry Potter movies by Berit Kjos of Kjos Minsitries.

    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • imprisonment of a child, repeatedly
  • physical abuse by caregivers, repeatedly
  • firearm threat with discharge
  • "Anyone who stood up against him ended up dead."
  • floating evil being drinking blood from an animal's neck
  • floating evil being threatening a child
  • attack of children by a huge three-headed dog, repeatedly
  • bloody injury
  • animated chess game with lives at stake, graphic
  • willingness to commit suicide to enable victory of friends
  • evil face on the back of a head
  • orders to kill a boy
  • attempted murder
  • threat of death for disobedience
  • ghost removing his head
  • great falls, repeatedly
  • attack by a giant troll
  • giant troll swinging a club at a child, repeatedly
  • threat of harm to force compliance
  • brutality
  • burning flesh
  • crumbling flesh

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • two uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • abusive caregivers
  • child screaming at his parents
  • parents submitting to child's screaming
  • adolescent arrogance
  • lie to prevent accountability
  • adolescent meanness to others, repeatedly
  • children wandering about alone in a forest at night
  • planning disobedience and disobedience of rules
  • lie
  • bully threat
  • lies to protect
  • brutal sports tactics with audience of children cheering it on
  • invisibility to sneak, repeatedly
  • encouragement by an adult to a child to break the rules to get even

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • smoking

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • witchcraft/sorcery to control others, repeatedly
  • transfiguration
  • levitation, repeatedly
  • witchcraft/sorcery to get even
  • boy conversing with a snake
  • witchcraft/sorcery to start fires, repeatedly
  • witchcraft/sorcery to grow tail on a boy
  • community of witches and wizards
  • goblins, ghosts, repeatedly
  • witchcraft/sorcery to destroy property
  • "You're a wizard, Harry"
  • "Not all wizards are good"
  • disappearance by witchcraft/sorcery
  • walking through walls
  • casting spells, repeatedly
  • manifestations in mirror
  • mirror to show deepest desires
  • elixir of life to make immortal
  • half man, half horse beast
  • protection by unholy force
  • broom riding, repeatedly
  • attempted murder with witchcraft/sorcery, repeatedly
  • offer to resurrect parents by unholy force
  • "There is no good or evil. There's only power" (Voldemort)
  • talking witches hat
  • witchcraft/sorcery to create food
  • paintings with moving subjects, repeatedly
  • teaching the use of potions to control others and even "stopper" death
  • evil eyes, repeatedly
  • witchcraft/sorcery incantation to do harm
  • Christmas without Jesus
  • invisibility by witchcraft/sorcery
  • face in pain protruding from book pages
  • demon cat; witch's familiar
  • evil passing through boy's body, causing unconsciousness
  • witchcraft/sorcery to change flag colors
  • unholy possession

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • tale of many murders
  • murder of teacher by unholy possession

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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