When “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” was announced, there was a distinct separation between Harry Potter fans.
Some were ecstatic that J.K. Rowling had begun a new project in the wizarding world.
Others, however, were against it, thinking that the stories of the wizarding world needed to be left alone.
They felt it needed to end with the resolution to the struggles of Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Personally, I was very excited. I have been a fan of the wizarding world ever since my mother first read me “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
I was cautious, but still optimistic, and I think that is why I enjoyed the movie as much as I did.
“Fantastic Beasts” follows the story of Newt Scamander traveling to America from London.
With him, he carries a briefcase filled with numerous magical creatures, as well as his entire workshop, should he choose to walk inside of it.
Once in New York, he comes into contact with a No-Maj (the American way of referring to a Muggle) named Jacob, with whom he accidentally switches briefcases.
From there, he is aided by Porpentina Goldstein, a former Auror of the Magical Congress of the United States of America, or MACUSA for short.
Together, they begin to hunt down Newt’s creatures, which have escaped from his briefcase under the lack of supervision by Jacob.
They also must deal with the emergence of an Obscurus, the pent up magic of an oppressed witch or wizard, which is wreaking havoc throughout New York, threatening to expose all of wizard-kind.
There are two ways for you to approach “Fantastic Beasts” if you are a Harry Potter fan.
First, you could approach it as though it was an extension of the previous movies, and you will most likely be disappointed.
It is hard, if not impossible, for J.K. Rowling to continue that storyline, or for her to recreate a new one that even comes close to matching Harry’s quest against Voldemort.
However, if you see the movie as I did, and look at it as a separate entity from Harry Potter, as its own story of the wizarding world, it was truly a treat to go and see.
I am irrevocably in love with the wizarding world, and I am overjoyed to see more of it on the big screen.
I don’t think that it will live up to Harry and his journey, but I believe that if you go to see it as a beginning of Newt’s journey instead, and choose to see the potential that this movie has as an extension into the wizarding world from a whole new perspective, this could easily bring just as much joy as our trips to Hogwarts did; even if the new wizarding school is called Ilvermorny and has four completely new houses to choose from.
3.5 out of 5 stars.