A Return to the Wizarding World with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
I have to say, along side my friend Militant Ginger, I am not a proclaimed Potterhead. I enjoyed the heck out of the books, even waited in line at midnight for a few (sadly waiting in line at midnight for a book is a lost art that further generations will never get to enjoy or understand), but never extended my claws into any of the further readings until now with online blogs and the Hogwarts library. I love the wizarding world that J.K. Rowling has created, and feel a great deal of excitement in that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be made into a movie following Newt Scamanders life and travels. I am however very nervous about the fact that it is already announced to be a trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, the more wizards the better! But can this book, and character Newt, really hold their own 3 part series; I’m not so sure.
Before I get into the actual book I do have some recent evidence that shows maybe three movies is just too much, let’s look at The Hobbit. Another one of my favorite books of all time, it was my first glimpse into Middle Earth before I was ready to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I even read The Hobbit before The Silmarillion, which is slightly out of order given that The Silmarillion is the origin story for all things in Tolkien’s world. When I heard they were making The Hobbit a trilogy, immediately I knew it was wrong. The actual text doesn’t have enough going on to sustain three feature length films, and while small parts of each movie were neat they had to draw in from so many OTHER sources and works in order to attempt to give it legs to stand on; eventually those legs proved unfit and the movie crashed and burned. Did it make a ton of money? Yeah, sure. Did it destroy the integrity of the book? In my opinion yes. Were I to have only seen the movies I would never go pick up the book afterwards, and that is shameful; a movie based off of a book should only entice a viewer, whose not read the book, to actually read it, and see what interpretations they have that differ from the directors, producers, actors, and writers.
*Mild Spoilers Below*
Back to Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them! I rather enjoyed learning about the magical animals, the fun classification system for each, and the trouble the ministry went through defining the term ‘beast’ versus ‘being’. There were also a few FANTASTIC moments where these beasts explained away folk legends we muggles have such as: crop circles, the Loch Ness monster, the Yeti, and the beloved Dodo bird. But let’s be real here, the book is an A-Z of magical creatures, it really doesn’t go into how Newt came into contact with such a beast, or how he managed to find and document them. This is where I can see the movie being enjoyable, it will be really cool to see the actual interpretations of all of these creatures, and how they line up with my own imagination; and I feel that for some of the beasts, the story of how Newt encountered them will be captivating due to their ferocious nature. He will be chasing down Dragons, discovering a Lethifold, and determining that the lamenting howl of the Augurey happens only as it is about to rain, it’s not an omen of death; will this be enough to feed audiences through 3 movies? I just don’t know.
Even with my concerns for the movie, the book was a quick read, you can get it via Amazon for your kindle and online reading purposes HERE, and for your physical reading HERE. Before you leave this page, check out my new favorite bird, it’s called a Fwooper; c’mon say it 5 times fast. Fwooper, Fwooper, Fwooper, Fwooper, Fwooper. It is immensely fun to say, and the further story of this creature is quite entertaining. The bird’s song is one that can drive the listener to madness. In my head I imagine the song this bird sings to be ‘the song that never ends’ because that is in fact one of the most maddening songs I’ve ever heard.
So go, read on; this one is short and sweet I finished it in under 2 hours so it’s not even a commitment that will longer than many movies you intend to watch!