Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in a word- delightful.
From the very first musical bars played in the title sequence, the movie welcomes fans of Harry Potter back to the Wizarding World. Set in New York City during the 1920’s, the movie centers around Newt Scamander, an English Magical Zoologist, who’s visiting America for the first time.
Newt’s discovery of the differences in the two magic worlds is a clever transition that allows fans of the old films to acquaint themselves to the new. That doesn’t mean that you have to be a previous fan to enjoy the movie though. Flawless world building and beautifully rendered environments make Fantastic Beasts an immersive experience, that includes the beloved elements of London’s Wizarding World, and adds new American treasures.
Beyond just the setting, the film’s characters, especially Newt, are enchanting. Solid character development throughout the plot stopped the movie from feeling stagnant at any time, and true to J.K. Rowling form, had you cheering for the underdog. Familiar to long time Rowling fans were the underlying themes that: villainy comes in many forms, governments are corruptible, and the law isn’t always right. An eerily creepy tone was created for the story arch for the first obvious antagonist, giving the movie that was on the whole, joyful and funny, a depth that might have otherwise been missing.
Over all it was great, and I walked away feeling happy and fulfilled. Now if I may fangirl out for a moment- OMG THE MAGICAL CREATURES WERE SOO COOL! There’s Legilimency, Apperating, and the Niffler– this movie is worth seeing just for how freakin’ adorable the Niffler is.
In a reality that has been all to stark lately, this movie is an absolute treat- so what are you waiting for, go treat yourself to some Wizarding World, and see Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them.
… like right now.
Review by Dani Slader.