K, first thing is this won’t be a real review. Don’t feel like being critical. Just feel like sharing lots of gifs (so warnings on two fronts: those of you who hate gifs, scram; also, small spoilers, prob, though nothing plot heavy).
I saw Fantastic Beasts on opening weekend and had such a good time. Just a fun fantasy movie with cute animals and charming new characters. I hadn’t yet read Cursed Child, but in retrospect, this was everything that I wanted out of that play. A “sequel” without being a sequel. What I wanted was a story to expand the Wizarding World, without messing with the original story. Bam, here’s this.
I even liked Eddie Redmayne as Newt, even though I wasn’t super psyched about the news of his casting. He plays magizoologist Newt Scamander as a socially awkward but kindhearted individual who you can only really appreciate once you get to know him, which is one of my favorite types of character. The screenplay makes it clear that this is very much on purpose. He only really opens up once he’s around his creatures. The other characters were where the movie really shone for me, though.
The muggle Jacob (I refuse to say “No-Maj”), who is drawn into the Wizarding World by accident, a conflict which is heightened by the strict American laws against against wizards fraternizing with muggles. (Newt at one point criticizes these laws as backwards, so that’s clearly a conflict that will only be heightened in future installments.)
Jacob was a lovely character, so kindhearted and curious, but also funny and brave. In fact, all four of the main characters in this movie are so kind and loving. That’s definitely one of the reasons I’ve responded so well to it, I think. He’s also got a burgeoning romance with one of the other three leads, and they were so adorable it makes me want to squeal with glee just thinking about it.
My favorite new character, though, is Queenie, the second half of the Goldstein sisters (Tina is the brunette played by Katherine Waterston, a delightfully awkward foil for Newt). Every time Queenie is on screen, she is just RADIANT.
Alison Sudol, man. What a find.
And of course there’s the actual titular beasts, all of whom were adorable. The niffler, though.
The niffler gives me life.
Don’t read this screenplay/book unless you’ve seen the movie first. This is definitely a story that’s meant to be seen on a big screen. So much of what made the film entrancing wasn’t contained in the words (this does make me feel sliiiightly better about Cursed Child being a better play than a book, but only slightly because a lot of my problems with it involved the story). But this is a great book to have if you saw and loved the movie. There isn’t much new information to be found here (just a couple of small details, like what Queenie was thinking when SPOILER she read Jacob’s mind at the end END SPOILERS. But the illustrations are fun (mostly pencil sketches of the creatures) and it’s a beautifully made book.
All in all, to sum up, ergo sum, I am going to see this movie again in five minutes.