Review: Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them


Liz Keller

By Renee Twyford ’20, Contibutor

The newest addition to the Harry Potter series was nothing short of exceptional. Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them opened in the United States on November 18, 2016, after being announced by Warner Bros. in 2013. Avid Harry Potter fanatics, myself included, were astounded find out that J. K.’s twitter post in 2014 was an anagram relating to the movie: “Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense.” The anagram was later solved as “Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours.”

J.K. Rowling wrote the original Fantastic Beasts book to give the readers of the Harry Potter series an example of what one of the students at Hogwarts’ books would be like. It consisted of many descriptions of the beasts that one would find in the magical world, as well as annotations in the book that were supposedly done by Ron and Harry. The movie takes an entirely different spin, telling the tale of the author of the Fantastic Beasts book. The book’s “author” was Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who has a huge heart and a few secrets hidden in his case. The case is (excuse the reference) bigger on the inside, for reasons that can only be guessed at. Newt is accompanied on his adventures by a “no-maj” (the American word for muggle) named Jacob.

The movie is filled with unexpected villains, plot twists that will baffle, and scenes where Eddie Redmayne’s acting is so perfect you’ll wonder if he really is Newt Scamander. About half of the film is, unsurprisingly, special effects and time with the magical creatures, and there is a considerable lack of plot development until the end; it is self-explanatory as to why the movie is 2 hours 13 minutes long, and why some of the reviews of the movie haven’t been so spectacular.

But, it’s part the Harry Potter series, so it has to be good, right? And hey, even if you don’t like the movie all that much, hearing the theme song at the beginning and seeing the Warner Bros. logo just one more time makes it all worth it.