"I came to Hagrid from a distant land, in the pockets of a traveller," said Aragog, the Acromantula, to Harry and Ron. The traveller was Newt Scamander, as we later find out in the 'Fantastic Beasts' series. Indeed fantastic, these creatures originated from the ingenuity of several specialists like Nick Dudman. It takes a special flair to evoke emotions for purely fictional creatures, like Buckbeak, or to instil fear in creatures of myth, such as the Basilisk. Guess what? you can now encounter all these creatures in Harry Potter™ Studios, London.
One of Harry's heroic acts was killing the Basilisk in the Chamber of Secrets. The Basilisk wasn't all CGI, with the crew creating a model to reduce dependency on graphics. The final battle scene where Harry killed the beast featured a full-size practical Basilisk mouth measuring 30 feet in length and three feet in depth. The aquatronic model could slither to trail Harry in the fighting sequence, lessening the dependency on CGI. Therefore, try not to get too close to it at the Warner Bros Harry Potter™ Studio London.
Harry Potter was full of 'Fantastic Beasts'. Goblins were one of them. They ran the famous Gringotts Wizarding Bank in Diagon Alley, which housed incredible wealth and dangerous objects like a Horcrux. Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer Nick Dudman (Also renowned for The Mummy & Carnival Row) and his team worked tirelessly to create goblins and give each of them unique personalities and traits. Thanks to them, we could tell every goblin apart. Goblin prosthetics from the movies were thrown away as they couldn't be reused. However, the team placed familiar goblin heads at the Warner Bros Harry Potter™ Studio London to give fans a real look at goblins
Nick Dudman, Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer, along with Production Designer Stuart Craig, brought Aragog to life in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." With an impressive 18-foot leg span, Aragog could crawl and speak. Each of his hairs was meticulously inserted by hand using various materials. On set, it took over 15 people to operate the animatronic Aragog, with four puppeteers controlling his hind legs. Head to the Forbidden Forest at the Warner Bros Harry Potter™ Studio London to catch Aragog at his best.
In "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," Dobby first appeared as a CGI character. To help the actors, filmmakers used a simple tennis ball on a stick as a reference on set. They also created a detailed physical model of Dobby for the actors to look at during filming. This helped them know where to focus their attention when interacting with the CGI character.
"It's a shame you had to see him on a Burning Day," said Dumbledore to Harry. But you don't! The Creature Shop team constructed three animatronic models of Fawkes: an adult phoenix, an older moulting version, and a newborn fledgling that emerged from ashes. Fawkes' feathers were real and hand-painted in fiery colors. For flying scenes, the Visual Effects team crafted a digital bird to perform actions beyond what the physical models could do.
Yes! Harry Potter creatures are a significant part of the wizarding world and in Harry Potter™ Studio Tours, you get a chance to have an encounter with them.
In Harry Potter™ Studio Tours, you can see the handsome Buckbeak, the terrifying Aragog, the mighty Basilisk and Goblins too.
Absolutely! Creature effects in Harry Potter™ Studios make these majestic beasts look very real and you better pluck up the courage to face them.
Creature Effects are included in the regular Harry Potter™ Studios tours. A separate ticket is not required.
To skip lines on your studio tour, opt for Harry Potter™ Studio Guided Tour and you can also book priority parking to save time at the entrance.
Nick Dudman who was the Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer, is he brains behind the Harry Potter creatures.