Everyone’s Finding “Fantastic Beasts” in Their Hearts

2016 brought us a lot of rough times and events that no one asked for, but it also brought us “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.  “Fantastic Beasts” is a new addition to the Harry Potter universe, one that many of us thought we were very familiar with. However, with  this film, even hardcore fans have more to learn about the world of magic in New York.

“Fantastic Beasts” movie poster at the Moorestown Mall

“Fantastic Beasts” takes place in 1920s New York and tells the story of Newt Scamander, who is played by Eddie Redmayne. Newt is a wizard from the UK who travels to New York with a case full of magical creatures, having the intent to make a special delivery. He has devoted his life to the study and care of these creatures and he connects more to them than he does with humans, both the magical and non magical (known as no-majes in America).

When some of his magical creatures escape their case, he ends up finding some new companions: Tina, a witch who works with the Ministry and is very strict about exposing magic to no-majes, Queenie, Tina’s sister who is more carefree and can read minds, and Kowalski, a no-maj who accidentally stumbles across this magical universe.

The film is set in the Harry Potter universe that us fans know and love, but it is also very different from those movies. This is its own story waiting to be told. The emotions that it causes channel one from the past franchise while staying completely separate from what fans felt before.

Samantha Blyn (’18) commented on the movie, saying, “‘Fantastic Beasts’ did an amazing job at bringing the audience back into the Harry Potter world, even though it was different than previous films. It felt magical all over again, learning the new story line and becoming invested in the new characters.”

the movie cast with J.K. Rowling, the author and screenwriter

I personally love the story (I’ve already seen the movie twice because I can’t stop thinking about it) and I instantly felt at home with it. The characters, especially Newt, are all extremely lovable and I found myself concerned with their well being as soon as the Warner Brothers opening faded away and the first scene came into view. As Newt is a Hufflepuff (a house from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), the story is very centered around Hufflepuff tenancies, which are basically loyalty and kindness. Everything about Newt is so sweet and I could tell that the entire audience was rooting for his success the entire time. It was also really exciting to see a Hufflepuff who is loyal and kind, but also competent. Often, the house is portrayed as a catch-all house, with no standard for intelligence: people often assume that Hufflepuffs are blubbering idiots. In this case, however, Newt is so knowledgeable on his magical creatures that the stereotype is forgotten quickly.

The entire story line proved that we don’t have to be extraordinarily brave, like the Golden Trio, to defeat dark powers and fight for what is just. It makes us fans see that we can be successful in our own ways; us fans see that we don’t have to be the Chosen One to do good. We can be enough. “Fantastic Beasts” shows us that we are more valuable than we once thought.