Now, before I get into this wonderfully long post, I’ll update you a little bit on my predicament about the APUSH exam: I took it yesterday morning and, although it did not go as well as I had hoped it would, I think I did okay enough to receive a passing grade. The reason why it did not go well will probably be mentioned in another post- regarding anxiety- that can be written another week. For now, I wanted something light-hearted and fun to cure post-test exhaustion. SO, let’s talk about the magical world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
**Pretty sure I will be talking about many things that are considered to be spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the movie, I’d highly suggest you do. IT’S SO GOOD. PLEASE WATCH IT.**
The Fantastically Beautiful World of Fantastic Beasts
If you didn’t already know- which I have no idea how you couldn’t have- I am mesmerized, or, for better word, OBSESSED with the world of Fantastic Beasts. I have a countdown on my phone until the expected release date of the sequel, and a picture collage from Newt and Tina’s goodbye scene as my lock screen. (Not to mention that I watch that scene literally everyday, and I squeal just as loud as the first time I saw it.) I just ordered the set that includes the movie on Digital and BluRay DVDs as well as character trading cards, all boxed up in “Newt’s case” which, when opened, has a Niffler pop-up. Oh, and I’m listening to the movie’s soundtrack as I type these words. May I continue? Yes, I will.
I changed my specifically Captain Hook/Emma fan blog on Tumblr (last year’s obsession) into a Newt/Tina one, although I don’t make any original posts on there because I’m not very tech savvy… or creatively inclined. But, as you know, I do like to write, and I’ve tried writing a prologue to a possible fanfiction that I could work with in the future. Still, I’m not very creative when it comes to fictional stories, and I think that one-shots or short little imagines that appear into my head would flow better than a long-winded narrative.
So, yeah, you could say I’m obsessed. And there’s several reasons why.
The movie is set in 1920s New York, an extreme contrast to that of the British ’90s Harry Potter universe, since both the wizarding and human worlds are completely different in appearances, customs, and, most importantly, characters. While Harry Potter rarely focused on the world of Muggles at the time the story occurred, Fantastic Beasts revolves all around it, with the era of Prohibition and speakeasies, political campaigns, and the introduction of a very important Muggle- or should I say, No-Maj- Jacob Kowalski. And that’s what I think it gets its character from. It really doesn’t even need to include wizards and magical beasts to be magical at all. The vintage and eccentric costumes, rustic yet beautiful set design, and oh-so jazzy soundtrack truly defines the first Fantasic Beasts movie. And what I absolutely love about this series is that with each change of setting in the following four movies, the overall atmosphere will change as well. And I may not have been a person who was crazy over aesthetics before FBAWTFT, but I am now because of it. First, Roaring 20s New York jazz and flapper dresses. Next, Parisian cafés and even more jazz in the Années folles (the “crazy years” in French.) (Yes, I looked that up.)
One feature of this movie that I love and is quite similar to Harry Potter is the magic that puts stuff back in its place. If you’re a fan of the HP movies/books, you’ll remember the scene in Half-Blood Prince where Dumbledore brings Harry to that flat where Slughorn is (when he’s a chair), and they proceed to rearrange everything with their magic. Remember how satisfying that scene was? Yeah, well, they do that for like 5 minutes at the end of FBAWTFT. It’s heaven for neat freaks.
The creatures, which are CGI, are so incredibly detailed and cute and definitely one of my many favorite parts of the movie. The entire scene that introduces Newt’s shed and all of the habitats just leaves me in awe each time I watch it because it is so beautiful. If I had to pick a favorite creature.. it would obviously be Pickett. He’s precious, and I completely relate to getting attached to Newt. I like Dougal a lot, too.
But my absolute favorite thing, and I mean FAVORITE thing, is the way these characters are written and portrayed. It was expected that J.K. Rowling, the queen of everything, create unique and inspiring characters just as she did in Harry Potter. I did not expect to fall in love with all of them.
