I’m so excited to talk about the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie!
This review doesn’t contain any spoilers!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the title of a magical creatures encyclopedia that Hogwarts students read in class. This movie is about the author of that book, magizoologist Newt Scamander.*
Our new wizard protagonist Newt Scamander travels around the world saving and researching magical creatures. In this movie he travels to New York during the 1920’s and accidentally releases some of his creatures into the Muggle part of the city. This is a big deal because there are Muggle protesters that suspect there are witches and wizards living among them, and wish to bring back the Salem witch hunts. At the same time, a mysterious magical force has been attacking Muggles in New York and the Magical Congress of the United States has its eyes on Newt’s creatures.
* I think most Potter fans know this, but I’ll clarify something just to make sure: This movie is not about Harry Potter, is not about Hogwarts, is not even about teenage wizards going to school. Fantastic Beast is a Harry Potter spin-off. Which means, it happens in the same universe and you can assume that all your favorite Harry Potter characters exist here, living in another continent and only if they were born before the 1920’s. (Harry was born in 1980).
- The new characters: First of all, I loved Newt. He’s a Hufflepuff nerd that looks more comfortable around magical beasts than around people. He’s also really passionate about these creatures and always brings them with him inside his magical suitcase/Tardis (that is definitely bigger on the inside). I also loved Tina and Queenie, sisters and witches that are powerful and kind and added a really interesting perspective on the adult magical life. Finally, my new favorite Muggle (or No-Maj, as Americans would say) is definitely Jacob. He might look like a normal guy whose dream is to open a bakery, but there’s so much more to him. He’s charming and funny, and accurately represents the feelings of the No-Maj audience while watching magic unfold before their eyes.
- The adult perspective: Even though I love the Harry Potter books, I always felt like they were missing something: adults. Yes, we see them all the time but we are never able to look through their eyes, to get to know life beyond Hogwarts and, personally, I was dying to get a glimpse of the office life for the average magical worker. The four main characters on this movie are adults with a job so, YAY, my dream came true!
- The American wizarding community: It was also great to get to know the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA). American wizards and witches have their own way to do things, including: dealing with bad guys, their own kind of Azkaban, relationships with Muggles, etc. If you look carefully you might notice that the wizarding community resembles the real-life American society from the 1920’s. Even if this movie was not related to Harry Potter at all, I would have found it interesting.
- It is visually stunning: It is just pretty. From the adorable magical creatures to the way Queenie magically prepares food. It looked magical.
- The divided plot: My only complain about this movie is that it felt like two separate stories going on. We have Newt and his friends chasing magical creatures around New York and the MACUSA looking for the mysterious attacker that is preying on Muggles. I found both stories interesting and I think they complemented each other really well: Newt’s story was fun and charming while the MACUSA chase was darker and scarier. I just wish they were more blended together.
- You love the Harry Potter universe
- You would watch a movie about adult wizards in New York even if it wasn’t related to Harry Potter
- You are a Hufflepuff
- You want to see Grindelwald’s rise to power in the sequels (even if he’s not the protagonist)
- You want to see adorable magical creatures
- You want to see adorable Eddie Redmayne
What are your thoughts on this movie? Did you like it? 🙂 Who was your favorite character?? Let me know in the comments!