Set upon arrival in the 1920’s New York City where witchcraft and sorcery are synonyms for Prohibition and poverty of the age, the hard times of 1920’s New York City are central to place for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, that people recognize from the books and movies, are clearly presented and present in this movie.
Almost glancing references are made to Hogwarts and Albus Dumbledore in the Fantastic Beasts story, which is accurate to the backstory of Dumbledore (supposedly born in 1881). With Fantastic Beasts existing before the more contemporary stories of Harry, Hermione, their parents, or even Tom Riddle, the timeline is satisfying for ringing true. The glancing references to language between the sides of the Atlantic Ocean (the United Kingdom versus the United States) was for my part a cute touch.
Fantastic Beasts is a good family movie, which is the focus of this post. I liked the movie and enjoyed it.
The tone hits you as less intense / dark than the last three Harry Potter movies, which are based on the books Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Scamander does a respectably British in mannerism protagonist through the movie, with mates, foils, and fantastic beasts in Kowalski the baker, Graves, Chastity, Modesty, and Credence Barebone, the Shaw family, and others. The Grindelwald mystery, which scores as a background story for our hero through much of Fantastic Beasts, does reward the clever viewer in search of a mystery.
Finally, remember that while Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is definitely of the Harry Potter universe, my strong recommendation is that this movie works in isolation. That is, the movie is an uplifting standalone experience. I’d be amiss for not mentioning that the movie does earn its PG-13 rating in the United States. Grade = B+.
Matt – Friday, December 30, 2016