Harry Potter Creature Shop

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, visit the creature shop from behind the scenes of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, listen as a robotics expert breaks down the accuracy of movie scenes featuring androids, robots or droids such as HAL-9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey and R2-D2 from Star Wars, and listen to the commencement speech Tom Hanks gave to the students of Wright State University in Ohio.

First up, Warner Bros. Pictures posted this eight-minute featurette that goes behind the scenes of the creature shop from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which includes animatronics for Buckbeak the hippogriff, models for the Professor Lupin as werewolf, maquettes for the dementors, and even some glimpses at creatures, props, and prosthetic from the other movies.

Next up, Wired brought in Chris Atkeson, a professor at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, to analyze some robot scenes from movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Ex Machina, Big Hero 6, and many more. He determines whether depictions of certain kinds of robots and their capabilities are something we could see in our lifetime.

Finally, Tom Hanks recently addressed the graduation class of 2020 at Wright State University in Ohio, where one of the college’s schools is named after him. It was done remotely like the rest of the commencement ceremonies unfolding around the country during the pandemic. In the speech, Hanks said, “You will have made it through a time of great sacrifice and great need. And no one will be more fresh to the task of restarting our normalcy than you — our chosen ones.”

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