2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was directed by David Yates, and written by J.K. Rowling as a prequel to her equally popular, best selling book series known worldwide as Harry Potter. While sticking to the same themed universe as the Harry Potter with wizards, witches, and an array of magical creatures, the story is no longer set in the United Kingdom, and instead, takes place in early 1920, just before the start of the Great Depression.
Our main protagonist is a young wizard named Newt Scamander, played by the immensely talented Eddie Redmayne. Scamander is transporting illegal and presumed dangerous magical creatures into the United States. However, tensions between wizards and humans has grown due to recent outbreaks of strange, unexplained attacks resulting in death and large amounts of property damage. Newt has to adapt to the American wizarding society and makes a few unlikely friends to transport his creatures safely, and put an end to whatever evil is plaguing New York City.
The movie as a whole was incredibly well done. From the small nods to the old series’ characters like Albus Dumbledore, Rowling has once again captivated our imaginations with the beautiful world, inspired storytelling, and lovable cast of characters which tie the movie together. Fans of the Harry Potter series will enjoy the new change of scenery to the very lavish American lifestyle, and will feel right at home just the same. To those who have never seen the previous series, you will most likely be in awe by the amazing special effects and music which perfectly set the tone to the beloved series. So far, Fantastic Beasts has received high praise from world renowned critics, and grossed over seventy-five million dollars by its first weekend release.
Rowling and Yates are truly a dynamic duo. Rowling mentioned that she is currently working on the next book, and plans to turn this movie into a trilogy. Harry Potter will always hold a place in the hearts of those who truly appreciated the franchise as a whole. If the box office is any indication of Rowling’s future successes, we will soon see many more magical films coming to theaters near you.