There are countless blatant Harry Potter ripoffs, from Harry Potter and the Leopard-Walk-Up-To Dragon to the slightly less obvious Tanya Grotter and The Magical Double Bass. These books fall under the category of direct ripoffs that have managed to weave through every loophole that international copyright law provides, and there are hundreds of them.
But this list focuses on the movies and shows that got it right; the ones might have borrowed a hammer from J.K. Rowling’s toolbox but came up with their own blueprints. These characters may attend a school suspiciously similar to Hogwarts, but their stories are, at the very least, their own.
1. Sky High
Image via IMDb
Sky High was made by Disney in 2005, and was written by Paul Hernandez, Robert Shooley, and Mark McCorkle.
The movie follows Will Stronghold as he attends Sky High, a school for teens with superpowers. Even though Will’s parent’s are two of the most famous superheroes in the world (think Mr. Incredible and Elastagirl), Will struggles with the fact that he hasn’t developed any powers of his own.
Though slightly dated and definitely intended for children, Sky High serves as a charming reminder of the DCOMS of yesteryear, and the sorting method within Sky High is very reminiscent of Hogwarts.
2. Witch University
Image via Amazon
Return to Halloweentown is the fourth movie in Disney’s Halloweentown series, and was written by Max Enscoe, Annie Deyoung, and Paul Bernbaum.
In this installment of the franchise Marnie, our lead witch, is off to college at Witch University. She finds that it doesn’t quite meet her expectations, as students are not allowed to actually practice magic. However, she finds her purpose while traversing through the college dungeon when she uncovers a mysterious box with the name ‘S. Cromwell’ etched into its’ top.
The movie follows Marnie’s attempts to bring the school’s secrets to light, while dodging witches looking to have her expelled.
3. Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies
Image via Teen Vogue
American Horror Story: Coven premiered in 2013 and was created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.
Miss Robichaux’s Academy for Exceptional Young Ladies is a school lead by Cordelia Foxx, the supreme. I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it, but if Harry Potter spawned your love of witches and you’re looking for the adult equivalent then this may be the show for you.
4. St. Vladimir’s Academy
Image via Microsoft
Vampire Academy came out in 2014, to disappointing results. The movie cost about $30 million to make, and made about 15 million in the box office. This is partially due to the fact that the movie adaptation of Vampire Academy is very different from the novel in terms of tone.
The novel was published in 2007, at the height of the Twilight hype train. And like many of the YA-vampire themed novels at the time it had a very dark tone. The main character, Rose Hathaway, was a teen girl navigating school, boys, and vampirism with her snarky wit and depressing outlook.
The movie, however, zooms in on the snark and amps up the humor. Many dedicated fans were displeased with this change, though the movie can stand well on it’s own. If you wish you could have seen a few of more of the gags and goofs that took place in Hogwarts, then Vampire Academy might help satisfy that need!
Featured Image Via Harry Potter Wiki