Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Family Movie Review)

Wands at the ready! There's a new wizard in town. 

A week late, but here is my review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film, which opened on November 18, is based on the novel with the same title by famed author J.K. Rowling. The story is a prequel to the highly successful Harry Potter series, and is based in 1926 when a wizard, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), arrives in NYC from London with a magical suitcase filled with fantastical beasts. Naturally, all hell breaks loose when his suitcase is switched with that of a muggle's and some of the creatures escape jeopardizing the secrecy of the entire magical population of the city. 

Harry Potter fans may be disappointed that there aren't more references to the beloved franchise, but some mentions and connections are made. The story line was not terribly strong, but the film seemed to lay the groundwork for future installments and further character development. I am sorry I did not read the book, as perhaps the novel would fill in some gaps.

Honestly, I did not know what to expect before heading to the theater. For that reason, perhaps, I was not disappointed. The two overwhelming themes did not go unnoticed: humans hate that which they do not understand and animal rights. What I enjoyed most about this film was the tenderness Newt has for his creatures, and just how far he is willing to go to protect them and educate the magical world about them. The creatures were truly delightful!  

It was also very fun to be back in Rowling's magical world which was brought to life beautifully by special effects. We have new heroes, new villains and dark forces, and even some new terminology. Redmayne was wonderful as Scamander and starred alongside Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell, and Fine Frenzy. 

Watch Official Trailer

The film's PG-13 rating is for some fantasy action violence. There are few frightening images for younger viewers. Otherwise, it was a great film for families with older children, although, oddly, the audience was comprised mainly of adults. Viewers do not need to be familiar with the Harry Potter series. Fantastic Beasts is a perfect introduction to the magical world of J.K. Rowling for an entirely new generation. 

Read more of my Nik's Piks: After Hours reviews. 

Check out my Family Movie Reviews too! 


  1. I think its a movie I would like so, it will be on the list to see.


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