Steven Capuzzi

The Beasts in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

07 de Diciembre del 2016

The moment has come. The magical world of Harry Potter returns to the big screen with the adaptation of the book of Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and where to find them. Wait a minute, how can you adapt a Hogwarts textbook into a movie?

First things first, because not everyone has read the Harry Potter books, so I'll explain where the origin of this new movie comes from.

The Book

Inside the world of Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and where to find them is a textbook written by Newt Scamander, which students at Hogwarts must buy to learn about the magical creatures of their world. In our world, of course it is a book written by J.K. Rowling, the brilliant mind behind the child who lived, who in 2001 published two books to help the Comic Relief organization to benefit poor children in various places around the world. According to Comic Relief, sales of this book and its companion Quidditch through the ages have raised more than 17 million pounds.

The book features a description of more than 80 beasts as well as a prologue by Albus Dumbledore, but when we go to the film, how can they adapt it? According to the book we know that Newt Scamander traveled the world collecting information on all these creatures, well, the film focuses on those years. This allows us to see the new era of film history more as a spin-off rather than a prequel, as the story we will see will have no relation to Harry (at least for now).

The Film

Our story begins in 1926 (casually the same year of the birth of the one that must not be named) when Newt Scamander arrives in New York City with a magical briefcase containing a hundred magical creatures. However, several of these animals manage to escape, and to make matters worse, a No-maj (Muggle in America) named Jacob Kowalski discovers his identity as a magician, which brings up the participation of Porpentina Goldstein, an agent of MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), who intends to take Newt to the authorities for these minor crimes.

On the other hand, in New York a series of alarming events are taking place, and all the magical community can’t stop talking about Gellert Grindelwald, a dark magician who is on the loose. And in addition, a group of No-maj assures that witches and wizards are real and dangerous, putting at risk the secret of their existence.

The Fantastic Beasts

Many of the beasts in the book appear in the film, but I decided to leave you a brief description of the 7 most important plot-related.

Niffler: It's creature native to Britain that looks like a black fluffy fur platypus. It’s the first fantastic beast we see in the film, and he’s curiously attracted by anything shiny. You can imagine the whole mess Scamander gets into trying to recover him.


Bowtruckle: It's green, small and looks more like a plant. They are tree protectors and can be found in England and Germany. They’re shy, but can become fond of humans, Scamander had one that did not separate from him.


Occamy: They are creatures with snake bodies, blue skin and wings, but their head looks more like a bird. They’re native to India and can grow or shrink according to the space in which they are. Their silver eggs are very valuable.


Erumpent: If you read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, you might remember a horn that Xenophilius Lovegood had in his house, well that was an Erumpent horn, as Hermione specified. This African beast resembles a rhinoceros, with the difference that it has a much larger horn with great magical properties.


Demiguise: This creature that looks like a silver hair ape can become invisible at will as well as foresee the immediate future. They are peaceful and are found in Asia.


Swooping Evil: This is an interesting creature because it doesn’t appear in the book. What reason would Scamander had to not include him? Anyway, the Swooping Evil is a creature that secretes venom that, when properly diluted, can be used to erase bad memories. It looks like a blue and green bat. When it is not flying with its spiked wings, the Swooping Evil shrinks into a green spiny cocoon. Where Scamander found it is a mystery.

Swooping Evil

Thunderbird: Last but not least, this beast is the real reason for Scamander's visit to North America, as he found one on the black market in Egypt and his intention is to return it to his homeland in Arizona. Thunderbirds are similar to phoenix and have powers over the weather. One of the houses of Ilvermorny (The Magic School in North America) is a Thunderbird.


Final thoughts 

The beginning of this new era delivers a unique adventure full of magic as well as animals and characters that we will surely end up falling in love, since we will have four sequels in the years to come. Unlike Harry Potter, our characters are adults, which gives us an interesting perspective. Newt Scamander is shy and withdrawn, but his passion and devotion to his animals highlight the best aspects of his personality. He is also brave and daring, after all, he is our main character. Porpentina is a destituted Auror trying to regain her position, but her character did not catch my attention. Instead, her sister Queenie, can read the mind of anyone and possesses an adorable personality. The comedy is present with several of the magical creatures, like the Niffler, but the heart of all is carried by the No-maj Jacob, charismatic and humorous.

Seeing the magical world in New York is also something new and exciting. The next installment has a date for 2018, but if you want more information about magic in North America I recommend you to enter Pottermore, where they explain the whole magical story from its beginnings and even about the Ilvermorny school.

Which was your favorite beast? Fill in the comment box and let me know. Mine was the Thunderbird.

 Mischief managed!