A spin-off from the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was one of the textbooks Harry used at Hogwarts, written by Newt Scamander. The film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, follows the author to New York City on one of his many adventures he went on to discover all of the magical creatures. I was disappointed when I heard there would be a movie based on a book, which was barely a book at all. It was just a handful of pages (59 pages) listing magical creatures and a few fun facts about them.
How would they turn this into a movie?
Milking the franchise!
They are going to ruin Harry Potter!
When I heard that there would be five movies, I was feeling even more displeased.
J.K. Rowling is being greedy.
And then the cherry on top was casting Johnny Depp as Grindelwald.
Really? An abuser?
But, because I am too big a fan of the magical world of Harry Potter, I felt that I needed to see the movie anyway. I gave my Deathly Hallows necklace a squeeze and entered the cinema.
The next 133 minutes changed everything. Within the first minute, Hedwig’s theme played, reminding me that this was part of my beloved franchise, and within a few seconds, a new theme played, taking me out of Harry Potter and introducing me to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them.
And that was exactly what I loved about it.
It was not riding on the Harry Potter story, it barely reminded me that it was related to it. Set in a different time, country, with different actors and different terms it was a brand new story and I loved it.
Instead of focusing on children, it was adults. Instead of potions and incantations, it was creatures and these creatures were all different to one another and ridiculously interesting. Every now and then, they would mention something like muggles or Hogwarts and you would gently be comforted thinking about the Harry Potter series.
The series can be enjoyed without having watched the Harry Potter series (but who has not watched the Harry Potter series? Who? Send them to me!)
Since there are five movies, they could have focused on developing their characters properly as well as the relationships formed. Without giving too much away, the emotional goodbye was somewhat confusing. It felt rushed and out of character and I am sure it left many viewers wondering, “But… when did that happen?”
That being said, Eddie Redmayne was a perfect Newt, awkward, quirky and lovable, even though he only spoke about three times.
I am hopeful and excited that this series is going to be wonderful.
Check out the full review HERE