Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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After having devoured the Harry Potter books and the religiously having watched the films, every time there was a comic relief novella linked to the series was a new high for a Harry Potter fan. I did wonder how the book “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them” could be turned in to a film since it is just the description of the beasts themselves and I really didn’t have a feel of who New Scamander should be or how he should be played.

Another before the film moment this year was the moment Ilvermorny, the American school was announced and you could get sorted into the houses on Pottermore. Of course, I did the test and am very happy in being in the Thunderbird house.

From the moment the film started and that overly familiar tune is blasted through the sound system, I get the thrill again that this universe brings. The sets are over the top magical when we are in MACUSA or in Tina & Queenie’s apartment. This really helps with the setting and the feel of it all.

At one point I thought, are we going to see any more animals than Niffler and that thing in the silver egg (Occamy), this because they do take their time to set up the story. They rally want to give us the feel of arriving as a foreigner to the Unites Stated in the 1920s.

There is a constant brooding evil in the background but I didn’t really put my finger on the big bad until halfway through. I thought it would have something to do with the Second Salem group (honestly witch trial people calling themselves that? I would think witches would do that – but that would be dumb since then they would be out in the open).

Earlier this year, not that much but still, it was announced that Johnny Depp was cast to be in the second film of this series (SPOILER: he is already in this one and menacing as Gellert Grindelwald). Still wondering if he just shape shifted or used polyjuice to appear as Percival Graves.My question in this is, how can a just arrives Auror get such a high rank? Or is this similar to Mad-eye Moody being locked up while Barty Crouch jr. took over?

We also know that Tina was recently fired from the detective squad of MACUSA. This makes me think that she is actually good but Graves got her fired since she was getting too close to discovering his Grindelwald side.

There is a double romantic story in here. There is Tina and Newt, although it’s not that outspoken. But Tina’s sister Queenie does seem to show feelings for the No-Maj (Muggle in familiar terms) Jacob. Jacob gets pulled into the story since he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Having a similar suitcase as Newt, it was bound to happen that if their paths crossed, the suitcases got switched. (I figured this out very early on.)

 The animals

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There are multiple magical animals in the story, and most of them live in Newt’s suitcase but a few get out and we need to find them again (look the title does make sense).

The animal shown in the trailer is a Niffler, this little platypus-like animal is a major pickpocket and the reason of a lot of hilarious scenes in the film.

My favorite animal in the film is the thunderbird (Frank). It really is a majestic bird, and I didn’t really catch it during the film that he was a thunderbird. On looking for it the day after I was kind of relieved it was one. Another this is since this animal is named Thunderbird, I am guessing it’s my house animal at Ilvermorny.

There is a small bowtruckle that hides under the lapel of Newt’s coat. It seems to be a timid animal, but when Newt sells him off in the underground club he gets a bit angry. He really shows a kids character in my eyes.

One of the bigger animals in here is the Erumpent. This rhino (but bigger) like animal breaks into the zoo cause she’s in heat. We find her in the rhino enclosure and Newt has to entice her back into his suitcase. During this mating dance, all I could think was “Ladies and Gentlemen, Eddie Redmayne, Oscar winner”.

The last pair of animals I want to talk about is the Occamy and the Demiguise.  The occamy has a snakelike body with the head of a bird. It can fill in any space you put it in (small in small spaces, enormous in big spaces).  This animal in the film is accompanied by a Demiguise (Dougal). I didn’t catch if these animals naturally hang out together, but here Dougal does watch over the lost Occamy.

Newt’s Suitcase

There is a moment in the film when we get to go into Newt’s suitcase. As this is a magical object, it can only be described as bigger on the inside. I loved this magical zoo and would want to visit it in a heartbeat. I’d love to see the Occamy hatch, feed the Mooncalfs, or just wander around in this fantastical zoo.

Maybe this would be an opportunity for Warner Brothers so expand the Harry Potter show in their many locations, an extra lot where people can wander around Newt’s suitcase, with all the fantastic beasts in an animatronic version.

Overall I would say it’s a highly entertaining film and that I would watch it again if someone asked me to join them in the cinema. I think after this once I might have missed quite a lot of details and a second time would make them clear. I was just too in awe of the setting that I didn’t even think of looking for plot holes.

 

 

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