Gilbert Speaks on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

14 Dec


On my birthday, 70 years yesterday and planning on another 70 more, my husband and I headed out to see the new prequel of the Harry Potter film series. I was expecting to be wowed by Fantastic Beasts which was written and produced by J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates. Was I wowed? Grab your suitcase and follow me.


J.K. Rowling has begun a new chapter for her Harry Potter series. We’ve heard of the Fantastic Beasts and its author Newt Scamander when they were mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. In this latest adventure, we are taken to a new era and location. The action is already afoot when a Magizoologist walks off the ship that has taken him to 1926 New York City. Newt Scamander played deliciously by Eddie Redmayne of “The Theory of Everything” fame is on a mission that involves what’s hidden inside his strange suitcase.


Newt has been traveling the world to document magical creatures. His true goal is to protect these creatures by education the wizarding world on the creatures’ importance. His suitcase is magical in itself in that it works the same way as Dr. Who’s Tardis: the inside of that suitcase is much larger than it appears.

New York is being destroyed by an unseen force and the muggle police are baffled. Newt Scamander is intent on making his way to Arizona to release to one of the creatures in his suitcase to its real habitat. We learn that magic is alive, but hidden in the new world and the witches and wizards want to keep it that way. When one of the creatures escape from his suitcase, Newt bumps into Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a NO-Maj (muggle) and a factory worker in a cannery who dreams of opening up his own bakery. The suitcases are accidently switched and the adventure begins.


When Newt tries to capture the Niffler, all hell breaks loose and he is arrested by Tina Goldstein, a demoted Auror working for the Magical Congress of the United States of America. Newt keeps silent about his real reason for the trip when questioned by President Seraphina (Carmen Ejogo) and Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), Director of Magical Security. Graves accuses Newt of secretly working for Gellert Grindelwald, a dangerous dark wizard.

The Sisters

Tina (Katherine Waterston) and her sister Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol), who has the power of Legilimency: the ability to extract feelings and memories, take Newt and the injured Jacob into their home. It’s love at first sight for the muggle and Queenie. Newt shows Jacob what is inside the suitcase and we are dazzled by the sights. Tina takes pity on Credence an adopted boy who along with his adoptive sisters is raised by a wicked woman named Mary Lou Barebones (Samantha Morton). This muggle is the leader of an extremist group intent on killing all witches and wizards.


While Jacob, Newt, Tina and Queenie try to capture the escaped magical beasts and return them to that strange multi-dimensional suitcase, something destructive is causing havoc in the streets of New York. While Director Graves convinces Credence (Ezra Miller) to help him find the child who is in control of the dark and dangerous Obsurus, the audience gets to enjoy the antics of the wonderful mystical beasts and the unexpected guest appearance of Johnny Depp as Grindelwald and Ron Perlman as Gnarlack. Fantastic Beasts part 2 is in production now.


I would recommend this film to everyone, but with one special request. After leaving the theatre, think about, then do something to protect the real fantastic beasts that are in danger of becoming extinct because of the destruction of their natural habitats on land and sea. The real world is full of beautiful creatures that need our voice to speak up for them. There are people coming into power who deny climate change and the damage it does to us and the animals who share this world with us. Have a wonderful Christmas holiday and Happy New Years.



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