1. Jacob Kowalski (the most awesome pal): a kind No-Maj who works at canning factory but aspires to run his own bakery. Jacob is the person who everyone wants to befriend. He is loyal to those he cares about and can find the good in a situation, even one where he has to give everything up. His goofy demeanor and amusing one-liners keep me grinning throughout the entire movie. Plus, he bakes!
2. Credence Barebone (the most innocent child): a poor and abused orphan teenager that turns out to be (SPOILER) the Obscurus which is causing havoc in NYC. He ends up being “destroyed” by the MACUSA aurors at the end of the movie (or does he?) because he wrecked the city once he found out Graves only pretended to be his friend for his power. But listen… CREDENCE ONLY WANTED LOVE. WHY DID THAT POOR BABY NOT GET WHAT HE DESERVED??!! #ProtectCredence
3. Queenie Goldstein (the most supportive and sweet sister): literally the most beautiful woman alive. Like ever. She’s Tina’s younger sister who has a fondness for pink silk and baking strudels. Need I say more? Oh, and she’s a Legilimens, which means she can read minds. But she does it with a melodious giggle and feathery voice that makes everything she says seem innocent. I’m in love. And so is Jacob.
4. Porpentina/Tina Goldstein (the most spunky career girl): the ambitious Auror that catches Newt Scamander and his crazy creatures. She tries to turn them into MACUSA, but Madam Picquery does not listen to her since she lost her job due to a confrontation with Credence’s abuser. Yes, she lost her job saving the innocent child. My wonderful hero. She is passionate and adorkable and sassy and has the cutest pajamas you’ve ever seen in your life. How could you not love her? I do. And so does….
5. Newton Artemis Fido Scamander (the most precious cinnamon roll magizoologist): AKA the actual love of my life. Newt is a shy introvert that prefers to spend his time studying magical creatures instead of spending time with other humans. He’s timid and polite and British and has the strangest eyes and lips I’ve ever seen, but I have never loved anyone or anything more. He calls himself “mummy” when talking to his creatures and if that ain’t husband material idk what is. And despite being completely in love with him, I am also in love with him and Tina together. #Newtina
Which moves me onto my next topic..
As soon as I really got into this obsession, I went straight to the fanfiction, which was a bad decision at the time because I had an overwhelming amount of APUSH homework. Now, with APUSH over and not much else to do, I’m so excited to jump into every story and one-shot I can find on Archive of Our Own, fanfiction.net, and, heck, even Wattpad.
Here are some great fics that I’ve read and recommend:
A Very Decent Man : continuation of plot after first movie. First one I read and by far the best.
A Most Magical Creature : also a continuation. Still, very good.
Back on the Map : a more recent and short AU about them meeting at an airport. Extremely well written and I love it.
I clearly haven’t read enough.
There are so many things I love about Newt and Tina together. I could literally go on and on, but I’ll only tell you a few reasons.
I love how…
- ..they’re sort of opposites. Newt is a loner magizoologist that will do anything to defend his creatures, including breaking the law. Tina’s a real defender of the people, an Auror, who would never think of breaking the law if she didn’t deem it justified.
- ..they don’t fall into the typical couple stereotype. Newt is anything but flirtatious and upfront about his feelings. I mean, he doesn’t even kiss her when he leaves, for God’s sake! And Tina is such a strong and independent woman; she could never need any man to save her…Except for that one time that Newt did.. Still.
- .. Newt is absolutely the perfect gentleman for Tina. He’s polite and careful of his actions, a complement to Tina’s passion and fierceness. (The thing I’m so. freaking. excited. for is the moment when/if Newt tentatively asks if he can kiss her. I will melt into a pool of happiness.)
- ..Tina is absolutely the perfect human companion to Newt. She doesn’t intrude without considering his feelings first, and she understands and accepts the love he has for his creatures. Newt is so broken after his experience with Leta, and Tina is the one who shows him what unselfish love feels like. After all…
(notice Tina walking up in the back :3 )
- ..they get married, have a son, and live with three pet Kneazles named Hoppy, Milly, and Mauler. Could they possibly get any cuter???
