Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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Mia and I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this movie for months. So it should come as no big surprise that we bought tickets online weeks in advance and saw the movie opening night. And it should also come as no big surprise that we have to dedicate a post to discussing the newest movie from our favorite wizarding world (or really just our favorite world in general if we're being honest here).  

So, without further ado, lets dish people!

*Disclaimer- there will be spoilers so save this read for after you watch the movie if you plan on doing so!*

As any Potterhead would be, I was anxious for this movie to be released. And not just  "I'm so excited, I need this in my life now!" sort of anxious (although trust me, there was certainly a fair share of this anxiety as well) but there was also the anxiety that this wouldn't quite live up to the "Harry Potter level" of amazing. That it would be a huge let down. 

So what did I think?

IT. WAS. FANTASIC!

Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't Harry Potter. There will never be another Harry Potter in my opinion, but this movie is authentic, magical, and hopeful, perfectly in line with what I expected from the wizarding world. 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is based on the wizarding world in New York City circa 1926. Newt Scamander has been traveling the globe collecting and cataloging the multitude of magical creatures in the wizarding world. His quick stop in New York City turns into an international incident when his case of magical creatures is mistakenly swapped with a similar case owned by Jacob, a No-Maj (American term for muggle!) who accidentally releases some of these animals into the city. These two unlikely allies work together to track down the creatures while a separate deadly creatures wrecks havoc on the city simultaneously. 

One of the unique aspects of this movie, which sets itself apart from the Harry Potter books/movies, is that it incorporates both the magical and non-magical worlds. It was simply hysterical to watch Jacob Kowlaski be introduced into the world of magic and navigate the city with Newt in search of the lost creatures. His humor and comedic timing were on point, he made such a wonderful addition to the cast of characters. Newt Scamander was thoughtful, tenderhearted, and brave (as any good hero in this universe ought to be!) I was absolutely tickled to hear talk about Dumbledore and had a sense of foreboding foreshadowing was happening with the mention of a mysterious LeStrange in Newts past. Anyone else feel like she is going to turn up in a later movie to tug on poor Newts heartstrings?!

Now for the stand out character in this movie? 

This quick fingered Niffler had me rolling with his crazy antics. Snatching up every bright and shiny object within reach, plundering jewelry shops, and pilfering the pockets of unsuspecting No-Majs, he was a hoot! 

And can we talk about Newts suitcase for a minute?! Anyone else just want to LIVE in that thing? God, all the beautifully exotic magical creatures were almost too much for my heart. And the tender and loving way in which Newt tends to them all is so charming. That case is like a magical breath of fresh air. I have also decided that I need a BowTruckle for Christmas...I'm gonna need someone to look into this for me.

While we don't learn too much about Newts background, other than the fact that he was kicked out of Hogwarts (gasp!) and had a once very close relationship with a LeStrange, I get the feeling Newts story will come into more focus as the series progresses. The big reveal was a shocker at the end! I was hoping Graves would have been our Snape for this series. The one you were certain was bad all along until he is finally revealed as the ultimate hero? Well that theory went out the window pretty quickly when he was revealed as non other than GRINDEWALD! Like, THE Grindewald people! Ekkkkk, did NOT see that one coming. 

Overall, I can't write enough good things about this movie. To be back in a world that gives me so much joy, is, in a word, magical....

What did you guys think of the movie?! Did it live up to your Harry Potter Hype? And who was your favorite new character? (Human and creature both!)