A Fantastically Magical Review

Hello, lovelies. I have a “wishlist” that I need to post for family members, but I just saw the newest wizarding film this weekend and I wanted to gush about it while it’s still fresh in my mind.
Look for the wishlist on Wednesday.

*No spoilers here! I would never ruin the magic for anyone! ❤︎

Fantastic Beasts AND Where to Find Them

fantastic_beasts_and_where_to_find_them

Movie Summary: Set in 1926, Newt Scamander arrives in New York City with a suitcase full of fantastic creatures and a mission. Unfortunately, times are tense & suspicions are high, and MACUSA (Magical Congress of the USA) has their hands full with a mysterious destructive force at work in the city. Meanwhile, the wizarding world is panicked by the sudden disappearance of the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Newt finds himself (and his creatures) in the middle of the turmoil along with the former Auror Tina, her sister Queenie, and a No-Maj (American Muggle) named Jacob. (Read the complete story on the official website!)

So… let’s go at this movie review like an interview.

What did you think of the film overall?
“Loved” isn’t a strong enough word. The new screenplay for The Cursed Child fell flat for me and I was concerned this movie franchise would lack the magic of the HP world in which I grew up. I was wrong- this film was glorious. It didn’t touch or tarnish the ‘original’ story at all but it still tied into the world I know and love.

Do you have to be a Potter Head (i.e. well-versed in Harry Potter) to enjoy it?
I would say no… though having knowledge of A) the wizarding world and B) the HP details makes this film infinitely more fun.

How does it relate to the Harry Potter story?
While there’s no mention of Harry, Ron, or Hermione (obviously- their parents wouldn’t even have been alive), they do reference Dumbledore. Also, hardcore HP fans will recognize Grindelwald’s name. A few eyebrow-raising names are dropped (that are the ancestors of familiar characters) and we get to see the early years of wizards and Muggles/No-Majs, pre-Wizarding Wars.

Favorite character?
Queenie was probably my favorite. As suspicious and private as New York and MACUSA were, Queenie was full of love and acceptance- for all types. I also loved her relationship to her sister- they were never competitive or demeaning, even though they were totally different people with different personalities.

Favorite scene?
Ah, SO MANY GOOD MOMENTS. There’s a very short scene right in the first 30 minutes that gives a little nod to Hermione & Ron- I loved that. I think my favorite scene was probably 3/4 of the way through when Queenie had a moment to shine and help her sister and Newt. I won’t say any more than that, but I thought it was funny and action-packed and clever.

Would I watch it again?
I think I have to. I was telling K that I love the HP movies because there’s an even more intricate (and sometimes entirely different) world of wizardry in the books. ‘Fantastic Beasts…’ doesn’t have that book element. All the subtle references and foreshadowing can only be found in the movie- which means I need to read all the articles and rewatch the film a million times to fully scrutinize it.

If you haven’t picked up what I’m putting down then I’ll just say it bluntly: Go see this film- especially if you are a fan of Harry Potter. It’s everything we’ve been waiting for ❤︎

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37 thoughts on “A Fantastically Magical Review

  1. Rebecca Jo November 28, 2016 / 11:48 am

    I can’t believe I haven’t seen this yet. I am DYING to get back in the wizarding world!!!

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:11 am

      Get yourself to the theaters this weekend, lady!! 😉

      Like

  2. A Mindful Migration (@MindfulMigrate) November 28, 2016 / 12:08 pm

    You know how you’re super excited for a movie, but then you find out someone you don’t like is going to be a part of it and your enthusiasm wanes? That happened to me with Fantastic Beasts. (It’s who plays Grindelwald). But … your review does revive my enthusiasm. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to see it in the theater but I will most definitely watch it at some point because I love the Harry Potter world so much. But no maj is a terrible, terrible name for a muggle!

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:16 am

      I originally didn’t like the term “no-maj” either, but when they say it in the movie it kind of works. I had no idea what the story was going to be or who would be in it, so it was all a surprise to me!

      Like

  3. Mattie November 28, 2016 / 1:00 pm

    Michael wants to go see it again and we probably will! And now I want to know what the nod to Hermione & Ron was and if I noticed it while I was watching. Ha!

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:18 am

      I was going with my brother and Xtina, then K said he’d come, too. Totally caught me off guard because he NEVER goes to the movies. I think we all really liked it 😀 It seems like not many people noticed the reference, but I’m 100% sure it was there for that reason. Just outside the bank after the vault scene 😉

      Like

  4. Nadine November 28, 2016 / 1:17 pm

    So I have read all the books (except The Cursed Child but I do have that one) but I want to watch all the movies first. I have never seen any of the movies and I want to watch them before I read Cursed Child and then maybe see this one. It sounds fun! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it makes me more excited after all the less than stellar reviews I have read of Cursed Child.

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:19 am

      WHAAAT. You’re never seen the movies??
      Ok, just keep in mind that the movies should be thought of as a separate thing. I mean, yes they come from the books, but you need to extend a little grace as far as details go… haha.

      But yeah, see the 8 movies before you see Fantastic Beasts. I could go without The Cursed Child being a part of the wizarding world, but it is what it is. Ha.

