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MuggleCast 197 Transcript



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["Hedwig's Theme" plays]

Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you enjoy - Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I'd just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!

[Show music begins]

Andrew: Because Micah is still having nightmares, this is MuggleCast Episode 197 for April 28th, 2010.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome back to the show everyone. It's a special episode today. We have an interview with Warwick Davis coming up later in the program, as we have teased on our Twitter and Facebook pages and I believe our website as well. Micah and Eric are here, and Matt's here - he hasn't been on for a long time. Hey Matt.

Matt: Hey.

Andrew: And - oh my gosh, so much to talk about - but, Eric, I just want to say, you just celebrated a birthday. Happy birthday buddy.

Eric: Aw, thank you.

Andrew: Did you have a good birthday?

Eric: It was. Actually, the day leading up to my birthday was actually far more adventurous - like it was - a lot of stuff happened the day before, and then the day of was relaxing and enjoyable, so it was really cool.

Andrew: That's how my birthday was last year. I just sat there recovering from the night before.

Matt: Mhm.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Yeah, totally, but - good fun.

Andrew: Well, like I said, we've got a lot to talk about and a lot of Deathly Hallows news to get into. It's all in celebration of Eric's birthday.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I'm Andrew Sims.

Eric: I'm Eric Scull.

Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.

Matt: And I'm Matt Britton.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Micah, what is in the news this week?



News: Potter Most Challenged


Micah: Many, many things related to Deathly Hallows, but first, this past week the American Libraries Association released their list of the entire decade's most banned or challenged books, and topping the list, can you guys guess?

Eric: Huckleberry Finn.

Micah: No, try again.

Andrew: Willy Wonka.

Micah: Nope.

Eric: James and the Giant Peach. That is a [bleep] up book.

Matt: Oh my god.

Micah: You can't say that, but anyway...

Eric: That is a [bleep] up book.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Is Eric allowed to say that because it was his birthday?

Andrew: I guess so, he's a big boy now. What was the banned top book?

Matt: Peter Pan!

Micah: Close.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: What was it Micah?

Eric: As close as you can be.

Micah: Matt has gotten the closest so far.

Matt: Yay!

Micah: Harry Potter.

Matt: Oh!

Andrew: Oh, of course! Why didn't I think of that? We're on a Harry Potter podcast, of course.

Matt: Now, would you say Harry Potter is the most challenged book or the most banned book? Because they say it's banned/challenged.

Andrew: Well, it was probably both and what happens is I mean - obviously the series has been so popular over the past decade, it's not really a surprise that Harry Potter tops the list because when you look at these other books they're all sort of older books I think and it is a shame to see that it's been banned and it's been challenged and people have attempted to get it banned, but it's just a shame that people would try to prevent children from reading these books.

Micah: Well, maybe not even just children it could be anybody, maybe with respect to religion they look to not allow anybody to get a hold of those books, aside from children.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: It's fascinating. It makes me want to read these other ones here like The Alice Series by Phillis Reynolds Nailer, I don't recall ever really hearing about this and the fact that it is challenged or banned very much interests me. The only other one I do recognize other than the Potter series is number five which is Of Mice and Men and I didn't find that book to be that offensive.

Micah: The books don't necessarily have to be published in this decade, I guess it's just any book...

Andrew: That received challenges within the past ten years. This list from the American Library Association was for the years 2000 to 2009 overall.

Eric: Wow, and all of these books were from the early to mid 20th Century.

Matt: Well, there's "His Dark Miracles" too, it's on number eight.

Andrew: "Materials."

Matt: Oh sorry, His Dark Materials.

Eric: What number is it?

Matt: Number eight.

Eric: Oh yeah, okay.

Micah: What'd you say? "Minerals"?

Matt: I said - I said "miracles."

Andrew: Miracles.

Micah: Oh, miracles. [laughs]

Andrew and

Matt: His Dark Miracles.

Matt: [sings] "I believe in miracles!"

Andrew: It's a miracle! But it's dark.

