By Reagan B

As the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been hyped, Harry Potter fans have been anxiously awaiting its release as it casts them back into the wizarding world. Filled with elements that draw back to the previous Harry Potter movies, it is reminiscent of the familiar magical world that J.K Rowling created years ago. Released on November 18th and written by J.K. Rowling along with David Yates’ directing talents, the movie has a length of 2 hours and 13 minutes and a rating of PG-13. It features Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, who meets Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler). Furthermore, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and Colin Farrell all make an appearance in the film. The movie combines acting, effects, setting, and magic to engage the viewers easily, giving them an enjoyable time.

The plot’s premise includes a common theme of making sacrifices to save the world; but somehow, Fantastic Beasts does it in a way that engages the viewer’s interest with the addition of magical creatures and the nostalgia of Harry Potter. Redmayne portrays Newt Scamander, a bashful “magizoologist” dedicated to the care of his magical creatures. The beasts that Scamander travels with to New York are accidentally set loose and he must retrieve them along with the help of Jacob, a non-magical baker, and sisters/witches, Tina and Queenie. During the retrieval of the magical beasts, the group become aware of a darker mystery surrounding the city and they must do something about it.

The acting skills displayed are no less than exceptional, including a wide variety of character dynamics. Queenie’s flirtatious attitude next to Tina’s practicalness works as well as Newt’s shyness alongside Jacob’s humorous awkwardness. Each actor and actress brings different abilities to the screen, melding well with the others.

Effects and visuals shown in the movie are… well, fantastic. Several of the “beasts” include a niffler, which resembles a platypus with an infatuation for shiny things; bowtruckles, which are green leafy twigs with lively personalities of their own, a demiguise which resembles an invisible monkey, and an occamy, a multicolored snake-like creature with feathers. All of the movements and colors of the creatures look realistic, and they’re all believable next to the actors and actresses on the big screen.

As the movie is set in the 1920’s, the costume stays true to the styles worn in the era, but of course, have magical touches to them. The scarf that Scamander dons in the end of the movie is a subtle hint towards a Hogwarts house that all Harry Potter fans will recognize and appreciate.

J.K. Rowling’s screenplay stays true to the magical world she has created, this movie leaves viewers with a critical message of accepting others and understanding that others’ differences can contribute to society.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would be an excellent movie to go watch with the family during winter break, for both Harry Potter fans and fantasy movie lovers. Harry Potter fans will surely experience nostalgia, but the movie can be easily be appreciated by both fans and non-fans alike.