Since the dawn of YouTube, tribute videos have been the common man’s prime means of artistic expression. If you’re not familiar, these videos take a song (usually melodramatic or comedic [if the artist's aim is juxtaposition]) and combine it with video clips or still images of the person, place, or thing that’s being paid tribute to. These videos come from all over and from all walks of life. The Jane Austen/Goo Goo Dolls devotee, the Wayne Rooney/bad dance music enthusiast, and naturally the Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights/faux African music fan are all represented. And on the eve of the final installment of the Harry Potter films it felt right to briefly scour the internet and find out how the people really feel about their friends at Hogwarts. The people have spoken and they’re lame as shit.
Video: Ron and Hermione Tribute – I Love Her
Song: “I Love Her” by Jesse McCartney
Tribute Artist: AnakinnVaderLover
It’s important to note that the artist decided use the song of a teen heart throb to help illustrate the love of two other teen heart throbs. They could have picked any number of fabulous love songs by Paul McCartney, but decided that Mr. Jesse McCartney’s piano driven tune was the better option. It’s also important to point out that about half of the clips above are either photoshopped, taken from press events, or are animated renderings of Ron and Hermione from unknown sources. My favorite moments generally involved the ‘unofficial’ Ron/Hermione moments. At 0:37 there’s a picture of Ron and Hermione at their wedding. If you’re anything like me you’re first reaction was “Why did they chose to wear clothes so decidedly muggleish for their wedding!?” Bur remember, Hermione grew up a muggle and has muggle parents so it’s only natural that her wedding would be traditionally muggle. That’s the kind of artistic touch that separates this video from the pack. AnakinVaderLover could have easily forgotten and made their wedding pic all wizardy, but is obviously a huge fan and knew that anything but a traditional wedding would be anachronistic. In short, the artist cares about the audience. Also, there’s a nice little part at 3:09 with a colored drawing of a tee-shirted Ron holding his red-headed new-born child while a gleeful Hermione looks on at the two loves of her life in perfect bliss. Once again, this drawing stands out because of its detail. One, the baby’s hair is red, which is key to get right because any other hair color would be blasphemous. And two, Ron and Hermione don’t appear to be more than a year or two out of Hogwarts in the drawing, which means that the artist felt that the pair of love birds got down to business immediately after the defeat of Voldemort. And I guess that makes sense because as far as I know there is no higher education for wizards so there would be no “let’s wait and see how we feel after college” for Ron and Hermione. Anyway, AnakinVaderLover is clearly not just a Star Wars enthusiast and we’re all the better for it and the evidence is this gloriously lame tribute video.
Video: Harry Potter’s Tribute to Professor McGonnagal
Song: “Awake in a Dream” by Kalan Porter
Tribute Artist: RhiannanAR1
In all my years of YouTube tribute video viewings I don’t think I’ve ever seen a video as artistically ambitious as this. RhiannanAR1′s conceit was to create a 25th Hogwarts reunion that also served as a celebration of Professor McGonnagal’s life. She tried to achieve this primarily through clips of the Harry Potter movies combined with clips from the 1991 film Hook. If you didn’t know or couldn’t tell, Dame Maggie Smith played the part of the much aged Wendy in Hook and the part of Prof. McGonnagal in all the Potter films. This realization was most likely the genesis for the video in the first place because Maggie Smith in Hook is made up to be a very elderly woman just like she’d be at 25th reunion of Harry’s Hogwarts class. Also, the entire reason Robin Williams/Peter Pan went to England in the first place was to celebrate Wendy/Maggie Smith. So far it all checks out. But Robin Williams for Harry is where we start to veer off course. Yes, he has glasses and yes, he’s not that tall, which are all traits he shares with Harry, but the character Robin Williams plays in Hook (only at the beginning and that’s all that matters because those are the clips that were chosen for the tribute) makes the video inaccurate because he’s so different from Harry. Peter is an