The wizarding world returns to theaters with ‘Fantastic Beasts’


Emma Naille




The newest film spin-off of the Harry Potter world, “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them,” came out in theaters on Nov. 18. The movie is set in the 1920s and centers around Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the author of the textbook in the Harry Potter series called “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them”. The movie follows Newt as he arrives in America and his briefcase full of animals are accidentally set loose.

The movie was enjoyable, but slightly disappointing.

I did not find myself as connected to the characters and captured by the magic as I was with the Harry Potter films. Though this may be because the Harry Potter story had eight movies and seven books to develop the characters and this story has only one so far. Still, it was disappointing that this movie did not invoke the same comforting feeling that one gets with the Harry Potter series. Part of this may have had to do with it being set in America or possibly because these characters are adults, which may make it harder for younger audiences to relate as well as they did with Harry Potter.

The American wizarding world did not create the same awestruck feeling as the British one did.  In general, the American wizarding world and the magic in the movie was underwhelming. However the focus was on the animals and these magical creatures were intriguing and exciting.

An interesting part of the movie was the connection to the Salem witch trials. While alluding to America’s past with magic, by having people protest “Salemers” was clever, these parts of the movie were quite creepy and dark. The Harry Potter series is dark, but it was not so scary and eerie as the plot surrounding “Credence” (Ezra Miller).

There were also a lot of holes, and things that were not explained very well, such as the dark force surrounding Credence. The movie felt incomplete and slightly confusing at times with parts of the movie that did not seem to have importance to story, such as the plot about the man running for senator. There seemed to be a lot of different story lines in the movie that just did not mesh as well as they could have.

Of course, nothing will ever live up to Harry Potter so if not for such high expectations, it might have left more of a feeling of satisfaction. Getting to see so many more magical creatures that were not mentioned in the Harry Potter series and just getting to see a different side of the wizarding world was still fun though. Newt Scamander was a likable character with all of his quirks and the use of the magical briefcase was interesting and whimiscal like the different magical objects of Hogwarts.

The movie ended well, with Kowalski (Dan Fogler) having a booming bakery business because of the magical creature inspired pastries he makes. He also sees Queenie (Fine Frenzy) at the end and seems to recognize her, giving the audience hope that all is not lost. Though the ending did feel slightly incomplete because of the lack of closure or clues as to what happened with Credence and Modesty, the ambiguity ensures audiences will come back for the next movie.

As for Newt and Tina (Katherine Waterston), the ending was realistic, but hopeful. The audience gets the sense that this is not the end and that Newt and Tina will see each other again. After all, J.K. Rowling has said that there will be four more movies so hopefully the series will become as exciting and well-developed as the Harry Potter series.