My exposure to JK Rowling's 'Wizarding World' was sparse at best. When I was younger I re-watched my DVD copy of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire numerous times, so much so I can't even recount the number. I remember absolutely adoring the film: the action, the intrigue and the struggles of Harry Potter was something I even found to be relate-able to a point. To this day I wonder why I never did delve deeper into the 'Potterverse'. That all changed after I saw the final trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them...

Addressing the elephant in the room...

Fantastic Beasts is a spin-off, another piece of the puzzle that is the Wizarding World Cinematic Universe.

Helmed by Director David Yates and written by the author of the original Potter books JK Rowling (This being her first ever screenplay) the same creative crew returned to jump-start a new franchise that has been reported to have five films. Probably because Warner Bro's has to compensate for the fact that their other juggernaut cinematic franchise (the DC Extended Universe) is failing critically and right now is basically a huge narrative mess trying to play catch up with you-know-who.

Simply put, and with no hyperbole, this is pure cinematic magic. I absolutely adore this extension piece of the Wizarding World and a fine reintroduction to the universe that captured the imagination of millions.

Narrative and aesthetic design...

My love for this film starts, most and foremost, with its design. I do not only mean this in a narrative sense but also in its presentation. The 1920's Prohibition America aesthetic looks fresh when combined with the look of the Wizarding World and moulds more organically with the continuous transition of the characters from the no-maj (the American version of Muggle) world - this is true in the narrative sense as well when you look at the events which transpire in the no-maj world.

Growing with its audience...

Unlike in the original Harry Potter films the no-maj in Fantastic Beasts are more aware of the wizards and their world. This adds political and social sub-text complexities to the narrative and the overall world being built by the writers, it also adds to the struggles of the characters which inhabit this world.

It gives this new setting more flavor - one that is even different from its predecessors. There's a feeling that the status quo of the world can be broken at any moment which makes the actions of the characters within the story more consequential adding intensity to its plot mechanics.

The inherent difference of this setting compared to the original Harry Potter films is that it actually focuses less on personal struggles and more on the struggle of the world itself. Issues within the Wizarding World. The personal struggles are still there for character development, and they are genuinely affecting, but there is a constant focus on the overarching plot of the brewing conflict between the no-maj and the Wizards.

I feel that this reflects the writers intent of world building for the sake of franchise development, at least even with the cynical purpose, the details built remain interesting and in turn create engaging dialogue for the characters.

Magical cast...

The characters that inhabit the plot are expectedly charming and moving with a particular note of Dan Fogel's character 'Jacob Kowalski' but I have a belief that you should experience them for yourselves as the viewer - just know that you'll love them as the acting in this picture is superb and doesn't lack in star power within the cast: Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller and Alison Sudol all match their characters to the tee.

Please sir, may I have some more?

Overall the biggest compliment I can give this film is that it truly inspired me to go back and experience its predecessors as it truly did captivate me and successfully got me on board for what Yates, Rowling and company has in store for the future.

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