I know, I know, I’m so unfashionably late to the game! Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them features a magizoologist named Newt Scamander who accidentally sets loose a briefcase filled with (yes, you guessed it) fantastic beasts in 1926 New York City. I watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on November 26 with a good friend of mine and needless to say, it was FANTASTIC. (excuse the overused pun.) I loved Newt and his whole menagerie of magical creatures.
BE WARNED: mild spoilers ahead!
Eddie Redmayne was the perfect Newt Scamander. (Okay, Eddie Redmayne is perfect. Have you seen him as Marius in Les Misérables? And Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything?) The way he cared for his magical creatures was so moving! I could really feel and see the emotion behind his actions. Personally, my favorite “beast” is Pickett the bowtruckle. When Newt reluctantly handed him over to a goblin, I swear my heart was screaming “NOOOOOOOO! DON’T. YOU. DARE. DON’T DO IT!” And the scene near the end when the magizoologist was trying to get Pickett to smile was so adorable. Shy little Pickett just made a face like are you joking my life you betrayed me!!
The other magical creatures were just as endearing. How adorable was the shiny stuff-loving Niffler? And can we talk about how the invisible little Demiguise took care of the Occamy? I was also ecstatic to see the Thunderbird make an appearance, the bird for which my Ilvermorny house is named after.
The most hilarious scene in the movie HAS to be the Erumpent mating dance in Central Park. I watched the behind the scenes clip on how it was filmed and I think I died in a fit of giggling. Eddie Redmayne is one super talented actor to be able to pull that one off!
Though the visual effects were stunning, I must admit that the plot was a bit lacking. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that there was a plot until much later because it was so slow. It was too easy to guess who the real villain was, and I wasn’t a fan of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald. But maybe that’s because I still have a mental image of Jamie Campbell Bower as a young Gellert Grindelwald from the previous Harry Potter films. Fantastic Beasts did bring back a lot of nostalgia for the wizarding world, though. I just wish ‘Muggle’ was a universal term, rather than a strictly British word for ordinary folk. America gets ‘No-Maj’ instead. Ah well.
All in all, I’d say that Fantastic Beasts was a pretty solid and enjoyable film that sets the premise for the next few movies. JK is still out there, Rowling! (hahah) I can’t wait to see what the following films have in store for us!