There has been much discussion of how Peter Jackson made the hobbits (AKA halflings) look small in scenes with Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and other men and elves much taller than them in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. There’s been less attention paid to how the giant Hagrid was made to look big in comparison to his co-stars (who were mostly children) in the Harry Potter movies.
They actually used some similar techniques. As well as the well-known use of forced perspective that Jackson utilised when filming his Middle-earth trilogy, it also entailed using different-sized props. For example, Frodo (Eljah Wood) would sit on a large chair, holding a large mug.
Well, the Warner Bros Tour in London – which now houses a vast collection of sets and props from the Harry Potter movies – confirmed that a similar technique when filming scenes inside Hagrid’s hut. “Two versions of Hagrid’s hut were created to make him appear larger! Actor Robbie Coltrane was filmed on a normal-sized set, and the other actors were filmed on an over-sized set with extra large props so that their characters would appear small by comparison!”
The first Harry Potter movies were filmed at a similar time to the Lord of the Rings trilogy – which were released between 2001-2003. The first two Harry Potter movies were released in 2001 and 2002, so the technology available to both would have been very similar. CGI was obviously a big component, but this doesn’t mean that practical solutions weren’t also frequently used.
Both franchises still live on, of course, with a Fantastic Beasts movie being released recently, and an epic Lord of the Rings prequel series coming soon to Amazon Prime.