Saturday, May 09, 2009

Harry Potter: The Exhibition

Flying Ford Anglia
The Flying Ford Anglia from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

It's become a bit of a tradition that for Father's Day, Mike takes his dad and my dad to a baseball game. This year to switch things up a bit and give our moms a fun day out, Mike suggested I take our mothers to Harry Potter: The Exhibition that recently opened at the Museum of Science and Industry.

So this afternoon, I packed my mom, mother-in-law, and sister into my Vibe and drove downtown, while Mike and my dad took Braydon out for his first fishing "trip." The bummer is I can't show you anything neat I saw (except for the Flying Ford Anglia that was in the museum's lobby) because of the strict no photography rule and abundance of museum staff at every station of the exhibit. Seriously it was like Fort Knox with museum staff everywhere...and they all spoke with British accents, some real, some fake. I mean, I'd want the exhibit detail if I worked there too because how cool would it be to examine the fine detail of all those movie props each day at work.

It was really interesting to see things in real life, and to hear a bit of behind-the-scenes details from the audio tour. Like seeing how small Harry's outfit was from the last action sequence in The Sorceror's Stone. Seeing all the details put into props that receive no air time like the school books - love, love, love the Basic Defense Against Dark Arts for Beginners - or HoneyDukes sweets (even a quidditch board game I have no recollection of from movie 3, I think).

The display on Gilderoy Lockhart was hilarious. With a bunch of the photos they had Kenneth Brannaugh take in character to hang on his office walls. The boggart cabinet and giant jack in the box from Prisoner of Azkaban was present too. And man, that thing was big and creepy.

The detail to the costume was amazing, by far my favorite ensemble was Lucius Malfoy's costume from the end of Chamber of Secrets. The detail you can never catch on screen, like his pants being black with red pinstripes. And the moms said that the shirt had fine detailing of serpents on it, but I didn't catch it because I was blown away by the pants!

Seeing the magical creatures and beasts was pretty awesome (though the centaurs looked pretty fake). So life-like with things like feathers individually trimmed and placed by hand into the life-size creature's silcone skin all for the purpose of scanning it to make the digital version. They had a giant Buckbeak there and according to the audio tour, though it didn't do so at the exhibit, had the capability of moving to interact with actors. Fawkes was beautiful in real life, I seriously wanted to pet it, which I guess is why it was in a glass case.

I was surprised by how fake the fake food looked, though.

It was also exciting to see a Weasley sweater and Ron's handknit blanket which was a wonderful patchwork of squares. I really wanted to touch it as it looked like it had been semi-felted. Sadly though Ron's Animal Cracker hat didn't make an appearance.

The only question I walked away with is Robbie Coltrane really that big? Hagrid's costume was enormous, I just thought they used camera trickery to make Hagrid appear twice as tall as the average man, and three times as wide.

Viewing the exhibition makes me really excited for The Half Blood Prince to be released in July! Just adding to the anticipation that started to build a couple weeks ago when the full length trailer was released. I know time really does fly, but it sure does feel a long way from now.

P.S. It was cute to see a few kids come dressed in Hogwarts robes! At the sorting of a select few that occured before we could enter the exhibition, there was one girl that was very Hermoine-ish and then a little boy, though not dressed in robes, was so eager to sit on the sorting hat stool but could not get up there because he was so tiny.

1 comment:

JenGoPop said...

Oooo you did go! Sounds like it was an awesome exhibit . . . I wonder if they have curators that keep this stuff in humidity-controlled storage and handle it with white gloves? (No, I didn't wonder that kind of thing before I married a museum technician.) :)

Someday I'm going to crochet me a whomping willow. With real whomping action.