Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a movie that exists in the world of Harry Potter, written by J.K. Rowling. In essence, it is a prequel to that story.

You can view the trailer here.

In the 1920s, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is a Magizoologist, a Wizard who studies Magical creatures. He arrives in New York City, and is on a journey to meet someone. While on the way, he bumps into a Non-Mag (non-magical person, or a muggle), and The Old Switcheroo happens, and they accidentally swap cases.

He manages to catch the eye of Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), who is a member of the Magical Congress of the USA, similar to England’s Ministry of Magic. She’s noticed that his case had magical animals, which is against the law in the U.S., and brings him to the Magical Congress, but they are more concerned with more dangerous matters, as strange things are happening in NYC. Is there a connection between these problems?  What do you think?

It’s a good tale, with a lot of heart and emotion. There is a sequence of “Hey, look at the creatures” which reminded me too much of that moment in the original Jurassic Park film. This is, at its core, a kid’s film, and some of the same sort of irritations from the Harry Potter movies are here, too. I won’t go into them here, but it suffices to say that they hampered my total enjoyment of the movie.

I still recommend it, though. It’s available in 3D, but I saw the 2D version, and do not recommend you spend the extra money to watch it any other way. There’s good acting, and they were rather successful in capturing the spirit of the ’20s, so it works on several levels.