When I was about 6 or 7 years old, J.K. Rowling released two Hogwarts textbooks: Quidditch through the Ages, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I was already a devout Harry Potter fan, having read The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets at a young age. My favorite of the two textbooks was definitely Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I remember poring over those textbooks countless times, wishing that the mythical creatures were real and chuckling to myself over Harry’s and Ron’s notes in the page margins.To this day, I have a copy in my bookshelf and peruse it occasionally.
With that being said, I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I first heard about the Fantastic Beasts movie. The movie is nothing like the textbook; the book is merely a mini-encyclopedia of different creatures, their characteristics, and their geographical locations. The movie has an actual plot, and does not need to live up to any prior conceptions I might have. This is what distinguishes this particular movie from most book-adaptions. With many book adaptations, I am disappointed with how it turns out. Either they leave out some of my favorite parts of the book, or the characters just aren’t at all how I imagined them. With Fantastic Beasts, there isn’t anything to live up to! I can watch the movie with an open mind, and judge it solely on its merit – without comparing it to anything else.
By the way, if you haven’t seen a trailer for Fantastic Beasts yet, here you go:
So, opening weekend has finally arrived. I went to see the movie tonight, and just got back twenty minutes ago. I knew right away that I wanted to write a blog post about it! I don’t want to give away too much about the movie, especially since it is so new. However, I want to tell you all: This. Was. Amazing. If you’ve read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, you will have many geeking-out moments! I kept leaning over to my boyfriend, whispering things like “Oh look, that’s a billiwig! That’s what they make Fizzing Whizzbees out of… You know, the candy that makes you float.” Oh that reminds me… if you are an avid fan of the Harry Potter universe, it might be best to go with a fellow Potterhead. That way, your movie companion doesn’t get annoyed to death. 😉
What I really love about Fantastic Beasts is that it doesn’t smack you over the head with references to the Harry Potter movies. There is a brief mention of a dear old friend (I’ll give you three guesses who that is), but that’s pretty much it. This lack of references kept the movie from feeling gimmicky. It didn’t feel like a cheesy prequel; it felt like a stand-alone.
If you’re on the fence about going to see the movie, or know nothing about Harry Potter, I strongly encourage you to give it a try! You really don’t need to be a fan of the Harry Potter books or movies to appreciate Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Good night, all!