Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Hey all, Dani here.

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Blessed Yule! Happy Holidays! Whatever your winter celebration, I hope you have a wonderful time with friends and family.

Today I’m going to be going through my review for the Fantastic Beasts screenplay. There might be some spoilery parts in here…maybe. So, if you haven’t either seen the movie or read the screenplay, I’ll just leave you with this opinion: It was amazing and go read/see it now.

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Summary

When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt’s fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, author of the beloved and internationally bestselling Harry Potter books. Featuring a cast of remarkable characters, this is epic, adventure-packed storytelling at its very best.

Whether an existing fan or new to the wizarding world, this is a perfect addition to any reader’s bookshelf.

My Thoughts

Don’t get mad at me for saying this, but Fantastic Beasts is leaps and bounds better than Cursed Child. Honestly I had to force myself to finish CC and it was not enjoyable, whereas I could not put this one down. The big difference is that J.K. Rowling actually wrote all of Fantastic Beasts instead of just supplying a basic story to other people to write.

This screenplay/movie is one that will be good for both long time Potterheads and people new to the franchise. But, if you are a Potterhead then you’ll likely pick up a few fun references and jokes that others might not get.

For example, shortly after Newt arrives to New York he is listening to a woman speak to a group on the street and she calls out to Newt and asks him if he is a seeker, a seeker of knowledge. Newt replies that he’s more of a Chaser really. Now, for us in the know, that’s a Quidditch joke, but he’s speaking to Muggles (or No-Majs as the Americans refer to them) and so they don’t get it. I found it hilarious.

My absolute favorite part had to be all the wonderful and fantastic beasts in Newt’s magical case. The Thunderbird, the Occamy, the Niffler, the Bowtruckle, the Swooping Evil…all of the creatures were just so well done and it was so lovely to watch.

I also really enjoyed getting to know Newt, Tina, Jacob, and Queenie. All of the characters brought interesting and compelling personalities to the story, and I really look forward to seeing them again and learning more about them in future installments.

I’m really going to enjoy watching Newt and Tina’s relationship/romance develop further, because hey, spoiler alert if you never read the textbook of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander…they get married.

Oh, and Jacob was an awesome character. He handled the magic and creatures pretty well for a No-Maj, and man…the end of the screenplay/film. I was seriously hoping there would be some sort of loophole or something, but I mean, I guess there’s still hope that things will work out in the future. I thought Jacob and Queenie would have made an adorable couple.

And…I don’t think I can go without mentioning Newt doing that mating dance. Reading it in the screenplay I just couldn’t fully imagine what it looked like, so when I finally saw the film I was so excited to watch Newt’s hilarious and ridiculous antics. It did not disappoint. 🙂

My only real issue with reading this screenplay was that a large number of the scenes seemed super short, some only being a line or two describing a brief action by a character or creature. And having a number of these super short scenes back to back, where we jump all over again and again made it feel choppy. Now, that was just for the screenplay, because watching the scenes in the movie, they were expanded upon a bit with beautiful cinematography.

Overall, I believe I gave the screenplay a 4 or 4.5 star rating, but totally gave the film a 5 star. I sincerely hope that they keep publishing the screenplays for the rest of the series, especially since we are now getting five installments instead of three.

Where to Buy

You can pick this book up practically anywhere. Seriously, I’ve seen it in my local grocery store. So go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Book Depository, Target, Walmart, or anywhere books are sold and you’ll likely find a copy of the screenplay and some behind-the-scenes books, and of course the coloring book.

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