Fantastic Beasts is Fantastic

Mackenzie Little, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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The Harry Potter series started with the release of The Philosopher’s Stone book in 1997. The first movie came out in 2001, and the final film of the series was released in 2011. In 2016, the prequel to the series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came out, and in 2018 the newest movie and second installment to the Fantastic Beasts franchise is slated for release.  

When I was in fourth grade, I watched the first Harry Potter movie and fell in love. When the final movie to the Harry Potter series came out I, like many others, was devastated. When the prequel to the series was announced the Harry Potter  fandom came to life again. People had no idea what to expect from the first Fantastic Beasts film. Harry Potter fans didn’t have a book to read in preparation, so they didn’t know what to expect from the film.  Despite fans not knowing what to expect, the film earned total of $800 million.

Even though fans didn’t know the characters in the same way they know the characters in the Harry Potter series, it’s clear that Eddie Redmayne is the perfect actor to play the character of Newt Scamander. He draws the viewer into the movie and makes it feel real. Similarly, Colin Farrell did an amazing job at creating a deep and mysterious character in Percival Graves throughout the entire film. Another stand out performance is Ezra Miller; he showed real range as an actor when he played Credence, who was by far one of the best character portrayals in the film.

Fantastic Beasts is the first of the Harry Potter series to win an Oscar. The film won for its costume design at the 2017 Oscars.  No one looked the same; every character had a unique and iconic style. The animation for all the beasts was also very well done. The Fantastic Beasts franchise will have five films more films, and the next installment will be released in November 2018. The film is called The Crimes of Grindelwald and new characters will be introduced like Leta Lestrange, Theseus Scamander, a young Albus Dumbledore and a new unnamed character will join the cast of well known characters.

There is only one issue with the film and his name is Johnny Depp. I completely disagree with this casting choice. Gellert Grindelwald is a very powerful and feared wizard in the wizarding world, but Johnny Depp did not pull off the role. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Grindelwald is shown as a young and beautiful person, but the way he looks in Fantastic Beasts is creepy, but in the wrong way. J.K. Rowling recently published a response to the hate the Johnny Depp was getting as Grindelwald, “Harry Potter fans had legitimate questions and concerns about our choice to continue with Johnny Depp in the role. As David Yates, long-time Potter director, has already said, we naturally considered the possibility of recasting. I understand why some have been confused and angry about why that didn’t happen.” It makes it clear that Harry Potter fans have been heard even though they will be sticking with Depp.

I am enthusiastic for the next installment of the series. The Harry Potter series is  consistently well made and well written and I am excited to see what happens next and how the wizarding world of Harry Potter expands.

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