Hello hello all! A couple days ago I went to go see Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them with my dad and sister, and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
This review will be mainly spoiler-free, but there will be a spoiler discussion section towards the end!
Fantastic Beasts most definitely did not disappoint. (I mean, I really wasn’t expecting it to, but after Cursed Child, you never know.) Just… W O W.
One of the things I had heard was that it was mostly setting up the other movies (there’s set to be four more, if you didn’t know!), and that was true, but I feel like it was done marvelously well. It’s true that without the extended plotline that was being set up for the other movies, the plot itself would have been lacking. However, the nice thing was how they successfully managed to tie the individual plot of the movie to the overall extended plot so that neither could manage to sustain the movie without the other.* It was a very nice balance and made you leave the movie theater both extremely eager for the next movies- and not just because of a cliffhanger- and happy with how the ending of this one was! (Well, sad but happy, but that will be discussed later.)
*when I typed that sentence, all I could think of was the line “neither can live while the other survives” and I guess that just confirms how much of a HP nerd I am if I’m making a Harry Potter reference inside a Harry Potter post. 🙂
Ahhhh okay! Onwards! THE CHARACTERS. I love all of them shamelessly. Newt Scamander is such a good soul, Tina and Queenie are honestly my new favorite kickbutt siblings, Jacob is a cinnamon roll, Credence needs a real hug, Graves has cool hair (??), and although the MACUSA President, Seraphina Picquery, wasn’t my favorite, she was pretty awesome too. (AND PICKETT THE BOWTRUCKLE!!!)
In all seriousness, the characters were just amazing. I loved how real they sounded and felt- they were never quite sure of themselves, and yeah, it’s a movie, this is all fictional, but it’s still nice to see. I also was interested by how the movie also got pretty dark with some of the characters (we’ll talk about that below!). Although so much of the movie has a very wondrous, enchanting quality what with all of the creatures and the cinnamon roll characters, it also has the same dark feel that you got after the fourth books/movies of Harry Potter. I’m very excited to see how that will continue in the later movies, considering, y’know, the next four movies will also have a large focus on Grindelwald and the rise of the Dark Arts and all that fun stuff.
My favorite thing about the movie- actually, scratch that, I loved everything- one of my favorite things about the movie were the creatures! THEY WERE SO GREAT. And all of them were new- some had been briefly mentioned in Harry Potter- and so, so cool. The animation work was done really well, too- it’s so cool how they can make all this fantastical (lol) stuff seem so real!
To all my fellow music geeks out there- Fantastic Beasts’ music is AMAZING. I love the main theme and how it’s both mysterious and playful. Also, it’s just really pretty. I’ve listened to it and the piece “Inside the Case” on repeat the past day.
(SO NICE. AHHH.)
Of course, when I went to see Fantastic Beasts, I had to be a total nerd and wear my entire Newt Scamander Halloween costume- a blue coat courtesy of Goodwill, my knitted Hufflepuff scarf, a yellow vest that’s actually a child-size winter coat with the sleeves removed (Goodwill as well), a bow tie (Amazon is also great), and brown boots (you guessed it- Goodwill! I think I spent a total of, like, twelve dollars on this costume)! I felt silly, but it was very fun. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Needless to say, I was very warm in the theater. We were some of the only people there, funnily enough, probably because we live in the South and it was 10:15 on a Sunday morning, meaning we’re heathens. 🙂
If you’re going to stop reading now because you haven’t seen it yet- do you think you’ll go see Fantastic Beasts? Are you as eager as me for the new franchise and movies? AREN’T THE CREATURES THE CUTEST DARN THINGS? tell all below!!
Alright kids, it’s spoilers time!
(are y’all gone yet? is this adequate space?)
OKEEDOKEE. Let’s talk. I have lots to say about this.
To start: I was not expecting that ending. Jacob! Queenie! AHHH THEY’RE SO CUTE. Jacob had to have regained his memories, I hope. And Credence- I’M SO SAD. I wasn’t prepared, honestly, for them to kill him. Wow. That poor child (unrelated: how old is Credence? Reddit says 18. Hmmm). The word is that he’s not actually dead- remember, right before Newt releases the Thunderbird, he stares at a wisp of black mist trailing away? And I guess one of the writers spoiled that he’s going to be important in all the films- so that’s okay. BUT STILL. I can’t believe it, though.
I feel like I should’ve realized that Graves was Grindelwald when Newt mentioned “for the greater good” when he was being questioned, but that was such an intense character. (And creepy, and manipulative, and evil as heck, but I digress. That is obvious.) All the name-dropping that was in the movie, as well- Leta Lestrange, in example- was really cool! I loved all the little connections and how much you really had to remember the Deathly Hallows (the book, not the things) to fully understand some of it.
I also really enjoyed all the differences you could see in wizarding America- as the internet has quickly latched on to, magic is practically entirely non-verbal to ensure secrecy. One thing I noticed was that there were also many house-elves that appeared to be working! That was an interesting contrast, even one 70 years older, from wizarding Britain. In general, they really made sure that the setting didn’t just feel like it was just the location that changed- there were lots of things that made it all the more plausible.
I’m really excited for what this series will bring. We have this social media culture that wasn’t as big with the Harry Potter books/movies and I’m interested in how this’ll become my thing as I grow up, kind of like how the very early Millenials grew up with the books and then the movies as they came out. (The fandom discourse will probably not be fun, especially with Graves/Grindelwald’s character, but at least we are probably united by everyone’s love for Newt.)
(A final note: dang, Obscuri are really cool and very sad.)
Did you love Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as much as me? Who’s your favorite character(s)? Do you love everyone? (Do you agree that Credence needs a hug?) WHERE’S MY HUFFLEPUFF PEEPS? (I’m so happy about Newt’s House pride.) Rant below, but make sure that if you’re going to discuss anything in this section, put a warning in your comments so that you don’t accidentally spoil anything!