This article in The Southern Cross about the Harry Potter books and films suggests that some anti-Potter critics are, at least, exaggerating the "danger" they pose to children and teenagers.
Personally I have never been convinced that the danger is great. In conversation with others I have mentioned other things which many seem unaware of. The more or less recent teenage interest in the occult and magic began some time before Potter became so popular. The film Practical Magic seems to have had quite an effect on American teenage girls. This was followed by other films and TV shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer (film and TV series). There was a popular comedy series about a teenage witch, but I can't imagine any great damage being done by that. Nothing was said about the famous Bewitched series which was immensely popular in many countries. Buffy may have started out as a kind of spoof, but it became very worrying and - in my view - very dangerous indeed. Many anti-Potter critics seem to be ignorant of this. Another dangerous TV series - really because of its style and popularity - is Charmed. To my mind this and other things such as - and especially - the recent vampire craze (Twilight etc) are far more dangerous that Harry Potter.
Some Christian critics have suggested that the Potter films and books are really quite moral. I have read only one book and I found it riveting and confusing. It did not seem to be all that knowledgeable regarding real magic. I have seen most of the films and fell asleep during most of them because they were too long and became boring in parts. I have seen no hard evidence to show that many young people have turned towards the occult because of these stories. In all the stories it is the character of Potter that is emphasized over the magic. In at least one of them, love is shown to be the most powerful force of all. I have seen some anti-Potter critics saying that Harry Potter is not a genuine hero because he lies. Excuse me, but I don't think this is a serious argument. The author never intended to make Potter a Christ-like figure, and just because a person sins sometimes does not make him or her completely evil. On the whole Potter is both truthful and courageous. He fights against evil whilst coming to grips with both his strengths and weaknesses - like all of us. I remain unconvinced that the Potter books and films are simply evil and it seems to me that even if they are inspired by the devil, something else has entered the stories - namely something to do with courage, honour, love and self-sacrifice. The fact that it is human virtues which seem to triumph in the end, whether using magic or not, suggests to me that we should be more careful before simply branding something "the work of the devil". One question that remains with me after all this, is why those who condemn Potter because of the presence of magic seldom have anything but praise for Lord of the Rings. Another question is why the same critics do not condemn Grimm's' fairy Tales or The Wizard of Oz. Certainly there are some worrying elements in some of the Potter stories, and if I was to single out one element it would be the ghost of a girl who lives in the school toilets. I agree that this is particularly bad and possibly damaging to those who have no Christian or Jewish background, but this serious mistake on the part of the author should not make us blind to the many good elements in the stories. Amongst those I have not mentioned we could list friendship, loyalty, compassion, respect for animals, and an anti-slavery theme. If anyone knows any better, I would be happy to hear about it.