Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
Directed by David Yates
Written by J.K. Rowling
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell
Newt Scamander (Redmayne) is in New York, experiencing the underground world of witches and wizards. When he accidentally releases a number of magical creatures into the bustling city finding them is only part of the problem.
This film is a semi-prequel to the eight Harry Potter films based on the books by J.K. Rowling. She also wrote the screenply for this film which was directed by Harry Potter alum, David Yates (The Legend of Tarzan). This film features a new cast of characters played by Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs), Dan Fogler (Kung Fu Panda), Alison Sudol (Other People’s Children), and Colin Farrell (The New World).
This is a fun story that really keeps the feel of the original Harry Potter films without having to stay at Hogwarts. The writing introduces some great new characters and a fun new setting. The action is always moving, keeping this one exciting and entertaining. The movie also creates a new society of witches and wizards that has new rules and ideas. The overall experience is anything but repetitive, and while it’s connected to the Harry Potter films, it is in a world of its own.
The acting in this one is wonderful. Eddie Redmayne was an excellent choice to play Newt Scamander. The character he created is unique and instantly likeable. He connected nicely with the fantasy world of the film and the other stars in the film. He’s joined by great talents like Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol. Each of these actors does great work with their roles in the movie. One more person who needs to be recognized is Colin Farrell. His work gave the new film an exciting villain that really balanced out the story. This cast did great work bringing this one to life.
This film looked great and sounded great. The film earned Oscar nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. Those nominations cover only a few areas where this film excelled. The camera work and visual effects also added a lot to this one. Overall there isn’t much to complain about with this one.
This is a film that the Harry Potter generation deserves. The story feels like an extension of the world we grew to love through eight films. With this new series there are new characters that are likely to be adored much the same as the old. This is not an American version of Harry Potter. It is something new and exciting and equally fun. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.