A prequel or a sequel to a beloved series has to be done right. While exploring new territory with new characters and new narratives, it must also weave in the narrative and characters that fans know and adore.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a prequel to the Harry Potter series. Set in 1926 New York, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is carrying what appears to be an ordinary suitcase. But it is far from ordinary. When the creatures inside the suitcase escape and nearly destroy New York City, Newt must work with sisters Tina and Queenie Goldstein (Katherine Waterstone and Alison Sudol) and no-mag (i.e. muggle) Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) to get them back.
Before I go any farther I must say that I have not yet read the book, so this review is based solely on the movie. The thing that I enjoy and appreciate, both as an audience member and a writer is that J.K. Rowling understands how to write for movie audiences. The reason her books are so well-beloved and the movies are equally beloved is that the characters and the narrative come first, before any special effects. Of course, they are eye-popping, but she knows how to write a good story first and foremost. That is the key to this movie’s success.
I recommend it.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is presently in theaters.