Eric: You know it's interesting. The other thing I wanted to mention here is the Library Association like - we've always heard about the Harry Potter books - people complaining that they contain witchcraft and there have been popular trials and all that but it's just never been real to me that's it's so widespread. That people really feel that there's something of conflict in the Harry series. For it to be like the most challenged book series there have got to be - obviously because they did their homework, there've got to be like documented instances of people challenging these Harry Potter books more than any other book. I mean that's - that kind of made it real to me, when I was reading it, because I heard the occasional "Oh my parents think it's against religion" or whatever. But I didn't think it was actually real widespread actuality that these books were getting banned but I guess they are.

Andrew: All right, well I am banning the discussion of this story any further.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: How do you like that? How do you like that, ALA? Well, actually ALA is not even the one to blame. It's - they just gather the list of requests.

Eric: Don't shoot the messenger, Andrew.

Andrew: Yeah, exactly, exactly.

[Matt laughs]

Micah: But this isn't a surprise to anybody, I don't think.

Andrew: Right.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: So let's move on.

Micah: All right.

Matt: Okay, Laura Mallory.



News: Deathly Hallows Interviews


Micah: Well, I said there was a lot of Deathly Hallows news and there is. Two interviews were conducted - I guess probably about two weeks ago now. One with Tom Felton, the other with Matthew Lewis and it both related to the end of Deathly Hallows and the final battle scene. Tom Felton referred to it as "non-stop carnage" and Matt Lewis was quoted as saying, "it was bloody, gory and harrowing. It includes more adult themes of death and violence but it does stay true to the books by J.K. Rowling." So I was wondering what you guys think now that we've heard this. What's the - maybe not Part I but what's Part II going to be rated? Do you think it's going to stick to PG-13?

Andrew: Yeah they have to.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: You can't go up to R with a children's film. That would kill ticket sales.

Matt: Mhm.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: Well, who says it's a children's film?

Andrew: Well, it would...

Eric: Nobody does, but that's the thing. Like if you - even - there would be - significantly less people will see the movie simply because it's rated R.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: I mean that is - somehow that works.

Andrew: And because kids can't get in on their own.

Eric: Yeah, that's true. So does - I mean, to have a parent to sign for it - that stops people.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Theoretically.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: Yeah. Oh, oh it will. It would definitely put a dent in it.

Eric: Yeah.

Matt: Right.

Andrew: And I think they would make sure. Say they submitted this film and it got an R rating, they would do something to get it down to PG-13.

Matt: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah. They usually include a list of suggestions to get it down.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: And they'll edit it.

Matt: And you can - oh and lately they've been pushing the whole PG-13 - the whole border between PG-13 and R lately in films too so I...

Eric: Yeah they have.

Matt: ...think it can get pretty bloody and gory and still maintain a PG-13 rating.

Micah: Yeah, well, I doubt we're going to see it be PG like Half-Blood Prince.

Andrew: Yeah, I think you're right about that.

Eric: I still don't get why PG - why Half-Blood Prince was PG. Do you guys? Like...

Matt: It was - well I mean it was a lot of - there was more drama I would probably say than the other films. It was a lot of dialogue between the characters and not much of action so to speak with special effects and stuff with bodily fluids going anywhere or something, unlike Goblet of Fire when Peter Pettigrew cut off his hand.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: It was also a comedy. [laughs]

Micah: That's true.

Matt: Yeah and comedies can't be rated R.

Andrew: Maybe that was W.B.'s way of ensuring it didn't get too bad of a rating. They just started saying, "Oh, it's a comedy. It's a comedy!"

[Matt laughs]

Andrew: ...in all the interviews. And then the parents who do the MPAA ratings, they were like, "Oh, it's a comedy. It can't be that bad!"

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Eric: I would start calling it a dramedy.

Andrew: Dramedy! [laughs]

Matt: Oh, snaps! Getting pretty technical!



News: Part I Score


Micah: All right, and then on April 18th, Magic Box Music, a trailer scoring company who has worked on Potter trailers before, revealed that they're working on the score for Part I of Deathly Hallows.

Eric: That shocked me! That shocked me that the trailer people - and it makes sense, but, that these people will edit the trailer together, and they'll, I guess, compose a score for it that isn't part of the movie score.

Matt: Mhm. They must be excited for this.

Andrew: That's what they always do.

Eric: Yeah, well I remember seeing Pirates of the Caribbean 2, the trailer for it, and it was using the same music as was used in an X-Men trailer years before. And I remember that they recycle that. But I didn't know if it was the same studio or not. But I mean, I guess it makes sense. This was just shocking to me that they're composing new music for this trailer when they could actually just use some of those epic 'ahhhh' scene moments.

