(Originally published by the Daily News on Nov. 16, 2001.) The magical world invoked by J.K. Rowling’s phenomenally successful books is brought fully and faithfully to life in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” a dryly funny children’s adventure set in an enchanted school. Even the shape-shifting Prof. McGonagall could not have done a better job than director Chris Columbus of transfiguring book to movie. If anything, the filmed version is faithful to a fault. It is powered solely by the book, and in this satellite role lacks a beating heart of its own. But that is surely quibbling in the face of precision casting and a zoo’s worth of specialeffects creatures. This movie will make more money than can be deposited with the deliciously wiz-ened guardians of Gringott’s bank for wizards. “Harry Potter” will appease protective fans while winning over mere muggles (the word used by wizards for nonmagical humans). It has at least a taste of something from every page of the book: A nonexistent train platform, a “sorting hat” that knows all that’s going on in the cranium beneath it and, of course, the rousing broomstick-flying game of Quidditch. Young Harry, played with suitable pluck and gravitas… Read full this story
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