Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Theatrical Release: November 18, 2016
DVD Release: March 28, 2017
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them


The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Dove Review

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is loaded with action, fantastic creatures, new and interesting characters created by J.K. Rowling, and a happy ending to boot. It features the talents of Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, the voice of Ron Perlman, and—in a cameo—the one and only Johnny Depp. This movie is a prequel to the Harry Potter films and centers on the character of Newt Scamander (Redmayne) who comes to New York from England for a specific purpose. While in the states, he becomes friends with a woman named Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), though their relationship starts off a bit rocky. He also meets a factory worker named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), who not only becomes a good friend but finds a possible romance in the person of Mary Lou (Samantha Morton), Tina’s friend. Jacob has a dream to open a bakery because “pastries make people happy.” In a funny scene when Jacob sees several creatures never before seen on Earth, he comments, “I ain’t got the brains to make this up!”

One of the nice parts of the movie is the fact that, despite the numerous odd-looking and fierce creatures that are shown, and the wizardry—along with a lot of zaps from wands, the human touch is preserved. For instance, for his efforts in assisting him, Newt helps a dream of Jacob’s come true. However, a villain named Graves (Farrell) proves to be a problem and could be Newt’s worst enemy. He is after a creature called an Obscuria, and Newt and Graves want to find the creature for two very different reasons.

The film’s story is original, based on Rowling’s novel. There are a lot of zaps from wands, several sequences of pursuit of the main characters, and the nice human moments already mentioned. And in a very funny scene, Newt places a certain scent on himself and Jacob to draw an extremely large creature that wants to mate. Newt hopes to capture the creature but its pursuit of him and Jacob, for mating purposes, is quite funny.

Unfortunately, witchcraft is used frequently. So, like its predecessors, the Harry Potter films, we are unable to award this prequel our Dove Family-Approved Seal.

Content Description

Sex: Kissing by a couple; it's played for laughs but an extremely large creature wants to mate with two humans; a man finds a woman attractive, and she comments that she can read a man's mind that—that other men have thought what he is thinking.
Language: H-3; bugger-1; freak-2; geez-1; fools-1; a character mentions flames will come out of his anus.
Violence: A lot of fantasy violence including several characters zapping other characters with wands; in one scene, a character is zapped several times and obviously is in pain; creature terrorizes a city; a man is killed at a political dinner and there are marks on his face; a few other characters are killed; several creatures wreak havoc and destroy property, trees and buildings; creatures that are made of newspaper tear each other up; a character is attacked by a strange creature and blood is seen on his neck; a man slaps a young man.
Drugs: Drinking in a bar; an unusual bar keep smokes a cigar.
Nudity: Cleavage.
Other: Several scary looking creatures are seen; a creature likes to steal; a few characters tell lies in the movie; a few comments about witchcraft and sorcery and the use of wands and spells all occur fairly regularly in the film; an invisible creature eats a boy's sucker; tension between characters. "Good" and "Evil" Magic.


Company: Warner Brothers
Writer: J.K. Rowling
Director: David Yates
Genre: Fantasy
Runtime: 133 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Reviewer: Edwin L Carpenter