Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is ready to start the new year on a magical note. Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and other cast members will reminisce about their experience filming the series and share tales during the reunion special.
While the teaser and trailer have piqued fans’ interest, reviewers who have seen the reunion special have expressed mixed feelings about it.
“What’s all wrong is the tone of relentless self-congratulation maintained throughout the nearly two-hour show, the actors’ stroking of each other’s egos, and the inflated sense of importance everyone gives the movies—they were important, yes, but it’s tiresome hearing it again and again,” wrote John Anderson of the Wall Street Journal in his review.
The reunion special was described as a “long, twinkly, nostalgic love-fest” by Carol Midgley in her review for The Times UK, with “its main stars lining up to share memories of making the films and, naturally, to say how much they ‘love’ each other (there’s a lot of that).” She also stated that Harry Potter and the Twenty-First Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is “missing a key ingredient.”
Fans should be prepared for an emotional rollercoaster, according to Metro critic Sabrina Barr. “Harry Potter fans, get your tissues ready,” she teased, “because the reunion special will have you in buckets of tears, with eye-opening revelations and a whole lot of heart.” “While some well-known faces are missing from the show, it’s encouraging to see so many of the actors reunite for the first time in years,” she said.
It all comes down to what sort of Harry Potter fan you are, as Caroline Framke pointed out in her Variety review. “Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a skeptic of the franchise, this wholehearted embrace of bottled magic may either thrill or terrify you.” “Whether you’re a lifelong fan or a cynic of the franchise, this wholehearted embrace of bottled magic will either excite or bore you straight away, depending on whether you’re a longtime fan or a skeptic. Return to Hogwarts manages to unearth enough genuine sincerity, and occasionally even jolts of pathos, to keep from becoming quite as sticky sweet as one of Harry’s treacle tarts, for anyone whose loyalties lie somewhere in between (as is the case for this viewer, a onetime Harry Potter obsessive whose devotion faded into adulthood), the review read.
Despite mixed reviews, one thing remained consistent throughout all Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts evaluations: JK Rowling’s absence was palpable. The author of the imaginary world is absent from the reunion special, most likely due to her remarks about transgender issues.
On January 1, Amazon Prime Video will stream the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special.