Fantastic Beasts could be the new Harry Potter

A great addition to the Harry Potter World that deserves the hype


Reid Pitts

Textbooks needed for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

By Averi Cervantez, Design Editor

Imagine watching the first Harry Potter movie for the first time without any knowledge about it. Without reading the seven Harry Potter novels, without watching the movie sequels. Imagine seeing this film with fresh eyes and afterwards sitting back and knowing this movie would rock the world. That is what seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them felt like. It left a subtle confusion but a want for more, a need for another movie and to immediately read the novel.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was first spoken of as one of Harry Potter’s required textbooks for Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Sorcer’s Stone as a required book for first years. Then, in March of 2001, J. K. Rowling released the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them written as a reproduction of the textbook. The book doesn’t even have Rowling’s name on it, but instead it has Newt Scamander, a fictional being who, according to Rowling, wrote the guide.

However, the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was published and released a couple days before the movie premiered. The screenplay is the script from the movie written by J. K. Rowling and it gives fans a more in-depth view of the movie.

The movie starts off showing numerous newspapers about attacks all over the magical world.  Attacks such as  fires, collapsed buildings, and much more. Then, Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, is shown on a boat to a bustling 1920’s New York holding a particularly ordinary suitcase that holds hundreds of magical creatures from the wizarding world. From the beginning, the audience sees a magical creature escape the average suitcase and wander around the no-mags’ (American word for muggle) new world. The British zoologist is already in trouble by the Magical Congress (Macusa) for bringing “livestock,” into the country. Scamander then finds himself in trouble as his luggage, the same suitcase that holds hundreds of magical creatures both friendly and deadly, is accidentally taken by Jacob Kowalski, Dan Folger, an average  no-maj. Kowalski unleashes a few of these creatures into the human world which causes havoc amongst New Yorkers. Scamander, along with Porpentina Goldstein, a disgraced Macusa employee and played by Katherine Waterston, try to round up all the escaped creatures, while trying to rescue an unknown magical mass that is destroying parts of New York.

The movie also has a subplot that includes a young boy named Credence, played by Ezra Miller, in his foster home. Credence is a young boy struggling with the burden of having magical powers amongst a world that is anti-witch and anti-magic (remember the Salem witch trials, well that ideology is still present in 1920’s New York).

Redmayne is definitely the star of the show. His character is unique and quite awkward which is what makes him lovable. Scamander has a quirkiness to him by being very soft spoken and seemingly never looking anyone directly in the eye. Katherine Waterston’s character, Goldstein, has a strong presence in the film and is very determined. While Dan Folger is more for the comedic relief, although, his character is the type that will make the audience feel a deep endearment towards him. Folger stole the show and was the heart of the story. Ezra Miller brings passion to this movie. His portrayal of Credence is powerful, raw, and emotional. This cast has great chemistry and make the movie come alive.

Although the movie was a great sequel to the Harry Potter series, there was still a flaw in the plot that caused a concern. There was a case of abuse that  was never quite resolved and was seemingly abandoned towards the conclusion of the movie.

Overall, David Yates, producer and director of the movie, did a fantastic job with this movie. The cinematography was imaginative-the magical creatures were so lifelike that when they jumped out of the screen it felt like you could touch them. The world made for the animals was unique and it was the highlight of the movie due to its spectacular colors and images. But there were no doubts that Yates would do a wonderful job with Fantastic Beasts as he also directed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and both Deathly Hollows movies.

Once the credits rolled, the question throughout the theatre was “is that it?” The movie left the audience wanting more. There was also a subtle hint of confusion in the theatre as there were subtle allusions towards the Harry Potter movie that only true, semi-obsessive, HP fans would understand. But not to worry as all our questions will be answered soon. Production of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 is in pre-production and is expected to come out in 2018, while Fantastic Beasts 3 is projected to come out in 2020 and Fantastic Beasts 4 and 5 have been announced but without release dates.