Matt: Well, I'm sure it's going to be epic, Eric. It's just going to be original.

Eric: Yeah.

Matt: So this is probably going to be the theme that all the other trailers after this in the future are going to be copying.

Eric: Yeah!

Andrew: Well, since they are working on it, hopefully that means that they are close to finalizing some sort of trailer. But then again, they could hold it back for a couple more months. As we will discuss momentarily, with another news story.

Micah: Yeah, why don't we just jump right to that.

Andrew: Let's do that! Go ahead.

Micah: Talk about it a little bit.

Matt: Ahh, such fun!

Andrew: Be crazy, Micah!



News: Deathly Hallows Trailer Coming?


Micah: [laughs] Well, we got a little bit of a tip last night, since we're recording here on Sunday, that the Deathly Hallows PR machine is going to start spinning rapidly this June.

Andrew: Can you use my comparison? I compared it to a choo-choo train.

Micah: Why don't you use that comparison? Since it's yours.

Andrew: Chugga chugga choo choo! We're rollin', baby, let's go! Promo train!

Eric: So what do they mean? Did they call it a train, or a machine, or...?

Andrew: Well, sorry Micah, go ahead. Finish the story.

Micah: Well, we got word from somebody who spoke with the vice President of Exhibitor Services for Warner Bros., Domestic Theatrical Distribution. So basically what that means is she's in charge of the W.B. trailers and advertising materials for theaters in the United States and Canada. And she mentioned that there was going to be an aggressive marketing campaign possibly with Twilight in June.

Andrew: Well, she didn't say possibly. I think its pretty set that it'll be in June. So here's what happened. Some crazy - well I wont call them crazy - but some fan really wanted to know when the first trailer was going to come out, e-mailed a bunch of people at Warner Bros. and this Kelly O'Conner responded, now, poor Kelly O'Conner. She didn't realize it was a fan. She thought it was somebody who works at a movie theater e-mailing her and asking about the trailer.

Micah: Whoops.

Andrew: So she replied back, and I saw the whole email conversation, so this is how I gather that she got the wrong impression about this person emailing. So she thought [laughs] it's a movie theater worker, so she said, "We're not working on Potter yet." Exact quote is "We're gonna launch an aggressive marketing campaign that launches with Twilight." And she's referring to Eclipse, the third movie and that comes out June 30th. So I think around the end of June, that's when thing's are really going to start rolling out. And a lot of people in MuggleNet's comments thought it was interesting they described it as an aggressive marketing campaign.

Matt: Yeah.

Andrew: And what could that mean? Well, banner ads like crazy all over the internet. TV commercials like crazy all over the internet.

Eric: Standees in places where you wouldn't ordinarily expect to find standees.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Like, the middle of the produce aisle. Yeah, the middle of your produce aisle at your supermarket, there's just going to be like, a Voldemort thing.

Andrew: [as Voldemort] Buy these peanuts and see me in theaters this November!

[Matt laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Exactly. That aggressive.

Micah: Do they really need to be aggressive though?

Eric: I hope they do.

Matt: No, but I think - it's their final shot at doing all this. After Deathly Hallows, its over so they're just going to go all out.

Eric: I want it to feel like it did when Book 7 and Movie 5 were coming out.

Matt: Yeah, I want to get sick to death of Harry Potter.

Eric: Yeah.

Matt: All that stuff. I mean, thats...

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Well, here's the other thing - if they are waiting till June to get things started, then that's why I think part of the reason it needs to be aggressive. Because it's not sort of like a slow build up. It's just boom, all at once. Three months beforehand isn't that long of a wait. You know what I'm saying? So they really got to push it.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: And they have other films that they have to worry about right now.

Matt: Right.

Micah: Well, yeah, and how interested are people going to be in that first film as opposed to the second one? I mean they probably have to sell the first one a lot harder.

Andrew: That's true, yeah. That's absolutely right.



News: LEGO Harry Potter


Micah: Final bit related to the film itself is that LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4 is going to have a Collectors Edition. The game hasn't even been released yet. Is this common for video games?

Andrew: No!

Eric: No. In fact, I saw it and I was like, "What!? They're doing - they're putting what with the game? Exactly? In the book?"

