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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Reviewed by on Nov 17, 2016
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the new film connecting America to the U.K. wizarding world. Will it please Harry Potter fans and newbies alike? Check our movie review!

By: Lynn Barker

Wizardly zoologist Newt Scamander comes to America to free one of the magical creatures he has collected in his studies only to find a land where magic is in danger and a very dark force threatens New York City. When some of his beasts escape his care, will they make things better or worse?

Is that an escaped fantastic beast?Is that an escaped fantastic beast?Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Dangerous Arrival

In 1926, introverted wizard/zoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in New York by boat carrying a mysterious suitcase that is home to dozens of magical creatures. He comes across Mary Lou Barebone, who runs the Second Salemers, an anti-magic group that wants wizards and witches hunted and destroyed. A Niffler (a platypus-like creature who loves shiny treasure) escapes from the case.

Newt hopes his beasts aren't the cause of destructionNewt hopes his beasts aren't the cause of destructionCourtesy of Warner Bros.

The “No-Maj” with the Case

Jacob Kowalski, an American Muggle, called a “No-Maj (Dan Fogler), tangles with Newt and their suitcases get switched. Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) sees this and takes Newt with her to the U.S. equivalent of the Ministry of Magic, the MACUSA, for using magic in front of “normal” people. Tina was once an investigator/Auror and is trying to get her old job back after an incident. Head Auror Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) wants to see what is in the case. Inside are pastries baked by Jacob. Whoops! Switched cases!

No-Maj Jacob is totally confused!No-Maj Jacob is totally confused!Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Beasties Loose in NYC

Jacob opens the suitcase he has and lets loose several of the magical creatures, getting hurt in the process. Meanwhile, Mary Lou Barebone is revealed to be running an “orphanage” where she indoctrinates the children with stories about evil witches. The youngest girl, Modesty, sings songs about witch torture while Mary Lou’s eldest “son”, Credence (Ezra Miller) is doubtful about the anti-witch way of life. Graves has asked him to find a young girl who has immense power. Credence hasn’t succeeded so far.

A Sad CredenceA Sad CredenceCourtesy of Warner Bros.

An escaped, chubby ErumpentAn escaped, chubby ErumpentCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Bitten By a Beast

Newt and Tina go to Jacob's place, finding it near-destroyed and Jacob ill from a creature bite. Jacob is taken with them to Tina’s apartment and meet her hot younger sis Queenie (Alison Sudol) who can read minds. Queenie really hits it off with Jacob who disappears, along with Newt into his recovered suitcase where Jacob is introduced to many friendly, magical creatures.  One, not so friendly, is an Obscurial, a dark entity comprised of stored magic that has turned evil. The duo leave the apartment in search of more escaped creatures to put back in the case which Tina, determined to impress MACUSA, takes back to the headquarters only to be arrested along with Newt and Jacob.

The beautiful QueenieThe beautiful QueenieCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Graves arrests Newt and TinaGraves arrests Newt and TinaCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Evil in Charge

It is learned that Graves is searching for this young child because she or he is possessed by an evil Obscurial. He thinks Newt’s beasts are aiding the evil and sentences Newt and Tina to death! They escape looking for the last two beasts while Credence is badly punished for finding a wand under his bed that really belongs to his little “sister”. The “orphanage” is destroyed by an Obscurial. Graves is now after little Modesty thinking she is the connection to the evil destruction but…is she? Will Newt and friends re-capture all the creatures? Will the Obscurial destroy New York? Will Newt protect abused Credence? And, is Graves really who he seems?

Head Security Auror Graves (Colin Farrell)Head Security Auror Graves (Colin Farrell)Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Wrapping Up

Although some of the plot of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is darker than many of the Harry Potter books and films, it is also full of wonder, great visual effects, humor and heart.

Officers of the Magical CouncilOfficers of the Magical CouncilCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Except for the fact that Eddie Redmayne mumbles many of his lines so that I couldn’t make all of them out, he does a great job of portraying the shy, good-hearted wizard with a sad past. Although not stellar, Katherine Waterston does a good job as the by-the-book Tina who finally joins with Newt to find and protect his creatures. Pretty Alison
Sudol shines as the seductive but sweet Queenie who has a warm spot for the real “star” of the show Jacob, the kind “No-Maj” caught up in all the magical mayhem and beautifully played by Dan Fogler.

Porpentina, Newt, Queenie and JacobPorpentina, Newt, Queenie and JacobCourtesy of Warner Bros.

The film has a lot to say about bigotry and fear of those who are “different” and we need to get the message to fight those in our modern-day, mixed up muggle lives as well. With a script by author J.K. Rowling, “Beasts” provides a good set-up for more films in the franchise, promising additional backstory on Newt and introducing a surprise villain at the end whom we can really look forward to “booing”. We go four stars.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Rating:4

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them PosterFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them PosterCourtesy of Warner Bros.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Are you excited about movies continuing the Potter Wizarding World? Are you ready to see this film with the screenplay by J.K. Rowling? Comment below!