Our favourite installment in the wizarding series came with 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The wizarding world is on edge after Sirius Black has escaped from prison, and dementors are patrolling the grounds at Hogwarts. We’ve created a quiz so you can test your knowledge, and we’ve pulled together some awesome Prisoner of Azkaban trivia!
Take our Prisoner of Azkaban Quiz
How did you do? Feel free to send the quiz to your friends and family to see if they can do as well as you did!
Here are 14 amazing facts about the film…
1) Ian McKellan turned down the role of Dumbledore
After Richard Harris’ passing, the production needed a new actor to step into the role of Albus Dumbledore. The producers approached Ian McKellan, who had just played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. McKellan turned the role down, partly for the reason that Richard Harris had once called him a dreadful actor, and it wouldn’t feel right to take over his role.
2) Remote controlled whoopee cushion
For the scene where the students are all sleeping in the hall, director Alfonso Cuaron, Alan Rickman and Michael Gambon decided to play a trick on Daniel Radcliffe by hiding a remote controlled whoopee cushion inside his sleeping bag. The whole room was laughing as it went off, but Radcliffe tried hard to stay in character.
3) The Knight Bus
In the finished film, it looks like The Knight Bus is tearing through the streets and negotiating traffic at lightning speed. To achieve this, they filmed the bus travelling at a regular speed, and the traffic around it driving extremely slowly. In editing, they sped the footage up so that the traffic was moving at a normal speed, but the bus was zipping through it at an alarming speed.
4) The dementors are based on JK Rowling’s depression
The dementors make their first appearance in this movie. Guards of Azkaban, they suck the happiness out of you. JK Rowling actually based them on her own battle with depression – a soul-sucking force that drains all hope and happiness out of your body.
5) Tom Felton’s pockets were sewn shut
Notorious for snacking on-set, the pockets of Tom Felton’s robes were sewn shut by the costume department to prevent him from sneaking food on-set.
6) No swearing on set
Chris Columbus didn’t return as director for this installment in the series. Although he had originally signed on to direct the entire series of movies, he decided that he wanted to spend more time with his family. The role of director went to Alfonso Cuaron. It was written in Cuaron’s contract that he wasn’t allowed to swear on set in front of the children.
7) Dudley was almost recast
Harry Melling, who played Harry’s cousin Dudley Dursley, lost a lot of weight between Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban. So much so, in fact, that the producers considered recasting him. However, Melling kept the gig, but had to wear a fat suit. The actor has since been involved with lots of Netflix projects including The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The Devil All the Time, and The Queen’s Gambit.
8) Keeping Warwick Davis involved
The script didn’t mention Professor Flitwick at any point; offering him no part in the plot. Director Alfonso Cuaron wanted to keep Warwick Davis involved in the film, so had him play the choir’s director. When Mike Newell was directing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, he liked how Warwick Davis looked as the choir director, and decided to keep that look for Professor Flitwick going forward. That’s why he looks different in the first two films.
9) Real bats
Real bats were used for the scenes in Hagrid’s hut. In an interview, Radcliffe said that the trainers had a hard time controlling them during filming, and they would also urinate over everything in the set.
10) Professor Quirrell convinced Professor Lupin to accept the role
When David Thlewis was offered the role of part time-werewolf Professor Lupin, he wasn’t sure at first. However, he was talking with his friend Ian Hart, who played Professor Quirrell in the first film. Hart, who had read all the books released up until that point, told Thlewis it was the best part in the book, and so he accepted the role.
11) Coffee-stained map
When designing the Marauder’s map, with is an iconic part of the film, the graphic designers wanted to avoid traditional rolled-up treasure maps, which had been overdone in movies. Instead, they opted for a multi-levelled folding map, covered in text. To give the map its aged look, they used the old trick of coating it with coffee.
12) Hair balls
To give Hermione’s cat, Crookshanks, its trademark messy look, the trainers would scrape together all the hair that had malted off the two cats used in filming, and would clip it to whichever cat was on camera.
13) Lacquer-coated candy
The candy in the sweet shop Honeydukes, which the characters visit in the film, was completely real and edible. However, to stop the cast from stealing sweets to eat between takes, they were all told that the sweets were coated in lacquer. This lie had the desired effect, and the sweets were left alone.
14) Night vision goggles
With piracy reaching an all-time high at this point in time, Warner Bros took extra measures to try to stock the film being recorded in cinemas for illegal distribution later on. They provided cinema ushers with night vision goggles so that they could more easily check the audiences for signs of cameras being used.
There you have it – 14 amazing facts about Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban trailer
Harry Potter Gift Guide
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter or you know someone who is, why not treat yourself or your friend to one of the magical goodies in our gift guide?
Check it out: Harry Potter Gift Ideas
More Harry Potter content from Geek Soup
Now you’ve explored some Prisoner of Azkaban trivia, why not use a time-turner, and travel back to the original? We’ve put together some magical facts about Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.