ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: Review

Updated on December 12, 2016

Return to The Magical World of J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts marks the return to the worldwide phenomenon that is the Harry Potter Universe, created by the beloved and prolific author J.K. Rowling. It’s been 5 years since we bade a tearful farewell to the boy who lived, and although the hype surrounding the film is understandably high, one glaringly obvious caveat of the film is that Harry Potter isn’t even in it! Instead, Fantastic Beasts is set 70 years prior to Harry’s first step into world culture, and features Eddie Redmayne as the magizoologist Newt Scamander, who has travelled to New York to carry out an assignment on behalf of the Ministry of Magic. While there, a non-magical (No-Maj) human named Joshua Kowalski (Dan Fogler) accidentally opens Newt’s briefcase filled with the titular Fantastic Beasts, and as the creatures escape into the city, Newt has to find and catch them, in a real-life Pokemon Go-esque hunt. This is all backdropped against strange happenings in the Big Apple, as the magical government of MACUSA and the brooding auror Percival Graves (Colin Farrell) investigate these mysterious events which are making the non-magical beings very nervous. It carries the Rowling brand, but it seems very ambitious for a spin-off film. Can it live up to expectations and is the film even any good?

Initial Thoughts

Right off the bat, Fantastic Beasts has a lot on its mind. It’s not one linear storyline, rather 3 different stories interwoven into the film, coming together with a big, explosive finale. At times this does feel slightly jarring, but is easily overlooked once we focus on the film’s biggest strength: The film has discovery and adventure at its core, as J.K. Rowling successfully expands upon the wizarding world we’ve all come to love, with her creativity and imagination flying right off her well-written screenplay. This is channeled through some cool-looking locales which provide an abundance of VFX eye candy, but is mainly highlighted in the fantastic beasts themselves, with each magical creature getting us excited to see the next weird and wacky species conjured up by Rowling. These creatures provide much of the excitement, charm and humour that the film provides, and is the main reason I enjoyed the film.

A Mixed Basket of Characters

Eddie Redmayne puts in a solid performance yet again with the awkward, bumbling, animal-loving Newt Scamander, whose past will surely be explored in later films. Colin Farrell as Graves plays his part well, and ended up being the character that I was most excited to learn about particularly in the third act of the film. Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein, a disgraced auror, feels slightly undercooked, as it feels as if her character was shoehorned in to progress the plot and to serve as Scamander’s supposed love interest. A standout performer was in fact Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, as his perpetual wonder, surprise and comic timing makes him the character who we can relate to best, almost as if we’re watching the film through his eyes.


Can David Yates Take on the Next Four Films?

Some issues I had with this movie included the unnecessary slow pace of some scenes, especially in the first act of the film. The film takes quite a while to settle into its stride, and at one point, there is even a complete standstill of story progression, which personally took me out of the movie. This is slightly worrying as this is director David Yates’ fifth movie in the same universe, and one wonders if it’s a sign of a fatigue that will show more obviously in the next 4 “Fantastic Beasts” movies he’s signed on to direct. Only time will tell, but a personal opinion is against Yates returning, as it would be exciting to get a fresh director's new take on this ever-expanding world.


Overall, Fantastic Beasts is filled with enough charm and world-building excellence to get me excited for the next few films in this series. Much of the excitement is due to the prospect of seeing Professor Dumbledore return to the big screen, as well as the casting of Johnny Depp as the dark wizard Grindelwald, undoubtedly the Voldemort of the series. The film has pacing issues but most of it is both fun and intriguing, and surely one that’ll be a joy for Harry Potter fans to watch.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Trailer

Rate This Film!

4 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of Fantastic Beats and where to Find Them

Answer the Poll

Will the Fantastic Beasts franchise make it to 5 movies, as per the plan?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)