Archive for the ‘Harry Potter’ Category

The BlakeOnline Buzz, Fall 2009

September 7, 2009

Image belongs to Blake’s family. Text in image is “Action Jackson” font.

Volume 1, Issue 2

By Blake

Originally posted September 7, 2009.

Dear BlakeOnline readers,

Happy Labor Day! It’s hard to believe that another summer has come and gone. There were several big-screen blockbusters and major announcements, making summer 2009 quite a memorable season for the entertainment industry.

In late May, Pixar released their tenth film, Up, with tremendous success. So much success, in fact, that it is currently the #5 highest-grossing animated film of all time. Characters from the film continue to make appearances at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World in Florida.

Up was another hit for Pixar. Image © Disney/Pixar.

In July, Warner Bros. released the outstanding Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth installment in the groundbreaking film series. Its current worldwide gross is $897,184,000, which is quite an impressive number.

Disney Channel has also had success over the summer, with three major broadcasts: Princess Protection Program in June, the mash-up Wizards on Deck with Hannah Montana in July, and Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie in last week.

Disney Parks and Resorts opened several new Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World recently – Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in May, the Treehouse Villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa in June, and Bay Lake Tower (a new building at Disney’s Contemporary Resort) in August.

Just last Monday, August 31, 2009, Disney announced that they would buy Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion. When you consider that Disney purchased Pixar for $7 billion in 2006, Disney certainly is taking this buy very seriously. Hopefully exciting projects are on the way as the future of this new partnership unfolds. You can read more about the deal over at

Here at BlakeOnline, the summer has held several points of interest, including the continuation of the Budgeting Disney series. This special group of articles analyzes how to plan a Walt Disney World vacation when you’re watching your money. After already discussing looking for promotions and deciding when to visit, over the summer the articles delved into picking a resort, purchasing tickets, and choosing where to dine. There is going to be at least one more volume in the series, so keep a lookout for it soon!

As the world transitions into fall, there are several exciting highlights in store for Disney fans. The D23 Expo will take place in Anaheim, California from September 10 through 13. Although unfortunately no one from BlakeOnline will be attending the event, many other Disney fan sites are sure to provide detailed coverage of the weekend.

The first D23 Expo kicks off in Anaheim this Thursday, September 10, 2009. Image © Disney.

Halloween festivities are already starting to begin at Walt Disney World as Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place at the Magic Kingdom select nights now through November 1. Disneyland will join in on the fun with their annual Halloween Time from September 25 through November 1. Halloween Time includes favorites like Haunted Mansion Holiday through Christmastime at Disneyland Park and Mickey’s Trick-Or-Treat Party during select nights in October at Disney’s California Adventure. New for Halloween Time in 2009 are a new fireworks show and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, a special version of the classic thrill ride. Other special events in the Disney parks this fall include Night of Joy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios during September 11-12, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival from September 25 through November 8, and Festival of the Masters at Walt Disney World’s Downtown Disney November 13-15. Additionally, Christmas festivities will begin in mid-November.

Halloween is just around the corner, and Disney has already begun to celebrate. Image © Disney.

Disney often has several fascinating book releases in autumn, and this year is no exception. The 2010 Birnbaum Guides will be released on September 29. They include guides to Walt Disney World, Walt Disney World For Kids, Walt Disney World Without Kids, Walt Disney World Dining, Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line, as well as the Walt Disney World Pocket Parks Guide.

Other exciting book and movie releases can be found on BlakeOnline’s Upcoming Disney Projects page. The major highlights include the 3D double feature of Toy Story and Toy Story 2 (October 2); the re-release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to Blu-ray (October 6) and DVD (November 25); the new book Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (October 13); the new Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure film on Blu-ray and DVD (October 27); Up on Blu-ray and DVD (November 10); and the theatrical releases of Disney’s A Christmas Carol (November 6), Old Dogs (November 25), and the highly anticipated hand-drawn feature film The Princess and the Frog (November 25 in New York and Los Angeles, December 11 nationwide).

Toy Story and Toy Story 2 are returning to select theaters for a 3-D double feature on October 2. Image © Disney/Pixar.

It’s been a jam-packed, fun-filled summer, and hopefully there’s a celebratory, inviting autumn on the way! After all, there’s a great, big beautiful tomorrow shining at the end of every day.

September 7, 2009

Related BlakeOnline articles:

By Blake; posted September 7, 2009. Buzz Lightyear image belongs to Blake’s family. Text in Buzz Lightyear image is “Action Jackson” font. Up and Toy Story/Toy Story 2 Double Feature images © Disney/Pixar. D23 Expo and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party images © Disney. “There’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow” music and lyrics by Robert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman, © 1963 Wonderland Music Company, Inc.


Silver Screen Review – “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

July 16, 2009
Image © Warner Bros.

The sixth exciting visit for moviegoers into Hogwarts executes its intricate story cleverly with a parade of smart emotional ups and downs.

By Blake

Originally posted July 16, 2009.

Acceptance of death is a rocky obstacle to overcome. Once one has passed on, family and friends are left to continue on with their lives, which is not often an easy task to take on. Yet Harry Potter has had to do just that not once, but twice so far by the time the sixth volume in his epic tale, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, begins its story. Struggling to find himself, Harry relies on the strong companionship he has with his friends as he begins a journey he knows he must fulfill, and audiences are taken along on that incredible voyage with him.