Micah: So there's going to be this exclusive behind the scenes look of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as part of this video game Collectors Edition. I'm not really sure what that's going to entail. Is it going to be completely new, or is going to be something that we may see a few weeks, maybe a few days before the game is actually released?

Eric: Oh, okay.

Andrew: I think it will be with the game, and this game is supposed to come out June 29th.

Matt: Oh!

Eric: Oh! Part of their impressive marketing campaign!

Andrew: And that's when their marketing campaign...

Matt: Impressive LEGO game!

Micah: Right, that's what I'm saying. Is it going to be a trailer that's going to be released a few days before, or do you think it's really going to be exclusive to the video game?

Matt: Yeah, I kind of agree with the first part of what you said, Micah.

Andrew: That it'll be exclusive to the video game?

Matt: No, no, no - that there's going to be at least a teaser or some kind of preview before this.

Andrew: No, no, no, no, no. Look, this game comes out June 29th.

Matt: Right.

Andrew: With the game is going to be an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look. Not a trailer. Then the trailer will come out with Eclipse.

Eric: Well they do do that with games, though. They do put movie trailers in games. I had an X-Men game a while back that had all this exclusive X2 footage in it. It's just something that you can do, and especially with the next-gen systems with live internet connection and Blu-ray and all that stuff. They're going to probably - I mean, that's kind of the future of gaming, is going to be - if there's a movie game, they're going to do some promos for it. So yeah, it's not uncommon, but what I was talking about initially was the magnets that are getting shipped with the game.

Matt: The magnets, oh yeah.

Micah: That's kind of weird.

Matt: But I mean, the behind-the-scenes stuff, in other games, too, they kind of distribute it in between each level, too. I remember when I was playing The Lord of the Rings games for Xbox, after every level of the game they would have a quick little excerpt of going behind-the-scenes in the film and even behind-the-scenes of the video game. So they could disperse that throughout the game as well, and they may even begin it with a teaser or trailer if they intend on releasing it before this game.

Micah: Yeah, I mean, they look like they're going to put in some behind-the-scenes look at the video game as well. I guess, Eric, that goes to your point that it's next-generational and that's what they're doing with video games. But I don't know, it just doesn't sit right with me that they're already making a collector's edition. It's seventy bucks.

Andrew: Yeah, I mean, this is just a quick way to boost profits. And personally, I don't see anything on here worth the extra twenty bucks, with the exception of the exclusive behind-the-scenes look, but...

Matt: The magnet.

Andrew: ...in the age of the internet, that's just going to come online anyway, on YouTube, so - nice birthday gift, I guess. I am excited about this game. We've talked about it on the show a lot. I cannot wait to get it for PS3, it should look beautiful.

Matt: Aw, I thought you were going to get it on Wii.

Andrew: No.

Matt: Aw.

Eric: I'm going to get it on Wii, I'll tell you how it is.

Micah: And I might be checking that game out in about a week or so.

Andrew: That's right, Micah's going to a little...

Matt: What!

Andrew: LEGO Harry Potter party in New York City to play the game for the first time! So that's cool.

Eric: [sighs] That's so awesome.

Andrew: Let us know how it is.

Micah: I will.

Andrew: Cool.

Micah: I will. It'll be right around the time the next show is released.

Andrew: Good, you'll have a report.

Micah: Maybe.

Andrew: When you're there ask them, is this a part of the aggressive marketing campaign...

[Eric and Matt laugh]

Andrew: That Warner Bros. has lined up?



News: Leavesden Studios


Micah: So the final bit of news is that the Watford Observer reported this week that plans have now been approved and finalized to turn Leavesden Studios into a permanent studio.

Andrew: Sweet.

Micah: What do you guys think of that?

Matt: Oh, nice!

Andrew: Well the bigger part of the story for Harry Potter fans is that there will be a permanent Harry Potter...

Micah: Attraction.

Andrew: ...attraction. I didn't know what else to call it so I just wrote "attraction." I'm not sure if that's the best word for it.

[Matt laughs]

Andrew: It's opening in 2012 in the studio. So they're going to preserve some of the Harry Potter sets and you'll be able to pay something, and then you'll be able to go in and get a little tour of the Harry Potter sets, which is awesome, I think!

