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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 08:52 GMT 09:52 UK
Potter DVD unlocks more secrets

by Emma Saunders
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Dobby the house-elf
The DVD extras are easy to navigate

The latest Harry Potter DVD had much to live up to following the success of The Philosopher's Stone but fans will not be disappointed.

The second film has a darker edge than the first but it is the extra features, justifying an entire disc of their own, that really impress.

In a nutshell, the DVD has improved on the interactivity of the first and made it simpler to navigate.

While the first DVD impressed some with its gameplay element - you had to successfully complete several games to gain access to the deleted scenes - it was a little frustrating for others.

The reward element has been removed this time round which gives the viewer more control.

The activities are varied enough to satisfy both the fast-paced computer game fan and those (adults perhaps?) who prefer a gentler pace.

In Mr Filch's Questions, you acquire weapons to defeat Tom Riddle for every question you answer correctly.

A tour of Diagon Alley is a magical ride through the film set where you can enter individual shops (some not seen in the movie) and find out more about what they sell.

Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter
There are 19 deleted scenes
And Forbidden Forest is a driving game where the object is to escape from the woods in the Weasleys' car.

The graphics are impressive and the detail will please those for whom the books are never enough.

The tour of Lockhart's classroom is amusing, with a photo gallery of the narcissistic one on his travels, dressed up in various guises.

There is more for the adults this time round too.

Production sketches show the initial ideas of the graphic designers for characters such as Dobby in the Behind Hogwarts section.

It also offers an interview with JK Rowling and screenplay writer Steve Kloves, who discuss how they worked together on the script.

There are segments on props, make-up and costume and an interview with director Chris Columbus, which was sorely missed from the first DVD.

Other features on offer are the usual cast interviews and images and, of course, deleted scenes, which now appear on most DVDs.

Of the 19 shown, a couple might have you wondering why they did not make the film - particularly the introduction of Lucius Malfoy in Diagon Alley.

But the majority are not overly thrilling and anyone hoping to see scenes left out of the film such as the Deathday party or the "de-gnoming" in the Weasleys garden, may feel dissatisfied.

Other than this minor quibble, the disc extras are as comprehensive as you will find in this format and the attention to detail raises the stakes for future DVD releases.

And if nothing else, it should give fans something to occupy their minds while they wait for the fifth book to come out in June.

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets is released on video and DVD on Friday.

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