Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince parents guide

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Parent Guide

If you hope to glean any satisfaction from viewing this sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you'd be well advised to do some homework first.

Overall B

Harry Potter's (Daniel Radcliffe) 6th year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry looks to be just as difficult as the rest thanks to his curiosity over an old tome inscribed as "the property of the Half-Blood Prince." While Harry riffles through the book's pages, the evil Lord Voldemort and his followers ruffle both the Wizard and Muggle worlds.

Release date July 15, 2009

Violence C
Sexual Content B-
Profanity B+
Substance Use C

Why is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince rated PG? The MPAA rated Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince PG for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.

Run Time: 154 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Once again, Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) is about to ask too much of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). With the prophetic revelation of the young wizard’s connection to the Dark Lord (uncovered in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), the aging professor knows he needs to include the boy in his dangerous efforts to thwart the villainous Voldemort, while at the same time attempting to safeguard his life.

As part one of his plan, Dumbledore invites former instructor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) to return to Hogwarts to lead the potions class. Any reservations the self-important educator expresses over the risks of the job are quickly shaken off at the prospect of mentoring someone as famous as “Young Potter.” And for part two, Dumbledore asks Harry to befriend the vain teacher who knows a secret or two about the enemy they hope to destroy.

Harry’s enthusiasm for the task increases when he opens a well-worn copy of the Potions textbook and discovers its pages are full of helpful notes and insightful commentary. The only clue to the identity of the scribbler is an inscription reading, “Property of the Half-Blood Prince.” Despite doubts about the previous owner’s intentions, the wicked cheats place Harry at the top of the class and in Slughorn’s trusted inner circle.

But Harry is not the only one on a covert mission. Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) has been approached by some of Voldemort’s faithful followers and promised protection by Professor Severus Snape (Alan Rickman). Sneaking about the castle, the angst-filled adolescent spends his extracurricular time in a hidden room where he tampers with a mysterious cupboard.

As the powers of evil grow stronger, both the Muggle and Wizard worlds are threatened. The blight of this black magic causes a suspension bridge to snap (death and harm to pedestrians implied), explosions and arson to claim homes and businesses, individuals to be hexed, cursed and battered, and wands to be weapons capable of wounding and killing (blood is depicted with some of these injuries). Along with constant peril to many characters, there are demonic creatures that attack and try to burn or drown their foes. Potions and poison play a large part in the plot too. These brews result in everything from lustful obsession and reckless behavior to vomiting and near asphyxiation. Still, the story has time to explore budding romances and hormonal attraction between the genders, and plenty of teenaged “snogging” (hand-holding, kissing and embracing) is portrayed.

For fans of the Harry Potter franchise, none of these issues will come as a surprise. J.K. Rowling’s books have delved into darker and darker themes with each successive edition to the series. Although she is classified as a writer of juvenile fiction, Rowling has never been afraid of exploring mature topics, such as the loss of loved ones, the desire for power, the call of revenge, the fascination of murder, the dream of immortality, the binding force of vows, and the enduring strength of friendship. And throughout her novels, the author has always taken some time to play with the fancies and foibles of youth (including the magic that turns girls and boys from “yucky” into “interesting”).

Ardent admirers will also be the best equipped to fill in any blanks found in the moviemaker’s adaptation and to remember details from past installments. However, those just casually curious about the exploits of Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), will find themselves at a serious disadvantage. If you hope to glean any satisfaction from viewing this sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you’d be well advised to do some homework first.

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint. Running time: 154 minutes. Theatrical release July 15, 2009. Updated

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Rating & Content Info

Why is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince rated PG? Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is rated PG by the MPAA for scary images, some violence, language and mild sensuality.

In this occult world where good and bad magic are constantly battling, the forces of evil destroy property such as bridges, buildings, homes and businesses. (It is implied some injury or even death may have resulted from these actions. The emotional toll of some of these losses is also portrayed). After a character is maliciously kicked in the face, he suffers a bloody noise. A wand renders a character unconscious and blood is shown flowing from several wounds on his chest. A wizard tastes a drop of blood to identify its origin. Wands are used as weapons to threaten and kill characters. The body of a girl who is hexed is helplessly thrown and tossed about, then dropped to the ground from a height. Frightening witches and wizards with murderous intentions are frequently portrayed. A scene shows numerous naked, demonic creatures (no detail of private body parts are depicted) attempting to drown a character. Sports violence, like hitting and tackling, is shown. A character cuts his hand with a knife. The body of a large, dead spider is seen. Characters drink alcohol in social settings, in pubs and at home. Some of them are portrayed as tipsy and intoxicated, and another passes out. Potions are used on several characters: one becomes obsessively in love, others behave drunkenly and recklessly, another begins choking and froths at the mouth, and one drinks poison for the good of others. Teenaged characters frequently hold hands, kiss (sometimes passionately) and caress each other. Brief sexual innuendo is included in the script. Mild profanities and terms of deity are heard. Vows, secret oaths and betrayals are part of the plot.

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More parents' guide for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince after the break...

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Parents' Guide

Professor Dumbledore reminds the students that Tom Riddle (Voldemort) was once an ordinary pupil just like them. Why does he say this? What does he mean when he claims they may be the greatest power for the forces of evil? Why are some individuals drawn towards things that are good and others towards things that are bad?

Memories play a major role in the movie’s storyline. How can the events of the past be distorted by the way a person remembers them? Why might one chose to be “selective” with their memories? How can real truth be determined?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince movie is June 14, 2011. Here are some details…

On November 8, 2011, Warner Bother’s studio is releasing: Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection (also known as Harry Potter- Years 1-7)

Home Video Notes: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Ultimate Edition (Blu-ray)

Release Date: 14 June 2011

On June 14, 2011, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince releases on Blu-ray again, this time in an Ultimate Edition. Bonus extras include:

- Creating the World of Harry Potter

 

Release Date: 8 December 2009

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on DVD provides both wide screen and full frame presentations of the movie. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English and Spanish), with subtitles in English, Spanish and French.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Special Edition DVD with Digital Copy offers audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English and Spanish) and subtitles in English, Spanish and French. Bonus materials include:

- Additional Scenes

- Featurettes: Close-Up with the Cast and Crew of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life, One Minute Drills and What’s On Your Mind.

- Sneak Peek at an attraction at Universal’s Orlando® Resort in Florida, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

- Digital Copy of the theatrical film.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Blu-ray Combo Pack with additional DVD and Digital Copies features audio tracks in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) and Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, French and Spanish). Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish. Extras include:

- Additional Scenes

- Featurettes: Close-Up with the Cast and Crew of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life, One Minute Drills and What’s On Your Mind.

- Sneak Peek at an attraction at Universal’s Orlando® Resort in Florida, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

- Blu-ray features: WB Maximum Movie Mode, BD-Live Media Center (My Commentary, Live Community Screening and other interactive features) and BD-Live interactivity (Facebook Connect).

- DVD version of the theatrical film.

- Digital Copy of the theatrical film.

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