As any Potterhead will tell you, this weekend’s mandatory viewing was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, JK Rowling’s newest creation set in 1920s New York City. The movie follows Newt Scamander, esteemed author of the book of the same name, as he attempts to track down the creatures that have escaped from his care upon his arrival. We are introduced to the American magical community and whole new group of witches and wizards, which I think is the best way to approach a new movie in the Potter universe.
We went to an afternoon show on Saturday- I would recommend earlier shows of popular movies if you don’t like having to show up hours before hand to wait in line to get a decent spot in the theatre. I specifically only watched one of the trailers before seeing the movie. Obviously I know the basics of the world, and I wanted to leave as much for the actual movie as possible, so I stayed in the dark on this one, and I was not disappointed!
I have always thought that the creatures weren’t given enough screen time in the Harry Potter films. I mean, I understand that it’s all about moving the plot line along, but couldn’t we have had a little more time in Care of Magical Creatures?? Fantastic Beasts is less about the plot and more about the magic/creatures. I think that this was a fantastic choice, as it sets this movie (hopefully series) apart from the Harry Potter movies. If I could have an entire hour long movie about a Niffler, I could die happy. I feel like bringing out the creatures rounds out the HP universe as a whole, as magical creatures are one of the bigger differences between the magical and non magical world!
I also loved getting to see magical folk in another area of the world; old-timey New York seemed a perfect fit. (Of course, Americans would have a magical president and not a minister.) I wasn’t sure how I would feel about jumping over to the US, but the history of magic in the States was brought out (won’t say how to avoid spoilers) in a subtle but insistent way. Being that it is set in 1926 New York City, clearly jazz was going to have to play some sort of role in the film, mostly through music. The jazz feel to the score was wonderful, and it’s definitely on my to-buy list! Fun fact: you can explore the Blind Pig (the jazz club) on Google Maps! I’m so happy that technology has led to us hanging out in Rowling’s imagined spaces, I’d like to think that this is evidence that magic is real.
Overall, certainly 5/5 stars! It was entirely entertaining, set itself apart from Harry Potter while still maintaining it’s place in the same universe, and introduced us to whole new set of lovable and interesting witches and wizards (and one no-mag, aka. muggle) that I can’t wait to see more of! Off to drink some Butterbeer in celebration… Or maybe Americans have a different beverage of choice??
For those of you that haven’t seen the trailer yet, here it is:
Is anyone planning to go and see it? And anyone who has seen it, what did you think?