uptight, boring, serious business man. Harry, and I think it’s safe to say even 25 years post Hogwarts, is the exact opposite. And the hair! Robin Williams’ hair is perfectly neat and we all know that Harry’s trademark messy cut will never change, ever. So Harry/Robin Williams isn’t perfect, but overall we’re still doing okay. And we roll along fine until 1:42. This is when Kira Sedgwick/Hermione and Kevin Bacon/Ron appear out of nowhere. And I only know that’s who they’re supposed to be due to a description the artist was kind enough to leave below her tribute. Regardless, this is weird for several reasons. One, the clip is clearly from a red carpet event, which seems to imply that this Hogwarts 25th anniversary is some sort of giant gala that warrants coverage from The Daily Prophet. That’s just not right. That’s not Harry’s style, that’s not Ron’s style, and it most certainly is not Professor McGonnagal’s style. If anyone epitomizes the importance of substance over style it’s Minerva McGonnagal. Also, Kevin Bacon doesn’t have red hair. I would have preferred the artist take a clip from the Carrot Top film Chairman of the Board. Things only get worse a couple seconds later when it’s made clear that future Neville Longbottom will be played by Kevin Spacey both with and without a mustache. So Neville’s going to show up to the anniversary with a mustache and then decide to shave it because he thinks it’s lame? That’s just not like him. His most important character trait is the fact that he eventually learns to believe in himself, which means that shaving a mustache mid-party would not enter into the equation. And now to my last complaint. She chose Val Kilmer to play Draco Malfoy, which is a pretty good choice all things considered. Sadly, she decided to go with a clip from what appears to be The Saint instead of the obvious clip of Kilmer as Iceman in Top Gun. Seriously, how could anyone make that mistake. The Iceman has blonde hair just like Draco’s and is fairly evil and then turns good at the end, again just like Draco.
Regardless. we cannot fault the artist’s passion for Harry Potter and tribute videos. I’m certainly glad this video exists and only lament that she bit off more than she could chew. Also, it should be mentioned that there were several repeated clips, which indicates that she ran out of ideas before the song (which I have no opinion of) ended. This again highlights her incredibly lame ambition clouding her judgement.
Video: Fields of Gold: A Deathly Hallows Tribute to the Fallen
Song: “Fields of Gold” by Eva Cassidy (a Sting cover)
The fact that HBHO chose a cover of “Fields of Gold” and not the original pretty much says it all for this tribute. Apparently she felt the Sting version was too overproduced for such a solemn occasion and went with a simpler cover, mainly light piano and guitar, by Miss. Cassidy. She wanted to honor the dead who’ve fallen during Voldemort’s reign of terror and, for the most part, she did just that. She even took the time to make some clips appear goldish thus solitifying the deceased character’s place in the after life/fields of gold. She got to almost all the main characters who passed on: Hedwig, Tonks, Lupin, Mad Eye (will come back to him), Sirius, James, Lilly, Dobby, Cedric Diggory, and even Collin Creevy. It would have been nice to see Aragog in there, but I suppose his death was only tangentially related to Voldemort so that’s excusable. My one complaint, and this would have been difficult to rectify, was that all the clips of Mad Eye seemed to be from The Goblet of Fire. And we all know that Mad Eye in TFOF was not actually Mad Eye, but Barty Crouch Jr! It’s like HBHO wanted to commemorate a death eater. For shame. Anyway, this video clearly achieved its goal and is technically the best of all three, which also makes it the lamest. You’ve been thwarted by your competence, HBHO. Try something a little dumber next time.
Conclusion: These videos are all lame, but lame in the kind of sweet way tribute videos tend to be: it’s a credit to modern society that people are willing to take time out of their day(s) to make a video they know is immensely goofy just to please other super fans. Gryffindor wins!
Editors Note: The author of this post has seen every Harry Potter movie at least twice and read every book at least three times. If you couldn’t tell how lame he was by the time he took to write this post and his knowledge of Harry Potter then now you know, he’s lame as shit.