'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.
In mid-20s New York, Newt Scamander, the British young activist wizard, arrives in town, holding a mysterious leather suitcase which shelters a wide array of diverse and magical creatures that exist among us. Amid an already fragile equilibrium of secrecy, and the increasing disasters ascribed to the dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald, Newt's precious suitcase will be lost--and to make matters worse--several creatures will manage to escape. Before long, this situation will catch Senior Auror Percival Graves' attention who will target Newt, in the background of an invisible, devastating, and utterly unpredictable menace that still wreaks havoc on 5th Avenue. In the end, is there a hidden agenda behind Graves' intentions; moreover, what will happen to the remaining fantastic beasts still loose in the streets?Written by
Eddie Redmayne was the only choice for the lead role, according to J.K. Rowling. Redmayne didn't have to audition, and he took part in the other casting decisions. See more »
When Scamander is trying to capture the invisible beast in the department store, he is behind a red Santa Claus. Red Santa was not popular at the time. The movie was set 1926, Coca Cola didn't start to advertise red Santa until 1931. Although recent history has found that Santa was advertised wearing red and white between 1863-1886, Santa was mainly popular wearing a tan and green outfit. This means that the red Santa would not be in that department store. See more »
A lot has changed since the first Harry Potter film was released in 2001. Heck, a lot has changed since the LAST Harry Potter film was released in 2011. The franchise helped change our modern interpretation of what a film series can be. And this prequel spin-off is proof of that. While this isn't a Harry Potter movie, it's part of the same world.
In the 15 years since Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, blockbuster films have become consistently good. Critically acclaimed. It's not just popcorn entertainment anymore--we have higher expectations. And as the blockbusters strive for the quality of the more highbrow indie offerings being nominated for Oscars, they begin resembling them in a way.
The Harry Potter films, especially the first few, had a sort of snappy storytelling to them. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them does not. It's much slower like the later films in the previous series. Yet, the difference is, this is the setup to the next four films. By the time we got to the last few Harry Potter movies, we weren't exactly looking for a brisk narrative. And I was hoping for this in Fantastic Beasts--albeit, probably unrealistically.
Set in 1926, an English wizard, Newt (Eddie Redmayne), comes to America for McGuffin-like reasons (and unclear, at that). He gets into some trouble as some of the fantastic beasts escape from the suitcase where he's keeping them. As this is happening, he gets mixed in with a normal non-magical human, Jacob (Dan Fogler).
Other assorted things happen that are appealing to the audience. We get to go inside this magical suitcase and see dozens of unique creatures in this new expanded universe. It's really cool and aesthetically pleasing.
The movie is long and not enough happens to truly justify it. Instead of using the time to thoroughly explain some of the overarching story lines, the filmmakers spend it drawing things out. Perhaps because they feel like they have to.
Don't get me wrong, the film is great. It's thoroughly enjoyable. It does most of the things a good film should do. While the storytelling isn't quick, it's still very even.
This is what director David Yates is good at, as evident in the last four Harry Potter films he directed. Though Fantastic Beasts is missing the magical world that is Hogwarts, Yates knows how to bring alive New York City in the '20s and make it feel magical.
You will most likely enjoy Fantastic Beasts. If for no other reason than the fact that it's the ingress back into the beloved world of Harry Potter.And Easter eggs are scattered all around. Just don't go into it with the same expectations as its predecessors.
Twizard Rating: 93
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