Needless to say, I will be extremely disappointed if Jo doesn’t include a Newtina wedding in one of the other FOUR movies. Yeah, I’ll probably sue.
Fantastic Actors …and Where to Find Them?
Fantastic Beasts could not have been as good as it was without the terrific characterization by both Rowling and all of the cast. So, here’s me freaking out over them:
I had seen Eddie Redmayne in maybe one movie before this, and it was Jupiter Ascending… so my opinion of him wasn’t too great. Then, the trailer for FBAWTFT came out, and I thought Hey, he isn’t too bad looking. Maybe it’ll be good. And boy was I right. I remember watching the movie in the theaters with my friend and slowly becoming more accustomed to Newt’s hunched frame and tall, lanky figure. As I’ve already said before, a few months passed before I watched it the second time and truly fell in love with Newt’s awkwardness. Then I started noticing more and more details about how Eddie portrays Newt that really just make him who he is- the obviously hunched back, the reluctance to make eye or skin contact, ducking down into his chest when feeling sheepish, and so many other small details that Eddie considers when he’s Newt. Plus, he does it with other movies, too. He becomes the character. And I just love, love, LOVE him for it. Thank Merlin for him. It’s so funny to watch cast interviews and see how he actually acts as a real person. He’s so bubbly and outgoing, which is still super adorable to me.
Katherine Waterston, who plays Tina, is just perfect for her role as well. She’s so incredibly beautiful and kind- from what I can tell from interviews- and I love the friendship that her and Eddie have together. I don’t think that anyone could have ever bested her in playing such a cute and determined career girl. Alison Sudol (Queenie) and Dan Fogler (Jacob) bring such light fun to the movie, and they have great chemistry on and off screen. (And no one could put a candle to Alison’s beauty, of course.) Credence’s actor, Ezra Miller, has always been a favorite of mine after his performance in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which was my favorite movie for the longest time. He’s so wild and energetic in real life, a huge contrast to sad and smol Credence.
Also, I’m really excited about Jude Law playing young Dumbledore, and I cannot wait to see how he brings someone we know so well to life! As for Callum Turner as Theseus, the similarities in appearance are already astounding me. Hopefully, Callum can portray Newt’s brother, the war hero, just as I expect him to be- obnoxious and self-absorbed. And Johnny Depp.. I love you, but I hate you for Grindelwald.
Thanks to them for bringing such a wonderful thing to life and making this entire experience so magical for me. People don’t give them nearly enough credit that they deserve for pretending those CGI creatures are really there. I mean, I can’t stop laughing at the behind-the-scenes look of Eddie and Dan scurrying around after a “Niffler”. It’s hilarious, go watch it!
This is monstrously long. Probably because I spent like 5 hours writing it. And I completely enjoyed it.
I don’t blame you if you skipped through this, especially if you don’t care for Fantastic Beasts. But I recommend that you start because it is a fantastic franchise that everyone should love….If I say it’s an American version of Harry Potter will you watch it? (It’s not, lol.)
Finally, since this is a FBAWTFT post, I will update you on the time until the sequel (And since it is already past 12 am by the time I post this, it is from May 7th): 1 year + 6 months + 1 week + 1 day or 18 months + 1 week + 1 day or 557 days + 23 hours or 13, 392 hours + 31 minutes or 803,550 minutes + 45 seconds or 48,213,000 seconds! I prefer to just go by the days, though, so 557 days! And now I look like a psychopath.
Thank you so much for reading! Love you as much as Pickett loves Newt! (It’s equivalent to bunches.)
Vannah Smalley ❤
P.S. I drafted this for in the morning actually, cause I don’t want you guys to miss this post ! (Though im pretty sure no one will read it.)