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‘Fantastic Beasts’ Is Exactly What The World Needs Right Now

J.K. Rowling’s first installment of a five part franchise telling the Harry Potter prequel tale of wizard Newt Scamander premiered in theaters around the world November 18. 


Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them topped weekend box offices, raking in over $218.3 million worldwide. Set in 1920s North America, Eddie Redmayne portrays Newt Scamander, the author of one of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks. The new series screenplay written by J.K. Rowling delves into storylines introduced by the original Harry Potter books. The classic series alludes to tales like Albus Dumbledore’s battle with the powerful wizard Gellert Grindelwald and wizarding worlds beyond the United Kingdom, both expanded upon in Fantastic Beasts. Released spoilers regarding the future installments even go as far as explaining Tom Riddle’s, also known as Voldemort, rise to power in the mid twentieth century. 

For those of us who grew up waiting for letters to Hogwarts and sorting ourselves into houses on Pottermore, the new chapter of the wizarding world comes at a time when we need it most. Most of the millennial generation has not lived in a world without reading tales from Hogwarts and attempting to cast magic spells. We are the Harry Potter generation. It’s been five years since the final Harry Potter movie was released. It marked the end of an era. It drew close a chapter in our lives that inspired magic and hope. 


This last summer, we were gifted with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play and script book that picked up 19 years after the end of Deathly Hallows. We got to see into the adult lives of Harry, Ron and Hermione just as we enter our own adult lives. It was a quick glimpse into the world us Potterheads are still waiting to find out really exists. 

Now, a new era of wizards is taking shape at a time where the whole world could benefit from a little magic. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows a heated presidential election, streams of terror filled news, and an influx of cases of racism, sexism and intense discrimination. For those who grew up with Harry Potter and are entering the adult world, it’s reminiscent of a fleeting childhood. Fantastic Beasts spends considerably more time than the orignial Harry Potter stories on issues of a divided society, placing a magical microscope over the persecution of minorities, specifically in the early twentieth century. 

Fanastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is just another reason to be thankful for the talented J.K. Rowling. And another reason to rewatch every Harry Potter movie, if you need one, that is. 

 

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University of Iowa sophomore majoring in Journalism and Engaged Social Innovation. Member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Hospitality newbie. Reader, writer, and wanderluster. At least that's what I want my business card to say.
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