Eddie Redmayne in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." (Warner Bros.)
MISCHIEF MANAGED. Eddie Redmayne in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” photo/Warner Bros.

For the last decade, J.K. Rowling mesmerized fans with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. After a six-year break from magic, her new prequel to the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them captivates the world.

British wizard Newt Scemander (Eddie Redmayne, Les), an awkward and kindhearted writer who successfully scours the world studying and saving magical beasts, travels to New York City in 1926 with an enchanted case full of his rescued magical creatures. The Magical Congress of the United States sees these animals as a threat to exposing wizards in America, so Schemander’s work recieves little credit.

Through a turn of events, Scemander loses four of his beasts. Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger, Horton Hears a Who!), a no-Maj (American without magic), and fellow wizard, Porpetina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston, Alien: Covenant), help Scemander scour the streets for his creatures. Simultaneously, an ominous and rare creature wreaks havic on New York City. The MACUSA blames Scemander, Goldstein and Kowalski for the destructive creature. Clearing their name requires capturing the beast.

Director David Yates showed skill in choosing Fogler as Jacob Kowalski. Fogler added lightheartedness and comedic relief as a slightly confused and charming American no-Maj.

Goldstein, a misfit and anxious MACUSA employee, provided a humorous foil to Scemander’s zany personality. Their friendship, built from trying to stay out of trouble, develops into a charming and humorous relationship as the plot progresses.

With multiple twists and a bittersweet ending that hints at future storylines, the film enchants viewers.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them give Harry Potter fans a spin-off enchanted series that satisfies their love of adventure and mischief while holding a fresh storyline and new set of characters to love.

The Highlights:

Movie: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Folger

Genre: Adventure/Family/Fantasy

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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