Friday, November 25, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review
Whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, most of us can easily enjoy the movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".  As a animal enthusiast, I was instantly enchanted by the Fantastic Beasts!  I wanted a pair of each one and I suspect everyone in the theater felt exactly the same way.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will already be familiar with terms like "muggle" and "Magizoology".   But, even if you have never been exposed to Harry Potter, you would quickly figure out their definitions.  I know this with certainty because a member of our group had never seen a Harry Potter movie, nor had he ever read any of the books.  I asked him if that was a problem for him and he said, "Not at all!  You don't have to be familiar with Harry Potter to recognize the face of evil".  He went on to say, "this movie can stand on it own merit."  That is actually very important to note.  The movie can and does appeal to even non 'Harry Potter' fans.   


The movie really gets started with a platypus or echidna looking creature called a Niffler that fancies sparkly things.  An adorable little thief if ever I saw one.
  
A note of interest for animal lovers:  The platypus and the echidna are both members of the same mammal subclass called monotremes.

*Please read my caution for children

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" Movie Plot


 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemUnlike the Harry Potter movies, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is not based on a published book.  It is a screenplay based on a text book that was written by a fictional character in the Harry Potter books.  In the Harry Potter books, the Magizoologist (magical beast zoologist), Newt Scamander, is the expert on magical beasts and the writer of the textbook "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them".  The textbook, Newt Scamander, magizoologist, and the Fantastic beasts are all imaginary creations straight from the mind of J. K. Rowling, the very real author of the Harry Potter books.  She simply wrote the screenplay to expand on a character, Newt Scamander, that was not fully developed in the Harry Potter books.   

In the movie, Newt Scamander, the author of the book, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", arrives in New York with only a small suitcase in hand.  That suitcase is actually a portal into his world of Fantastic Beasts.  It is also the creatures way into the human world.

When the Niffler escapes the suitcase, the excitement begins as Newt tries to track the little bandit.  His path crosses with Jacob Kowalski who happens to be carrying an identical suitcase.  The suitcases are accidentally swapped and Jacob gets the surprise of his life when he gets back home and opens the one he has.  Several fantastic beasts escape into the city.  

As you would expect, Newt has also discovered the mix-up.  However, Newt himself has attracted the attention of an Auror, a police officer of the wizard world, and she is tracking him because he is an unregistered wizard in the city.  The Auror, Tina, and Newt end up searching for Jacob and the lost animals together.  When they find him, they discover that he has been bitten by one of the Fabulous Beast.  Because they need to keep the muggle, Jacob, under observation to know if he will have a reaction, the 3 end up going to Tina's apartment for the night.  It is there that the guys meet Tina's sister, Queenie.

After they have retired for the night, Newt takes Jacob into the world of Fabulous Beasts via the suitcase portal.  It is here that we, the audience, also meet these magnificent magical creatures.

Even though Newt and his Fabulous Beasts are not responsible for the evil in the city, they are brought into the battle between the dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, and the Magical Congress of the United States of America when Newt is falsely accused of being Grindelwald's ally.


Aside from telling you a few of my favorite things about the movie, this is where I am going to stop because I really don't want to spoil anything for anyone.

My favorite Fantastic Beast is actually the Thunderbird.  Such a magnificent, powerful yet gentle, bird. As the name implies, this Fantastic Beast is a catalyst of thunder, lightning and rain. He also warns of impending immanent danger. I do so love a creature that warns us to get prepared.

My favorite movie quote from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is "worrying only makes you suffer twice."

My favorite character was a real surprise to me!  When I heard that Johnny Depp was in the movie, I expected it to be his character.  However, as I left the theater, I realized that my favorite character was actually Jacob.  Funny!  It was a movie full of wizards, yet it was the muggle that I admired the most.

One interesting note, Jacob is a baker.  Once you have seen the movie, you will want to look at these Fantastic Beast Biscuits!  Years before the movie, Elynmac shared these Dragon Biscuits with the online world.

Elynmac's Dragon Bisquits
Elynmac's Dragon Biscuits - Simply Click Here to See Her Featured Biscuits

 

Is "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" for Children?


I have no doubt this is a question that will be debated for many years to come.  However, I am going to step out with a personal opinion.  I do not think the movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is a movie that would be appropriate for any child under 12.  

I don't offer that opinion lightly.  I think all children of any age would love the beasts and be fascinated by the fantastical animals.  My concern would not be with the animals, but with the violence in the movie.  There are several murders in this movie and they are somewhat jarring and unexpected.  

If I err, I would err to the side of caution, especially with the minds of precious children.  They will see enough violence in their lifetimes without having to endure it in the form of entertainment at an early age.



When you see the movie, do come back and tell me your favorites!  I would love to hear them.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

7 comments:

  1. Another movie in the fantasy world that my daughter & son-in-law will love. Thanks for this fascinating review, Sylvestermouse.

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  2. Maybe someday I'll take the giant leap into fantasy and wizardry movies. This one sounds like a good place to start. Appreciate the review and especially your recommendation regarding taking children to see the movie.

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  3. While I'm not a major lover of fantasy, this movie and the preview contained within this Review has me fascinated. I think I will take the plunge and quell my curiosity. Look out movie theater here I come.....

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  4. I'm glad you included your opinion about whether this is appropriate for children. I was a child very sensitive to images of violence, and had nightmares for years when my parents took me to see double features where the other feature we hadn't gone to see was inappropriate and violent. I'm sure my parents never thought about how that might affect me. I lvoe your favorite quote from the movie.

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  5. As a huge Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling fan, this story is one I have been anxiously awaiting. I've just started reading the screenplay, then will be ready to see the movie. Thank you for not giving away anything that I haven't read yet. As such a Potter fan, there was no question whether I would see the movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." But, I did enjoy reading your review - just confirmed my love of the wizarding world and Rowling's incredible imagination.

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  6. you have me intrigued! I have to see this now. I hate to admit this, but I've never seen one Harry Potter movie (yikes) - one day I'm going to lay down, cuddled under a blanket and do a Harry Potter movie marathon - interesting that this one isn't written from a book too

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  7. AH! I remember seeing this trailer at the theater...and thinking I wanted to see it. Then promptly forgot about it. Thank you for reminding me. I want to see this one.

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