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- Lily, Books Editor - May 29, 2002

Being the fanatic I am, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2nd disk. After spending three days after school, solidly playing around with it, I have fully become familiar with the rather complicated menus and puzzles.

My first impression of the 2nd disk wasn’t as high as I’d expected. Being an easily distracted person, I quickly became bored when I discovered that I couldn’t even be sorted. The ‘Sorting Hat’ option was rather boring to even us fanatics—who doesn’t know about the houses?

But upon closer examination, I discovered that the Features disk was actually pretty cool. I was highly impressed with the carefully hidden cut scenes (which I had searched everywhere I expected them to be), which were hidden through the Potions option in “Classrooms”. Besides the three scenes I’ve already seen (Dudley in his Smeltings uniform, the letters in the eggs and Harry and Hagrid on the tube or television) there were also, surprisingly (to me anyway) three others: Harry in front of the fire at Christmas, a sequence involving Neville and the trio, as well as a changed version of the first Potions lesson.

The library option was fairly basic—but cute all the same. The tour was interesting—the 360° view of the Gryffindor common room was fabulous. Diagon Alley was fairly good, although I would have liked a proper tour of it rather than three options, but perhaps I’m being picky. I also liked the way you must collect a key to access your Gringotts vault, as well other sections to (for instance, you must visit Ollivander’s to get a wand before going to any “classes” and before visiting Ollivander’s, you must access your Gringotts vault.)

And next, to my favorite section: the Interviews. This section offered extremely detailed interviews with Chris Columbus, David Heyman and Steve Kloves, who discussed interesting things that we, the fans, really want to know, such as how the sets were created, the way the all-important Quidditch scenes were put on screen, and basically how they put the “magic” in HPSS. I was impressed at how comprehensive and thorough the interviews were. I particularly loved seeing snippets of behind-the-scenes filming as the questions were answered—you might notice Dan throttling Emma if you’re paying attention, and Rupert and Dan kidding around—very cute.

This disc is full of carefully planned little touches, which make it very “Harry”. I could plainly see that plenty of work was put into this disc to make it bigger and better than most DVDs, and not to mention, exciting for the fans. But I think that this disc is really more for children fans. Adults who aren’t total fanatics might find the menus and puzzles a little too complicated and will probably become easily frustrated, whereas kids will probably approach it with a little more enthusiasm.

My advice? Don’t be put off by the menus and have a go at the puzzles—because you’ll find them quite fun if you’re a fan!

Overall, I really enjoyed the Features disc, and I rate it a “magical” 5/5!

- Jasen, Webmaster - May 29, 2002

I got my DVD yesterday, but only got to check out the special features disc today, and I must say, I'm not impressed by it at all. My reasons being that it wasn't exactly easy to navigate through at certain points, such as the whole "you need to get a key and your wand before you can get into other sections" idea. That was just dumb; too much of a video game if you asked me. Speaking of which, the Potions game in "Classrooms" was pretty frustrating for me the first few times around. Trying hard to get to the deleted scenes, I had to say it was annoying enough to not know the answer to the last question (whose answers were not discussed in the movie) among other things, but did we really need to have that voiceover guy saying, "Ohh, you were so close", everytime you blew up? Nah. But the deleted scenes were all good and it's really a shame they weren't used in the final cut.

In general now, the second disk was way too plain. For instance, all four of the options in "Classroom" were practically made up of clips of the "mentioned" teachers, and frankly, why do we want to see clips from a movie, we've already seen?! It just takes up space. Things like this just boggle the mind.

And what about those other little tidbits, such as the Library, the Tour, and Bertie Bott's? Well, the Library was full of short pieces of info. that every fan of the books should know, just like Quidditch (for what reason, I demand, was it re-explained?). As for the Tour, it was pretty cool, seeing a 360° view of selected sets including the Gryffindor common room and Hagrid's hut, though I would have preferred to have seen more, such as Diagon Alley, the Great Hall, or even better yet—the Quidditch field! Mmmm, I can imagine it. And lastly, for those little boxes of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans scattered around the entire disc, that was just unnecessary. I mean, it's already something on the Official Site, and how many of us can honestly say we like HarryPotter.com? It was really things like that, which lost my interest.

As a final note, I'd like to say—which might actually surprise you—that I enjoyed the entire DVD (including Disc 2) either way. It still extended the film's interpretation of the books and that, I think, is what fans look forward to the most. My rating: 3/5.

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