Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Animals

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Do Not Feed the Animals

The people who made this movie never listened to the phrase "never work with children or animals," because they're working with both.

(And some of the animals aren't even real. We're not sure if that makes them easier or harder to work with.)

We have a handy infographic on all the animals in Prisoner of Azkaban, but not all of these creatures have equal roles in the movie.

The Crookshanks v. Scabbers rivalry is only briefly shown, as foreshadowing for Scabbers eventually running directly into the claws of Sirius in dog-form. Speaking of dog form, we have two different dog-type animals: Sirius (who's an Animagus) and Lupin the werewolf.

This brings up the element of choice. Sirius can choose to become a dog—although, as evidenced by his attacking Ron, his ability to make good choices is severely limited in dog form. Pettigrew becomes a rat, which is fitting in with his sniveling nature. Lupin can't choose to become a werewolf, and he cannot control his impulses once he transforms either, making him pretty freaking dangerous.

And then we get to everybody's favorite hippogriff. Harry's relationship with Buckbeak is similar to that of someone trying to keep a wild animal as a pet. (See also: Siegfried and Roy.) Buckbeak's still totally feral—he's likely to attack or injure someone if they don't handle him properly.

You're An Animal

Some people, like Malfoy, want to punish Buckbeak for his animal nature. We also see Lupin later punished for his animal nature: he's forced to resign when his identity as a werewolf is exposed.

Everyone has a bit of animal inside himself, whether or not it's easy to render that animal with computer graphics or not. Even Harry, who has a primal need for revenge, must channel his energies into something positive: the Patronus. In Harry's case, it takes the form of a noble, majestic creature. No, not a proboscis monkey. A regal stag.

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