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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them [2016] (1 disc)

Director:David Yates
Writer:J.K. Rowling
Composer:James Newton Howard
Length:133 minutes
(2 hours 13 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG-13
Sorting Category:Fantasy
Sorting Tub:Juliet
IMDB Rating:7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:74%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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  • Action
  • Fantasy
  • Kids
  • Comedy
  • Family
  • CG
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Synopsis: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Reaction: The story doesn't feel as focused as you may prefer, but it sets up a good franchise with a similar though different feel from the Harry Potter series of movies.

Personal Rating: 7/10

David Yates => Director
J.K. Rowling => Writer
James Newton Howard => Composer
Alison Sudol => Queenie
Carmen Ejogo => Seraphina Picquery
Colin Farrell => Graves
Dan Fogler => Jacob Kowalski
Dan Hedaya => Red
Eddie Redmayne => Newt
Erick Hayden => Policeman
Ezra Miller => Credence Barebone
Faith Wood-Blagrove => Modesty Barebone
Gemma Chan => Madam Ya Zhou
Jenn Murray => Chastity Barebone
Johnny Depp => Grindelwald
Jon Voight => Henry Shaw Sr.
Josh Cowdery => Henry Shaw Jr. / Senator Shaw
Katherine Waterston => Tina
Kevin Guthrie => Mr. Abernathy
Paul Birchard => Hobo
Peter Breitmayer => Mr. Bingley
Ron Perlman => Gnarlack
Ronan Raftery => Langdon Shaw
Samantha Morton => Mary Lou
Sean Cronin => Nearby Criminal
ZoŽ Kravitz => Lestrange

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Johnny Depp - being an American - portrays Gellert Grindelwald who's a European (probably German), whereas Colin Farrell - who's Irish, and therefore European - portrays Grindelwald's American disguise Percival Graves.
  • The gray and yellow scarf that Newt wears in the film's last scene, as well as in promotional materials, is an allusion to the fact that he was in Hufflepuff while attending Hogwarts (a fact that J.K. Rowling has confirmed in supplemental materials).
  • J.K. Rowling has stated that this film "is neither a prequel, nor a sequel to the [Harry Potter] series, but an extension of the wizarding world. Newt's story will start in New York City, seventy years before Harry gets underway."
  • Prior to filming, Eddie Redmayne was provided with a very detailed backstory, which J.K. Rowling revealed exclusively to him.
  • Eddie Redmayne auditioned for the role of Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but was turned down after reading one line. Christian Coulson was cast instead.
  • Wand school was obligatory for several of the cast members. The actors and actresses would attend a boot camp, in order to be instructed how to move and use a wand properly.
  • Was originally intended to be a trilogy, but as of October 2016, it has been confirmed to be a five part movie franchise.
  • The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Eddie Redmayne and Jon Voight; and two Oscar nominees: Samantha Morton and Johnny Depp.
  • The name "Newt Scamander" appears on the Marauder's Map in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • '"Frank" is a Thunderbird. Thunderbird is one of the four Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry houses, as detailed on Pottermore. According to J.K. Rowling, Alison Sudol came up with the words for the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry school song. Originally, there is a scene set before the climax, where Tina and Queenie sing part of the song to Newt and Jacob. The scene was, however, deleted from the final film.
  • Screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling.
  • One of the characters exclaims "Mercy Lewis!" At another point, Tina Goldstein exclaims "Why in the name of Deliverance Dane did you let that thing loose?" [?] Mercy Lewis and [?] Deliverance Dane were both among those accused of witchcraft by their neighbors during the Salem witch trials.
  • It is possible that house elves are free in America, as some elves are seen wearing regular clothing and being openly insolent towards humans without fear of reprisal. In the British wizarding world, house elves are enslaved until their owners give them proper clothing, and are forbidden to own wands (although they can perform magic without them).
  • Eddie Redmayne has admitted that he didn't do well at the audition for the role of Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and this freed him up for the role of Newt, although he was not aware that he was, according to J.K. Rowling, the studio's only choice for the latter. Redmayne didn't have to audition, and he took part in the other casting decisions.
  • In the 1920s, "muggles" was U.S. slang for marijuana cigarettes. This may explain why members of the U.S. wizarding community don't use the term to mean non-magical people, but call them "no-maj" instead.
  • The film takes place in early December 1926, which is only a couple of weeks before Voldemort, the main antagonist of the Harry Potter films, was born in the books (December 31, 1926). Whether this is also his date of birth in the movies is unclear, since the timeline in the movies has been altered somewhat from the books.
  • Carmen Ejogo insisted that her character Seraphina Picquery be left-handed, as left-handedness has been associated with dark magic and sorcery for centuries. Ejogo suggested creating emphasis on her dominant hand by adding rings to it. Costume Designer [?] Colleen Atwood loved the idea, and several rings were created from scratch.
  • This is the first "Harry Potter" film to win an Academy Award, in this case, Best Costume Design for [?] Colleen Atwood.
  • Alison Sudol, singer in the band "A Fine Frenzy", was working on a new solo album while filming. On her days off from the film-set in London, she would take the train to Bristol to continue working on the record.
  • Saoirse Ronan, Dakota Fanning, Kristen Stewart, and [?] Lili Simmons were considered for the role of Queenie.
  • Samantha Morton marks another connection between the Harry Potter world and Middle-Earth. J.K. Rowling worked in references such as Bathilda Bagshot (named for Bagshot Row, a street in Hobbiton) and Neville Longbottom (Longbottom Leaf is a type of pipe weed). Morton is the daughter-in-law of Ian Holm, who not only played Bilbo in Peter Jackson's films but also voiced Frodo in the BBC Radio drama, in which Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour) voiced Sam, and Robert Stephens (former husband of Dame Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall)) voiced Aragorn. Also, Sir John Hurt, who played Garrick Ollivander in the [Harry Potter] movies, voiced Aragorn in the 1978 film The Lord of the Rings.
  • Samantha Morton and Colin Farrell appeared in Minority Report and Miss Julie.
  • Michael Cera was considered for the role of Jacob, but passed on this film role to voice the animated The LEGO Batman Movie. Josh Gad, [?] Steve Zissis, and Zack Pearlman were also considered for the role.
  • [?] Kate Upton and Elizabeth Debicki were considered for the role of Tina.
  • Credence presumably died when his Obscurus form was destroyed by the Aurors at the end of the movie. However, according to David Yates, they shot a scene in which Credence was still alive in the aftermath, but then deleted it, because the other filmmakers have yet to decide on the direction of the character in the sequels.
  • This is the second film to feature Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp portraying two versions of the same character after The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, where the two respective actors, along with Jude Law, stepped in for Heath Ledger, after his passing.