While working on his book on the fantastic beasts of the wizarding world, Newt Scamander finds himself in New York with his leather suitcase filled with magical creatures. When an accidental switch of suitcases leads Newt and a muggle named Jacob Kowalski on a search for some escaped critters, they soon discover that there is more dangerous magic occurring in New York than just a few beasts on the loose.
Screenplay written by J.K. Rowling and tied to the encyclopedia of the same name, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was just as magical as the Harry Potter franchise. The story was told at a good pace that kept me entertained—I laughed out loud several times—and wanting more without wondering how much longer until it was over. However, I did feel there were one or two subplots too many in this film, such as the introduction of Newt’s previous love interest, but those were kept short and I’m sure will be expanded on in an upcoming film installment. While there were a few parts where I could tell the beasts were CGI, mostly when the actors were touching or interacting with the creatures, I still thought they were well done and kept true to the strangeness of the magical world.
I like that most of Newt’s history is still to be learned because it leaves room for his character to develop more as the series continues. Eddie Redmayne did an excellent job at portraying Newt Scamander, staying curious throughout the film while also seeming genuinely concerned about the beasts he was carrying, and I also enjoyed Ezra Miller’s performance as Credence Barebone. He’s an actor I like to keep my eye out for because I always enjoy his performances, and even though I had learned a few weeks back that he was in this movie I actually had forgotten and didn’t even recognize him until half way through.
Overall, if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter franchise—whether book or movie—I highly recommend seeing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It has a little bit of everything: action, adventure, romance, and, of course, magic, and is guaranteed to keep both kids and adults entertained.