As an enormous Harry Potter fan, I’ll be honest, I was extremely nervous about the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film. Harry Potter is such a large part of my life, and I was terrified that it wouldn’t meet my high expectations I had for it. While J.K. Rowling has come out with much more content relating to Harry Potter, it has always been about expanding the wizarding world and characters we know and love from the original series. The information was targeted specifically for fans who would read about it on places such as Pottermore. Never before, has she released something so large and public. My biggest fear would be that it would become much larger then it needed to be with too many effects that most modern action and super hero movies get lost in. I didn’t want it to be something too big and flashy, I wanted it to have that Harry Potter charm we all care about so much.
I was pleasantly surprised after seeing the movie opening weekend. The star team of J.K. Rowling, who wrote her first screenplay for this film, and David Yates, the director of the last four Harry Potter movies, drew us back into the wizarding world in a new way years after we all thought it was over. The story opens with Newt Scramander entering New York with a suitcase full of magical creatures. They run into Tina Goldstein who is an ex-Auror for the Magical Congress of the United States of America.
The first half of the movie starts off slow action wise. The characters take their time getting to know each other, chasing after loose magical creatures from Newt’s case, and learning about the American wizarding community. However, I barely noticed this lag because I got carried away with all the little details of the wizarding world. You get introduced to new magic, new creatures, and the unfamiliar American wizarding community. The second half quickly picks up and the characters join forces to focus on the mysterious creature causing destruction in New York City. Within this part, the wizarding world is revealed to be much darker then we’ve ever seen it before adding more depth into this world.
My favorite part of the movie is that it felt like a Harry Potter movie. It had the magical sense of humor, wonder, and curiosity. While the subject matter is much different then anything we’ve seen before, the characters, setting, and even camera angles felt familiar rather than forced.
Now I don’t want to give too much away in case you haven’t seen it already, but J.K. Rowling leaves the viewer hungry for more. However, we’re in luck because J.K. Rowling has blessed us with four more movies after this one! While the next few movies won’t be as focused on the magical creatures as this movie, due to a twist ending, it has been announced that the last movie will end in the year 1945. And for those of you who don’t already know, that’s the year Dumbledore and Grindewald have their famous wizarding duel. So this series should satisfy or Harry Potter need for a while!