Everything You Need to Know About: ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

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It’s been five years since a Harry Potter film as made its way to theaters and the appetite for another visit to J.K. Rowling’s world of witches and wizards is palpable. Thankfully, this weekend Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is arriving in theaters featuring a host of wand-waving newcomers tasked with tracking down magical creatures in America!

Who’s in it?

Eddie Redmayne stars in this new spinoff franchise. The supporting cast includes Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Catherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Jon Voight.

What’s it about?

Newt Scamander (Redmayne) is a magizoologist in 1926 New York who’s desperately searching for a number of outlandish creatures that have mysteriously gotten loose from his briefcase. Hot on his trail is Percival Graves (Farrell), a high-ranking wizard charged with keeping the Magical Congress of the United States of America’s activities out of the public eye.

Why should I care?

Fantastic Beasts is an exciting venture because it’s a whole new perspective on a world once relegated to London and Hogwarts. Who doesn’t want more magic and mayhem as Rowling’s world gets a bit bigger?

Here’s what critics are saying:

“J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter spinoff is sheer magic, a grand fantasy-adventure that already feels like an old family favorite.”

-Rafer Guzman [Newsday]

“It’s … not hard to feel a twinge of skepticism, a nagging suspicion that this busy, proficient, uninspired movie is soliciting not our sense of wonderment so much as our brand loyalty.”

-Justin Chang [Los Angeles Times]

“The plot thickens, along with the emotional tension, which was always the best part of the Potter universe, and not the dazzling special effects.”

-Michael O’Sullivan [Washington Post]

“[There’s] a refreshingly light tone competing with the sinister themes, thanks especially to two exceedingly appealing supporting characters headed for a sweet confection of a romance.”

-Jocelyn Noveck [Associated Press]