The Wizarding World is back


“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” came out Nov. 18. It stars Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston.

Anna Cole, Staff Writer

Five years after the release of the last Harry Potter film, J.K. Rowling and veteran Harry Potter director, David Yates, have provided fans with a worthy spin-off film set during 1926 in New York.

The story is loosely connected to the Hogwarts’ textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which Rowling published in 2011. The movie follows the exploits of the shy and scatter-brained Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) who is in the process of writing said textbook by collecting and cataloging various magical creatures, which he keeps in a briefcase that even Mary Poppins would be jealous of.

What ensues is a CGI-rendered adventure that incites the audience’s imagination and is what we have come to expect from J.K. Rowling. Once again, this is another plot-heavy film, just like the Harry Potter films, and feels as though three hours of plot were compressed into two and half hours of screen time. The result may leave movie-goers unfamiliar with the world of Harry Potter a little in the dark on some points of the film, which could benefit from elaboration.

The movie is not the knock-off of Harry Potter that it could have easily and profitably been. The visual aspects of the film help it fit aesthetically into the universe of Harry Potter that many hold dear, while the change of setting and characters helps breathe new life into this 19-year-old franchise. This movie is more than just another magical adventure; woven into the plot is a subtle commentary on tolerance, fear and bigotry in the world today.

This was the first in a what is supposed to be a five-film addition to Rowling’s wizarding empire. With a duo like Rowling and Yates, one can only wonder what the future holds for this franchise.