It’s been over five years since the last installment of Harry Potter was released to theaters in July of 2011. Ever since, fans have been begging for more from the wizarding world, courtesy of J.K. Rowling. On November 18th, 2016, the much anticipated prequel to the Harry Potter series was released, and with it an outpouring of adoring fans ready to experience the newest film phenomenon, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Rowling’s plan is to release four more additional feature films, with “Fantastic Beasts” starting it off. After seeing the movie, many were surprised at how completely separate the story really was from Harry Potter. In fact, there are only a few interlocking occurrences: the setting: within the magical world, the villain: Grindelwald, and a reference to both Dumbledore and Hogwarts. The book that inspired this film was published after being mentioned in the original series. In textbook form, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was necessary for Harry’s “Care of Magical Creatures” class, supposedly written by Newt Scamander, the main character in the new movie.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a separate series, made not only for people who love Harry Potter, but for everyone who enjoys creativity, magic, struggle, and connection. However, there were a variety of responses to the film. Arcata High senior, Heather Jackson-Pease put her opinion simply “It was an enjoyable film as long as I pretended it wasn’t supposed to be the ‘next Harry Potter film’ that everybody claimed it to be. I’m just tired of having my favorite childhood franchise exploited due to its profitability.” Junior Ruby Vadas said “I thought it was good, definitely better than expected!”