Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (Spoiler-Free!) Review

At CONjuration a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to receive a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them swag bag as part of my award for Best in Show in the costume contest. It was full of lots of awesome goodies (including the gorgeous Noble Collection Newt Scamander wand which  I love), but among them was a pair of tickets to the preview screening for my city.


There’s been a bit of a fantasy film drought (well, for me at least) since the last of The Hobbit movies came out in 2014 (and even longer since the last of the Potter films came out), so I’ve been looking forward to Fantastic Beasts for a long time. I was so excited that I speed-knitted a quick and somewhat wonky version of Newt’s vintage Hufflepuff scarf. (I’m a terrible knitter too, it’s more like therapy than an actual skill)

The film did not disappoint. I have a fairly short attention span when it comes to movies, and am usually checking the time about halfway through to see when it will be over. I didn’t find myself doing this with this film – quite the opposite, actually. I found myself wanting more, and was kind of sad when it was over. The magical creatures were interesting and fun, and I loved the 1920s American angle a lot more than I expected. Aesthetically, the film intertwined art deco with the wizarding world with wonderful elegance. I especially liked the portrayal of Macusa (the American counterpart to the UK’s Ministry of Magic).

The costumes by Colleen Atwood were also, along this vein, gorgeous. Some of them seemingly unremarkable at first glance (especially Tina’s), but upon closer gaze full of interesting and subtle design elements like unusual toptitching and leather insets. For a craftsmanship costumer, these are the types of costumes I really enjoy geeking out over, even if they aren’t the type of costumes that are especially attention grabbing. If you love that sort of thing, too, definitely keep your eyes open when watching the movie for those little wonderful details.  Colleen Atwood really is one of my personal heroes as a costumer, and one of the reasons I love her work so much is that attention to the quirky little details.

Of the more ornate costumes, however, Seraphina Picquery’s art-deco-meets-fantasy costume was probably the biggest standout for me in the entire film. It was stunning. I am excited to see cosplayers try their hand at this costume. She was foreboding as the President of Macusa, but a really fascinating character that I hope we get to see more of in the future.

They announced recently that we can expect four more movies out of this series, which is pretty darn exciting.

I’m already looking forward to seeing it again. To anyone who is reading this today (Nov 17) and is planning on seeing it tonight or tomorrow, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the movie, and would especially love to hear who all is planning on making a Fantastic Beasts cosplay in the future!



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