'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them': Everything We Learned on Our Set Visit
IMDb worked its magic to apparate onto the set of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Check out exclusive interviews with the cast and creators as well as new pictures and teasers from the movie and beyond.
It's Harry's third year at Hogwarts; not only does he have a new "Defense Against the Dark Arts" teacher, but there is also trouble brewing. Convicted murderer Sirius Black has escaped the Wizards' Prison and is coming after Harry.
Holding a mysterious leather suitcase in his hand, Newt Scamander, a young activist wizard from England, visits New York while he is on his way to Arizona. Inside his expanding suitcase hides a wide array of diverse, magical creatures that exist among us, ranging from tiny, twig-like ones, to majestic and humongous ones. It is the middle of the 20s and times are troubled since the already fragile equilibrium of secrecy between the unseen world of wizards and the ordinary or "No-Maj" people that the MACUSA Congress struggles to maintain, is at risk of being unsettled. In the meantime, the voices against wizardry keep growing with daily protests led by Mary Lou Barebone and fuelled by the increasing disasters ascribed to a dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald. At the same time, by a twist of fate, Newt's precious suitcase will be switched with the identical one of an aspiring No-Maj baker, Jacob Kowalski, while demoted Auror, Tina Goldstein, arrests Newt for being an unregistered wizard. To... Written by
The New York City docks scenes were actually filmed in Cardington Hangars, Bedfordshire, England (a.k.a. The Sheds). See more »
When Newt is preparing to leave the ship at the beginning of the movie, an overhead shot shows a crowd of muddy footprints on the deck in front of him. All of these footprints seem to be from shoes with rubber treads, but such treads were not available until the late 1930s for mountain climbers and much later for everyday shoes. In the 1920s, all shoes would have had flat leather soles. See more »
Do you like going to the zoo? That is the question ...
Although I was a fan of the Harry Potter series, I had no preconceived notions or requirements for this stand-alone movie, other than an expectation that J.K. Rowling would not disappoint.
Nonetheless, I was disappointed. The first half of the movie is basically an overlong visit to a CGI-created zoo. We watch as the protagonist hunts down a half dozen or so "fantastic beasts", mostly one at a time and in extended chase sequences. If you do not enjoy visiting zoos or watching car chases (which have the same dynamic as animal chases, no matter how exotic the species), you may be bored. I certainly was.
The second half of the movie is more engaging, as loose strands from the first are finally woven into a conventional good vs. evil morality play. But even here, virtually every turn in the plot is easily predictable, as Rowling uses the same pro- Muggle/anti-Muggle dynamic employed in the Potter series to define her characters, plus an ironically preachy lesson in the harmful nature of organised religion. Fortunately, the actors, particularly the good guys and gals, are able to overcome the limitations of the script so that I couldn't help but like them and cheer them on. The cinematic recreation of early 20th century New York is also well done.
However, on the whole, I think Rowling is capable of better work than this. For movie-goers content to be dazzled by special effects, this film may do the trick. For those who want more than a formulaic "Hagrid saves the world" knock-off, the film will probably seem much longer than its two hour running time.
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