In the film, the wizarding community has accepted what they feared was happening: Voldemort has returned, and his cronies are causing massive destruction to both wizards and Muggles. As Harry Potter (played by Daniel Radcliffe) returns to his sixth year of studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with his best friends Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson), he sets out along with Hogwarts headmaster Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) to learn about Voldemort’s past to better understand how the dark wizard can be defeated. As far as school is concerned, Harry becomes very successful in his potions class thanks to the comments written in his textbook’s previous owner, the unnamed “half-blood prince.” Meanwhile, Harry believes that his schoolmate and rival Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) may be pursuing a mission for Voldemort and is very curious to find out what it is.

Dumbledore and Harry. Image © Warner Bros.

It sure sounds like a cheery tale, doesn’t it? Thankfully, the film takes on an overall lighthearted tone to relieve its dark storyline. Comedy (Luna Lovegood rocks) is delved into on more than one occasion, as is romance in several poignant sequences.

Luna Lovegood. Image © Warner Bros.

The film’s execution of its story is done very nicely, working out several details differently than in the book. Overall this technique works for the best, but at times, especially towards the beginning (where are the Dursleys?) and the climax, it depreciates the film by cutting a few substantial sequences that would have been welcome (though aren’t missed if you don’t know they’re not there). Differences from the book of how a few plot points are delivered also add another level of mystery to the movie. This also simplifies the audiences’ confusion and allows viewers to better understand what’s going on. There’s also a hoopla of foreshadowing instanced many times throughout the film.

What really made the film extra special for me was the presence of Ron and Hermione by Harry’s side for support throughout the entire movie. Lately they’ve sort of taken a backseat while Harry interacts with new characters, but they definitely (and thankfully) have a larger focus in Half-Blood Prince.

Ron, Hermione, and Harry try to find out who the half-blood prince is. Image © Warner Bros.

Emotion is a component that comes across clearly in Half-Blood Prince. By now (if viewers have kept up with previous volumes), they know the characters relatively well. Due to this, audiences sort of automatically know how Harry feels, for example, whenever the subject arises of his parents’ deaths or when other characters reminisce about his parents’ personality traits. Half-Blood Prince does a great job at taking that prior knowledge further to help those that aren’t so familiar with the story to also relate to what’s happening and feel those same emotions. Is it right on-par with the same emotional punch as the books? Almost. The book version of this particular volume conveyed such a beautiful ending, even with its somber tone, and the film grasps that quite well, given that the audience doesn’t have access to what the characters are thinking.

Ron and Hermione. Image © Warner Bros.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is very pleasing. Another rewarding adventure into an imaginative world through a well-thought-out storyline keeps audiences on the edge of their seats and at the same time allows them to laugh and sympathize. The film also sets the stage excellently for what’s yet to come for Harry and friends as they continue their marvelous tale. Those that aren’t familiar with previous installments in the series might not be able to follow along easily, but those that have kept up are in for an amazing experience.

How dow I rank Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince? (Bolded is my choice.)
  • Aaah!
  • Blech
  • Not good
  • Good
  • Very good
  • Brilliant

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will most likely please: Older Kids (ages 8-10) – Tweens (ages 11-13) – Teens – Young Adults

By Blake; posted July 16, 2009. All images © Warner Bros.

BlakeOnline Tweets “Harry Potter” News

July 11, 2009

Get pumped for ‘Potter’ with BlakeOnline’s Twitter updates.

By Blake

Originally posted July 10, 2009.

The arrival of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth volume in the film series based upon the stellar J.K. Rowling novels, is coming closer! The movie will be released in theaters on Wednesday, July 15, 2009.

BlakeOnline can help you prep for Potter with updates on Twitter to give you a “head’s-up” whenever something Harry-related will be appearing on television within the coming week. These include updates about talk show appearances by the film’s cast, as well as when four of the previous movies in the series will be airing on TV. You can subscribe to BlakeOnline’s Twitter updates by clicking here to get Harry-related hoopla and more delivered to your Twitter homepage.

By Blake; posted July 10, 2009. All images © Warner Bros.

BlakeOnline Battle – Mr. Potter vs Mr. Potter’s Teacher

October 13, 2006
Mr. Potter (from It’s a Wonderful Life) vs. Mr. Potter’s Teacher (Snape from the Harry Potter series)

Round 1: Evil Lair
Mr. Potter: Bedford Falls
Snape: The dungeon at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Round 1 Winner: Snape. I’d rather be in a school of magic than Bedford Falls.

Round 2: Nemesis
Mr. Potter: George Bailey
Snape: Harry Potter
Round 2 Winner: Mr. Potter. George Bailey in a nice guy with a sweet family, while Harry seems to struggle with who he is as a person throughout the HP series.

Round 3: Most Embarrassing Moment
Mr. Potter: None (that we know of).
Snape: When Harry’s dad did a spell that made Snape propelled in the air upside-down.
Round 3 Winner: Snape. Since we don’t know of anything embarrassing that’s happened to Mr. Potter, I’ll have to go with Snape by default.

With a score of 2-1, Mr. Potter’s teacher (Snape) wins over Mr. Potter!!!

By Blake; originally posted October 13, 2006. Mr. Potter image (C) RKO Radio Pictures. Snape image (C) Warner Bros.