I have been a long time fan of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter so anticipation for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was huge! So excuse me while I try not to completely nerd out. I have to say for all of the HP fans out there, this movie will not disappoint you. In a world where we all desperately need a little magic in our lives, Fantastic Beasts delivers in a big way. This film gives us a deeper look into the wizarding world while giving all of us fans a few call backs to the original movies that we dearly miss.
Fantastic Beasts opens with news headlines in 1920’s New York where there is civil unrest between the muggles (humans) and wizards. The United States isn’t ready for witches and wizards so keeping the world a secret becomes task number one. Which proves very quickly to be difficult as New York City seems to be under attack. We are then introduced to Newt Scamander played by the brilliant Eddie Redmayne, getting off of the boat with an unusual suitcase at Ellis Island. He quickly finds that America is nothing like Europe when it comes to witches and wizards. He is immediately thrown into a turn of the century kind of witch hunt led by the day’s religious groups. It’s hard to not draw parallels from the film to present day issues. A magical political statement if you will. It’s almost like J.K. Rowling knew what she was doing. But I digress. The performances are fantastic, and its no surprise that Eddie Redmayne is an incredible actor. He has proven himself of that time and time again. He has a genuine sincerity about him and he brings it to the characters he portrays. Newt Scamander is no exception. He has an unconditional love the beasts that he cares for and spends his life taking care of them, rescuing them and educating wizards about them. He cares about the people closest to him just as much. When a couple of the beasts are accidentally let loose in Manhattan it becomes a hilarious ride with his newly befriended, American muggle Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Folger to capture them. When we finally get to see all of the beasts he cares for it’s hard not to smile. J.K. Rowling delivers again by creating an unimaginable world we all want to be a part of. It’s beautiful, and the beast truly are fantastic! Hagrid has nothing on Newt Scamander. The two women that help Scamander with his task of capturing beasts and escaping death are fantastic as well. Especially Queenie Goldstein played by Alison Sudol. She uses her sexiness and mind reading skills to win over wizards to get what she needs and kicks ass through the film. But let us not forget Colin Ferrell, who plays an excellent villain and a great Wizard. Who knew?
Fantastic Beasts has just the right amount of call backs to the original Harry Potter films and it is sure to please any fan. This movie gives us a chance to see a different time and era of the wizards. But its hard to not get excited about the possibility of seeing old characters as their younger selfs in future films. There are a couple of special cameos that will get you excited for the future as well. The film is a little over two hours long but all the action seems to make it fly by. For the non Harry Potter fan this film will be fun for you. There are a couple of jumpy moments, a lot of funny moments and some sad ones too. Even if you haven’t seen any of the Harry Potter films you will still enjoy it. It’s a great holiday film that the whole family can enjoy. So put on your robes and grab you wands! Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them is the magical cinematic ride we have all been waiting for!