Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Director

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Alfonso Cuarón

You might not think that the dude responsible for the steamy Mexican road trip film Y Tu Mamá También would be the #1 choice to direct kid's film. After all, Y Tu Mamá También was about two teenage boys, um, "traveling" with an older woman. (Dang.)

But you'd be wrong.

Somehow, the unlikely pairing worked, even though Cuarón was one of seven people on the planet who hadn't read a Harry Potter book at the time he got the job. (Source)

That doesn't mean Cuarón wasn't a reader. His other big films had been adaptations of popular novels. Cuarón brought Great Expectations (1998) to life, although he moved the setting from 19th Century London to modern-day New York City (and, oh yeah: he made the movie way steamier than the Dickens novel).

But Cuarón stayed within the borders of Great Britain (and refrained from adding any extra-saucy scenes) in Harry Potter. And the result is awesome. Azkaban dealt with darker themes than the first two movies, making Cuarón a perfect fit.

Not only does Cuarón do a fantastic, respectful job portraying the tumultuous inner lives of teens, he also doesn't pull punches with the scary imagery, like the Dementors and werewolves. He's confident that his audience can handle it.

Oh, and bonus: he took Harry and the gang out of their robes, putting them in street clothes for the first time in the franchise. Hoodies are far more comfy than wizarding gear.

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