Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Valerie Medoff

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Let me preface this by saying that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan. While I will watch/ read anything that JK Rowling produces, it’s hard not to be a bit skeptical about any new cinematic additions to the wizarding world. I had seen the trailers for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and knew that I would definitely go see the film, but I honestly wasn’t sure that I would love it. Last night, I attended the midnight premiere for the film and was blown away by it. It not only met, but exceeded my expectations as a film.

A fair amount of the creative team crossed over from the Harry Potter films including David Yates, JK Rowling, and Steve Kloves, among others. This film is a successful addition to the Harry Potter franchise because it took such a different route, while staying within this already established world. This film was not about Harry and his friends or really any of the other major characters in Harry Potter. This film, rather, explores the American wizarding world in the 1920s. While nods are given to Dumbledore, Hogwarts, and Grindelwald, the film does have a sense of separateness which adds to its success.

Additionally, viewers are able to learn more about the wizarding world as they are exposed to new creatures and new types of magic. The film’s discussion on the political event of the wizards repressing and hiding their magic, in essence who they are, becomes a part of current political discussions today regarding identity and censorship.

I won’t give anything else away for those who have yet to see it, but I would highly recommend this film to any Harry Potter fans. If you’ve already seen the film, what were your thoughts? Do you think it was a successful addition to the franchise?

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3 Responses to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them | Valerie Medoff

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I’m so excited to see this film! I think, what is fascinating, is that the movie focuses on the AMERICAN wizarding world, creating a transition from the British-centric world of Harry Potter. Also, I love your point about identity and censorship. Adults underestimate Harry Potter as children’s work, but the truth is is that the literature delves into problems that are so relevant to the political landscape of the world! – Andrew Guido

  2. mediaphiles says:

    Before your blog post, I had not heard of either of these movies. I checked out the trailers and they seem like they’ll be pretty good. I feel like when a movie comes out that is related to Harry Potter in some way, it always has very high expectations. Fortunately, from the trailers, it seems like these movies will meet them! – Katie Thevenow

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I haven’t seen this movie yet but after reading this I think I’m going to! It didn’t seem as appealing from first glance but being related to Harry Potter makes it intriguing. Thank you for not giving anything away! I agree with Andrew above and concur that speaking about an American wizarding world creates its own identity separate from the British wizarding world of Harry Potter.

    -Meghan Murphy

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