Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them can be viewed as an extension of the ever-growing Harry Potter universe, which certainly doesn’t disappoint in comparison to the bevy of other films in the cinematic catalog of J.K. Rowling. While presented with all new characters, setting and lore, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them provides viewers with a revival of a world that many children grew up on and can continue to grow up on with a total of four more installments planned in the somewhat near future.
In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, viewers follow the misadventures of a new core of characters that include Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Porpentina (Katherine Waterson), Jonah Kowalski (Dan Folger) and Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol). Newt leads as our protagonist, with a terrific performance by Eddie Remayne, who is a magizoologist attempting to find his way through New York City. Tina is an Auror for the Ministry of Magic located in America, who is desperately vying for a way to get her job back after an investigation gone awry. Kowalski is a ‘no-maj’, short for ‘no magic’, tied in to Newt’s antics after one fateful run-in to kick off the film, and finally, Queenie is the sister of Tina who possesses gifted talents in Legitimacy, the ability to read minds.
Fantastic Beasts is set in New York City in 1926, a time where the wizarding world is on the brink of exposure to humans. These turbulent conditions and the looming presence of Grindelwald, a Dark Arts abuser with aspirations to reveal and dominate the magic world, set up the main conflict of the film. With Newt’s beasts on the loose, Newt and the others are thrown into the near-destruction of New York due to the release of a great magical entity. With the help of Tina, it is up to Newt to tame and save the magic of a repressed, tormented wizard turned loose in New York.
Fantastic Beasts features stunning visuals from the wide array of magical characters that come into contact with our protagonist to the dazzling spells and duels between characters. With a rich set design, the viewer is immersed back into the Wizarding World with great costumes, wands and items reminiscent of the time period. The visuals alone are enough to remind us of the brilliance of the original series, and the terrific immersive powers which this world still possesses when brought to the big screen.
All in all, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them provides avid fans with a return to familiarity and the beginning of a new era for the world of Harry Potter. Even for any family looking to enjoy a movie with one another, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them presents its story with enough fun and excitement to entice any viewer’s interest. In my objective opinion, I’d give Fantastic Beasts an 88/100 rating and highly recommend it to any fan of the genre of fantasy.