      Like

  5. Lacey Bean November 28, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    I’m dying to see it!!! Thanks for the review. 🙂

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:20 am

      It’s fantastic (no pun intended 😉 )! Hope you see it soon!

      Like

  6. Elyse November 28, 2016 / 9:35 pm

    As you know, I’m not an HP fan BUT I think this movie looks really good, that I am going to actually see it tomorrow night! Can’t wait!

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:21 am

      (Gah, that kills me. But it’s ok, I forgive you… haha!) I hope you loved it and understood it!! If not I’d be happy to clear anything up for you! Ha!

      Like

  7. Jenny @ Unremarkable Files November 28, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    My favorite was the Muggle guy. Loved him.

    If anybody is considering taking their Harry Potter obsessed kids, just know that the PG-13 rating is pretty accurate. It’s definitely not a kids’ movie, and darker than I expected.

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:24 am

      He was adorable. I was so enamored by the different laws in the US verses the UK in the movie!

      That’s a good thing to note! Thanks, Jenny! There were definitely some freaky parts!

      Like

  8. Susannah Kellogg November 28, 2016 / 10:24 pm

    I need to get a date night scheduled ASAP to go see this movie!!!

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:24 am

      Yes you do!! Maybe this weekend?? 🙂

      Like

  9. Jenn @ Optimization, Actually November 29, 2016 / 7:24 am

    It was so good! Fulfilled all my expectations. ❤ I didn't even notice the Ron/Hermoine reference, but I guess that's not surprising. I always feel like I need to watch something a few times to get all the nuances.

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:26 am

      Especially since there’s no book… I definitely feel like I need to rewatch it a few times. I had to google what GG’s last words were to Newt. I couldn’t understand him. Ha.

      Like

  10. everything with love November 29, 2016 / 8:17 am

    So excited to see this! You’ve made me want a date night as soon as possible!

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:26 am

      Yesss! GO plan that date night right now! I’m so glad it worked out for K and I to see this with Fred & Xtina. I think we all loved it!

      Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:28 am

      Hahahaha. We rarely go to the movies… I’m not sure what the last film I saw in theaters was… We went to the drive-ins this summer and saw Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets, so that was the last time, I guess (if that counts).
      I knew I’d be seeing this one in the theaters, though 😉

      Like

  11. Julie Hood November 29, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    Devin looooves Harry Potter so I’ll be forwarding this to him! I have never seen a single HP movie nor have I ever read the books……can we still be friends? 🙂

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:29 am

      AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! :-O Whattttt???? Oh heavens, girl! You’re breaking my heart! Haha.

      I s’pose we can still be friends 😉 The obsession runs deep over here on this side of the internet, ha. Regardless, I hope you both enjoy the movie! I’m sure Devin will love it!

      Like

  12. simplyalexandra12 November 30, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    YAY! I loved it too! I think so many good things about it. The characters were sweet, it was interesting, the 1920’s was a great setting… loved! I really think my favorite part is when they are at the apartment and she is baking. Just adorable. So glad that you loved it too! I need to get to The Cursed Child! 🙂 Xo – Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

    Like

    • Louise December 3, 2016 / 11:33 am

      Obviously I agree with everything you said 😀 I was so, so worried that it was going to fall flat or make me mad, but it was perfect. It has just the right distance from the Harry Potter world we know and love.

      Like

  13. asideofchocolateblog November 30, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    I loved this movie! Accidentally saw it at the very first showing our theater had and I don’t even feel that bad about it! Haha. All the beasts were great but I loved the niffler. And of course I loved the little hints to the HP world we know : )

    Like

    • Louise December 4, 2016 / 9:32 am

      I totally would’ve seen the first showing if the husband would’ve been on board 🙂 I saw the midnight premier of the two Deathly Hallows movies… but I was younger then 😉 Haha! THe niffler was SO CUTE!

      Like

  14. carolann823 November 30, 2016 / 3:10 pm

    I love your review! Even though I wasn’t a huge fan, you have me wanting to re-watch the film to go catch all the little details I missed. I don’t remember the scene that nods to Ron and Hermione and now it’s killing me! One thing I love about the whole Harry Potter World, from the movies to the books to the wizarding world of Harry Potter in Orlando, is all of the subtle details that make the world so intricate.

    Like

    • Louise December 4, 2016 / 9:34 am

      The detail is my favorite. It’s ok if you didn’t like it- I know I was one of the poo-poo-ers for The Cursed Child. We all have our expectations 😉 I had no idea what this film was going to be about and I was pleasantly surprised. I feel like there are a LOT of loose ends to tie up, but the HP world is pretty good at doing that. I’m looking forward to the next movies!!

      Like

  15. moonlightsewnata December 2, 2016 / 9:44 pm

    This movie was so. Good. I saw it twice! I could seriously play all of the HP movies over and over and over. Queenie and Jacob were my favorites.
    I love all of the creatures and wish that Pickett was mine ❤

    Like

    • Louise December 4, 2016 / 9:35 am

      Ahh! It was! I just loved Queenie 🙂

      Like

  16. lifeasunusuals December 4, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    Hmm, I might give this a watch when it comes to Netflix or TV. It doesn’t sound half bad. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

    Like

    • Louise December 4, 2016 / 8:06 pm

      Yes! Definitely watch it when it comes out 🙂 Thoroughly entertaining!

      Like

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