Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a fantasy film directed by David Yates and stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Colin Farrell and Eddie Redmayne who plays the lead as Newt Scamander. The story follows Newt, a magizoologist who journeys to New York City with a briefcase full of magical creatures, some of which have been accidentally set free which causes havoc across a city which is no stranger to magical disturbances. This film is a spin-off prequel of the Harry Potter films. It is the first instalment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise and the ninth instalment in J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.
My Love of Harry Potter and Expectation of Fantastic Beasts
I have to say, Fantastic Beasts had a lot to live up to. This is due to my belief that the Harry Potter film series is, in my opinion, the greatest saga ever. All eight films in that series are, at the very least, very good and this consistency of greatness is quite a remarkable feat considering how other franchises struggle in this regard.
For instance, Star Wars has the Prequel Trilogy (and the Special Editions but that’s another discussion), the Middle-Earth film series has the Hobbit Trilogy and Indiana Jones has Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to diminish the quality of their respective franchises. Harry Potter had no films which were bad. They were all quality films and, going into Fantastic Beasts, I hoped that this streak would continue.
My Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts
I am absolutely thrilled to say that I had a fantastic time with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This is a wonderful film that has great characters. Certainly, Eddie Redmayne is brilliant as Newt Scamander who fitted into the world seamlessly and his little quirks in the film made his character really likeable. Still, while Redmayne is great, the character of Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, was my favourite part of this film. He is really funny in Fantastic Beasts and gives the film a lot of genuine heart.
Additionally, the strength of the script, which was written by J. K. Rowling herself, is also a standout in Fantastic Beasts. Rowling successfully expands on the lore of the Wizarding World she created and crafted a story which is able to stand on its own two feet while, at the same time, able to set the foundation for future instalments. I also liked how the different stories within Fantastic Beasts all linked well with each other once the film had ended.
Moreover, I thought that David Yates did a great job directing this film. He is no stranger to this franchise. Indeed, he directed the last four Harry Potter films and was able to continue his great work by creating a vibrant film in Fantastic Beasts. Certainly, the visual effects were really good and none of the CGI took me out of the film. I was captivated throughout.
Fantastic Beasts had a tough task on its hand to follow the brilliance of the Harry Potter film series and be a film which sets up a franchise while still being able to stand on its own two feet. For me, it succeeds on all levels. An entertaining story supplemented by great characters and great visual effects makes Fantastic Beasts a film which continues the greatness of the Harry Potter film series and makes me really excited for future instalments which can really build upon what was established in this film.