Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them makes a splash at the box office

Written by Ethan Farrell, Staff Writer

Many large works of fiction can be hard to add to in such a way that it will be satisfying on its own and to those who are already fans. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is no exception, being a largely developed world of wizardry that has captivated people of all ages since the first book was released. Nearly 20 years later, the magical world is expanded upon with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

In Fantastic Beasts, J.K. Rowling tells the story of how Newt Scamander would write a textbook to catalog magical creatures, which he believes should be preserved. The audience is also introduced to the American wizarding community, a completely new setting for the series, which believes the creatures to be pests and that magic should be heavily regulated. After having his briefcase full of magical creatures stolen by a non-magical man, Newt must scour the city to regain them. Along the way he makes friends with the non-magical man, and an officer of the American wizarding government, who help him both to regain the creatures and to uncover the mystery of a dark presence in New York City.

For many people Fantastic Beasts is the first plunge they will take into J.K. Rowling’s world of wizardry, which can be overwhelming to some degree. There is a lot of slang and spells that are used throughout the movies that those new to the series may not understand. Fantastic Beasts combats this problem well by explaining what a spell or word means by showing, not telling. It keeps the audience from feeling pandered to, which can always be a problem with movies of such scale. Not only does the movie play in the favor of newcomers to the series, but with veterans as well. Introductions of new settings, characters and major plot points are great additions to the already widely grown fandom.

The movie is exciting and kept me captivated throughout. As a longtime fan of the series, it was really cool to see film take another plunge into J.K. Rowling’s world of wizardy, even if it has only been a few years since the last Harry Potter movie. With references to the Harry Potter films and books, as well as being open to bringing in new audiences, the Harry Potter series, along with the world of wizardry only grows with the addition of the Fantastic Beasts series, which is already set to have sequels.