Potter Puppet Pals is a web series parodying the Harry Potter novel series by JK Rowling. Potter Puppet Pals was created by Neil Cicierega.
The first two episodes were animated, both released in 2003 on Newgrounds. On September 26, 2006, the series was re-launched on YouTube under Cicierega's page as "Potions Class". Six more episodes were released by Cicierega between 2006 and 2009. Approximately one year after the seventh episode was released, a new video appeared on Neil's channel announcing an exclusive Potter Puppet Pals channel. On the same day, three more videos were released on this page. The Potter Puppet Pals make appearances at some Harry Potter parties, such as Yule Balls 2007 and 2010.
Both the original animated episodes, as well as the first seven live-action episodes, have been published to the official Potter Puppet Pals webpage.
The Mysterious Ticking NoiseEdit
"The Mysterious Ticking Noise", released March 23, 2007, is the 18th most-viewed video on YouTube, with over 100,600,000 views as of April 18, 2011. The video was nominated and won in the Comedy category in the 2008 YouTube Awards with 61.6% of the votes in that category. In the video, Severus Snape hears a strange ticking and, noticing it has a catchy rhythm, begins singing to it, followed by Dumbledore, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Harry Potter. Towards the end, Ron discovers that the source of the ticking is a pipe bomb that explodes as they celebrate, letting Lord Voldemort sing his name by himself to the tune of "Lollipop" by The Chordettes.
Much of the humor derived from the series originates from Cicierega's unique interpretation of the principal Harry Potter characters. For the most part, the characters are given personalities designed to contrast completely with their attitudes in the books. Sometimes, an aspect of the books is blown out of proportion during the series.
Harry Potter: In contrast to the books' largely selfless and humble character, in Potter Puppet Pals, Harry is highly arrogant and egocentric, having become increasingly more so as the series has progressed. He is often seen dancing erratically while shouting his own name and interjecting it with rhythmic grunts. Whereas the books Harry thinks deeply about his actions to the extent of occasionally over-thinking them, the puppet Potter is impulsive and does not take the feelings or opinions of others into account. He is frequently abusive towards his friend Ron, insulting him about his freckles in "Wizard Angst" and his weight in "The Vortex". Also, in "The Vortex", he becomes intensely jealous of Ron when he survives puberty and is transformed into "Ronaldo", a puppet described by Dumbledore as being "Way cooler than Harry!" Harry is the ringleader as the main trio carry out their "tomfoolery," invading Snape's privacy by reading his diary, and shouting swearwords and threats at Neville Longbottom.
Ron Weasley: Ron is exaggerated from being a determined, quick-witted character to a simple, cheery and (somewhat) infantile one. He is hurt by (but soon recovers from) Harry's regular bouts of abuse, and happily accompanies him in his acts of mischief. He is very fond of his friends, Harry in particular, and seems to like being at Hogwarts, despite showing clear signs of mental deficiencies. His childish outbursts earn him odd looks from his friends. In the secret butterfly scene in "Trouble at Hogwarts" it is shown he loves butterflies.
Hermione Granger: Hermione is perhaps the most normal of the trio, but shows enough contrast in that she seems to display no real opinion on the events, acting either as a bystander passing comment, or a willing accomplice in Harry's mischief. This is a departure from the novels, where Hermione was quick to voice her opinion on whatever her friends were doing, and was often looked upon as quite bossy. Hermione's intelligence is briefly mentioned but little of what she displays in the books is seen. In the secret butterfly scene she cast a spell on Ron, Ronnikus Explodikus, at which time, Ron explodes, and his head is viewed flying offscreen.
Albus Dumbledore: eccentric to the point of possible senility. His most notable character trait is what he calls "Naked Time!", where he strips himself of all of his clothing. He seems happy to wander around naked whenever it pleases him, though he is more often seen dressed in his signature purple robes. Dumbledore's calm and patient character of the novels is made simpler and, like Ron, more infantile - he shows a short attention span when Snape tells him of his dream in "The Vortex", and he is prone to hysterical exclamations such as, "Alas!" and "Well that's just fantastic!" His great intelligence and wisdom in the books is completely contradicted by his exclamation of "I don't even remember five minutes ago!" in "Wizard Swears" when Snape reminds him that it was he who originally made the list of banned words. In "Ron's Disease", after Hagrid's failed attempt at beating him with a club, he reveals to the characters and the audience that he is a gay android.
Severus Snape: Snape is often the first to come across Harry, Ron and Hermione participating in mischief. He usually delivers long, rambling descriptions of how the trio will be punished, giving them time to discover a means of escape. Disliked and neglected by all of the characters except Voldemort, who he is seen serving in "Mustache Buddies". This however contradicts a previous episode, "Trouble at Hogwarts," in which Snape attempted to kill Voldemort and Voldemort killed Snape. Snape often shows a deeply mournful and sensitive side. He keeps a diary, where he keeps account of his highly depressed and unfortunate life, mentioning for example a dream (possibly a memory) where he asked Harry's mother to dance at the Yule Ball. He writes, "I asked her to dance... she asked me to die."
Lord Voldemort: Voldemort appears occasionally, with an echoey and deep plummy voice. He is an antagonist, but is not as evil as his book counterpart. He constantly attempts to kill the other characters, but is generally thwarted. His most successful plot, and only successful one so far, has been blowing up all of the other main characters with a pipe bomb (which was ticking, leading the characters to create a song by rhythmically singing their own names). There is really no great enmity between Voldemort and Harry as there is in the book, suggesting that the former is not completely evil. This is shown in "Ron's Disease" when Harry has used Hagrid to knock out both Hermione and Snape, yet when they pass Voldemort who greets Harry with "Ah, Harry, I've been waiting for you" in a friendly voice followed by an attempt to kill him, Harry says "No time to chat, Voldemort! Gotta go!" and runs off, much to Voldemort's disappointment. Voldemort appears in 7 episodes.
Neville Longbottom: Unlike the other characters, which are made out of felt, Neville appears as a butternut squash on a stick. In the novels, he is clumsy, but brave and able to stand up to his friends; here, he is pathetic and cowardly, with a wheezy voice. He is easily bullied by Harry, Ron and Hermione. Neville also appears in "Wizard Swears" where Harry, Hermione, and Ron curse at him using "The Elder Swear", which they promised never to repeat to anyone.
Rubeus Hagrid: Hagrid seems to like sleeping. He is probably still the gamekeeper. Harry and Ron first met him in "Ron's Disease" and, after making a deal with Harry, who promised to leave fish every day on his doorstep for a month, he beats up Hermione and Snape with a massive club (he also attempts to attack Dumbledore, but this fails upon learning Dumbledore's terrible secret: he is a gay android).
Draco Malfoy: Different from all the other characters, Draco Malfoy is simplistically made out of paper and is a smaller puppet, held and voiced by the Harry puppet. Harry created him in order to torture him, and after the puppet "annoys" Harry, he does a series of strange things to the paper Draco and eventually burns it on a stove.
Characters only mentioned
Argus Filch: Filch has the same love for punishment as in the novels. He is said to be Snape's friend, even though he forgot to wish him a happy birthday and told him he smelt of brocoli. Filch is mentioned in Wizard Angst and Snape's Diary.
Dobby: It is mentioned is that Harry once had a nightmare that Dobby ate his skin 'clean off'. Dobby is mentioned in "Wizard Swears" and "Wizard Angst".
Lucius Malfoy: Very little is mentioned about Lucius. All that is mentioned is that he plays golf with Snape. Lucius is mentioned in "Snape's Diary".