Matt: Yeah. Maybe it was just too big for them to move anywhere else so they just decided to keep it in there.

Andrew: Yeah, plus it'll be cool for people to actually go to the studio...

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: ...where all eight Harry Potter films were shot.

Matt: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, that's the thing. It's the real sets, really where they were. So that's cool, but I thought it was weird at first because - as you say, Andrew, you said last week too, that even though the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank has costumes and props on a second floor museum, we've got it on their lot. We've got the Harry Potter exhibit which is touring the world, and I really think that there will be something in the line of props in the Wizarding World theme park in Florida so there are all these permanent attractions now that are going to have parts of these sets and parts of these movies pretty much all over. So it's very interesting.

Micah: What's interesting is they said that this redevelopment's going to cost a hundred million pounds, but what they're looking forward to - I guess on a positive side - is that it's going to create a lot of jobs for the local economy there.

Andrew: Yeah, so it's great news, and I think it'll be exciting even if you're visiting London. I mean, it's about a forty-five minute trip from London, and I think they're going to keep Dumbledore's office because that's been there forever, The Great Hall, I hope - I mean, that's a big set but they've got to keep that one. That one's iconic...

Eric: Mhm.

Micah: Unless it's destroyed.

Andrew: Yeah, well that's the thing. I'm trying to think of sets that have been there all this time and the main two are Dumbledore's office and the Great Hall. What they usually do is they build sets and they tear them down as soon as they're done with them because they've got to keep making room so it'll be interesting to see what else they keep. I wouldn't be surprised if they rebuild a couple things because most stuff is gone [laughs] so maybe stuff from the creatures department, I bet, or stuff from the special effects department. They have a ton of stuff they save from there. So, if you're in London when that opens up, or anywhere in England, you got to go to that.

Matt: Mhm.

Andrew: And it's amazing how their studio is in the middle of nowhere. I mean, it's right nearby neighborhood communities. It's just - oh! Another one is Privet Drive. That's been there, and that's an outdoor set. I bet they'll keep that as well. So, really exciting. Really glad to hear they'll be doing this.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So, is that it, Micah?

Micah: That is it.



MuggleCast Remix


Andrew: All right. Well, before we get to our interview with Warwick Davis, we have a reminder about the MuggleCast Remix that we were talking about last episode, on 196. As part of our Episode 200 celebration, Eric is putting together a second MuggleCast Remix, and he's looking for your favorite moments from Episodes 26 to 100. Eric, correct me if I'm wrong in any of this. If they can send you favorite moments by emailing eric at staff dot mugglenet dot com, and putting "MuggleCast Remix" in the subject line, and when you write to him include the - we're looking for the timestamp of your favorite moment. So, send Eric the episode number and the time that the moment starts at in the episodes. So, for example, "One hour, five minutes, fifty-eight seconds in."

Eric: Yeah. Exactly, and you can send more than one entry, it's more than welcome. I had a few people send in quite a lot of entries, which is great, because it allows me to pick from the clips, but so far I've only gotten ten entries. Ten different people have sent an email in the past week, and I said initially because it's going to get - take a while to put all these together. I said I was only going to accept entries for another week or so, but please do send emails. So far, the mix is - because I've only gotten ten entries - the mix is going to be five minutes long, and... [Andrew laughs]

Eric: ...surprisingly include only Micah quotes, so.

Andrew: Oh, I got to send some in then.

Eric laughs

Micah: How did that work out?

Eric: I don't know, Micah. I don't know.

Andrew: I bet it was Micah who sent in all the timestamps.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: I had all the transcribers pull the...

Andrew: That's right.

Micah: ...timestamps and send them in on my behalf.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So, visit MuggleCast.com, and the top news post on the site has the information. Thanks so much for your help. It's going to be really cool. You can also listen to the first remix that Eric made a long time ago. It was back when - I don't know.

Eric: It was - actually, it was when Episode 25 was the most recent aired episode.

Andrew: Wow. All right. So, now it is our time for our interview with Warwick Davis. We recorded it a few days ago, and we'll turn it over to that now.

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#244 (November 20th, 2011): For the first time ever, MuggleCast has a DVD commentary! Watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 on DVD with us. We'll comment on each and every scene - it's as if we're in your living room watching alongside you!

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