Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Out Now On-Demand
J.K. Rowling invites you to a new era of the wizarding world.
Author J. K. Rowling and director David Yates return to the Harry Potter universe with this spinoff story, starring Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) as writer Newt Scamander who discovers an underground community of witches and wizards in New York - 70 years before Harry reads his book.
Best Costume Design, Academy Awards 2017; Best Production Design, 2017 BAFTAs
- J.K. Rowling (based on her own characters)
Adventure, Kids & Family, Fantasy, Blockbuster
Rating: M Violence
The first non-Harry film in the Potter-verse favours a 1926 New York setting that follows characters pivotal to the Harry Potter mythology. If you’re not aware that Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) was a magical zoologist who wrote a textbook or that Gellert Grindelwald fought Dumbledore in an infamous battle for something-or-rather, Fantastic Beasts defines itself so well that newbies can easily follow while nerd eyes will soak up all the new details.
JK Rowling feels incredibly in-tune with her audience, the majority of whom grew up with the Hogwarts Class of 2001. Now these grown-ups are treated to a tale starring adults, centred on Scamander who enters the Big Apple with a (terribly unreliable) suitcase full of beasts while the underground world of wizards deals with an unstable threat that could expose them all.
Redmayne makes for a tender, unique, heart-warming hero who can sometimes seem more Time Lord than wizard (complete with Tardis-like luggage). Aiding him superbly is Dan Fogler as the muggle who stumbles into the world of magic like a pug in a car wash – bewildered, yet astonished. Alison Sudol also radiates as one-note charmer Queenie.
It’s a damn shame that Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) isn’t as memorable. After being disgraced, she seeks to prove herself to the Statute of Secrecy, but the movie denies her a decent chance to do some magic badassery.
The climax also underwhelms – as if they put nuts and bolts inside a CGI blender, threw it inside a subway, and called it a fight scene. But that’s partly because everything you see before that finale is so very visually fantastical. Special effects can elicit excitement through explosions, but Fantastic Beasts is at its best when it elicits wonder through exploration. Hopefully we’ll see more of that in the next four sequels.
Total Film (UK)
The Guardian (UK)
Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)
NewsHub.co.nz (Kate Rodger)
An enjoyable prequel/spinoff with an entertaining plot, dazzling visuals and newfound characters, leading audiences wanting more of what's yet to come.
Nothing like Harry Potter
Loved this - This is a movie on its own which brings out Magic to another level. Would watch this again. Very good
This feels like your run of the mill blockbuster movie that’s all flash and no substance.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a Harry Potter spin off. Directed by David Yates, starring Eddie Redmayne, Collin Farrell, Katherine Waterson and Dan Fogler.
Newt Scamander enters the city of New York with a briefcase filled with magical creatures, but when several creatures got loose, they are blamed for the attacks on the nomag (muggles). On the run from New York’s secret society of witch and wizardry, Newt is on the quest to prove his creatures’ innocence and to discover the sinister truth behind the attacks.
One of the highlights of this movie are it’s beasts and they are indeed fantastic. The creatures are fun to watch whenever they’re in the screen and for majority of the creatures they look great.
One character stood out from the cast and that is Dan Fogler, the nomag. He provides most of the humour which this movie definitely needed.
Unfortunately the movie suffers from a lot of problems as the expectations from the previous Harry Potter movies aren’t met in this spin-off. One major flaw of this film is it’s tone. The film struggles to decide whether it wants to be lighthearted or dark as the the movie switches scenes from one tone to another without warning.
Another flaw are it’s characters, apart from Kowalski (Dan Fogler) the rest of the characters are dull. Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) lacks the charm to make us root for his character and it doesn’t help that he portrayed the character with an odd mannerism that’s difficult to relate to. Ezra Miller felt wasted as he is reduced to a one dimensional role that difficult to care about.
Overall Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them doesn’t quite hit the magical stride that the Harry Potter movies had. The bipolar tone affected this movie in a negative way and it didn’t help that it’s main character is boring.
Though the creatures themselves are fascinating, it is not enough to enjoy the movie to it’s fullest. In a movie that’s meant to be about the beasts, the movie’s convoluted plot derailed the little enjoyments that the beasts brought to the screen.
The film has numerous easter eggs that refers to the previous movies and fans of the series will definitely identify them with glee, however for the casual audience this feels like your run of the mill blockbuster movie that’s all flash and no substance.
Smaller on the outside...
It’s like Newt Scamander’s suitcase: it does the job it’s been designed to do with sporadic effectiveness, is absolutely jam-packed with stuff and every now and then opens up to give us a glimpse of something genuinely magical stuck inside it. But, just like the suitcase, the contents have been carelessly selected and crammed together in higgledy-piggledy fashion with little apparent regard for whether any of it actually fits together. I suppose you could therefore argue that Fantastic Beasts is bigger on the inside, but somehow it feels more appropriate to describe it as being smaller on the outside.
Magic and mayhem in Deco NY.
Lovely to look at in 1920's New York with lots of exciting CGI moments, this was surely made for all the twenty somethings who grew up with Potter. Too scary for the young'ns and overly sappy for the sophisticated set it probably provides a sense of relief from the worry of how to buy a house in Auckland! I am beginning to wonder, though,if Eddie Redmayne might be a one trick pony as at the start of this flick he really reminded me of the young Stephen Hawking. Overall an enjoyable, feel good film perfect for the Christmas season full of charm and not at all taxing on the grey matter.
pretty good family viewing undermined by weak girl characters
Loved the New York 1920s world, the extention of the magical world beyond potter into interesting Young Adult territoty but why are all the good roles for the boys??? The 'plain jane' gets a sort of administrative side kick role and the more I unpack the messages about girls and women the more my enjoyment fades.
Harry Potter Stuff, Dragons & Magical Muggal Stuff
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
So it felt very ‘Deathly Hollows’ but totally ‘Harry Potter’ throughout, and not just because of the music & magic. So emotional in a ‘Oliver Twist’ kind of way, with goo acting and amazing sound/stage/characters. Loveable people and animals, with an easy plot to follow, unless you get too caught up in the story. The apparition scenes reminded me of the shaky camera scene of so many films, annoying and hard to really see whats going on. I watched on Hoyts, Mega Screen, perhaps I should've opted for 3d... Apart from that, awesome, enjoyable & totally JK.
Genre : Magical, Potter fan-dom, adventure, fantasy
4/5 : for the amazing adaptation from book to film that jumps off the screen. Now I’m looking forward to reading the book!
Rowling back at her best!
The story is fantastic, great characters, gorgous visully, the creatutures are beguiling; it was better than I could imagine. Don't miss the magic, don't miss the pure delight!