Welcome back Muggles!
There are a lot of things to love about Warner Bros. new film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the most obvious – Eddie Remayne as magizoologist (say that ten times fast) Newt Scamander and the Harry Potter world of 1926, New York. Let’s hope that David Yates – director of four Potter adventures won’t disappoint us.
The newest expansion of the HP universe won’t come around until November, but before then let’s round up what we have – starting off with the top five highlights of the newest teaser trailer and what we learnt from them.
5. New York, 1926
So far in J.K Rowling‘s world of magics, we’ve only seen modern England and bits and pieces of the world. With a setting in early 20th century America, there sure is a lot of stuff going on.
An old/guarded Diagon alley?
What do shifting bricks, reclusive back ways and magic have in common? You guessed it! They’re all elements of London’s foremost wizarding shopping centre. Obviously we’re in the U.S. so this might not be a shopping street after all, but perhaps a night-pub/club for partying wizards? Judging by the way the ladies are dressed and how there’s a bouncer right behind the door, that’d be our best guess.
The U.S Ministry of Magic… crime in progress?
According to Pottermore, what we’re seeing here is indeed the U.S equivalent of M.O.M. (Ministry of Magic, governing Great Britain), complete with a portrait of President Seraphina Picquery. A closer look of her on the left.
What was also worth observing is a number of hat-wearing, perhaps Aurors walking hurriedly through the ministry, is there magical exposure at risk? Or is it something more serious…
A new president… and an assassination of whom?
There’s no presidential candidate in 1924 or ’28 with the name of Shaw (yep, we checked), so either this is actually an election for the U.S Ministry of Magic, or something Rowling made up. In any case, it looks like Mr. Shaw is in for some trouble as this black-tie event was ravaged in seconds by magic – evident by the floating people.
An assassination? Who knows, but we sure do love mysteries.
Speaking of Assassinations… is this the new villain?
In what appears to be the American equivalent of The Daily Prophet, a man named Alberto Macellarus could be seen with a wanted poster of 3,500 dragots…wait a minute, what on earth is a dragot? We have Galleon, Sickles and Knuts. Suppose we have an American wizarding currency then. Alberto Macellarus – the new face of terror? Or just a random passerby?
Hold on to your hats, literally because Newt clearly has some pretty darn awesome Apparating moves as he leaps off a building and zaps himself out midair. A pure moment of thrill.
Well hello Collin Farrell or in this instant – Percival Graves the right-hand man of President Seraphina. We’ve no idea what he’s casting, but by the look on his face it sure ain’t Lumos. But by the colour, it probably isn’t one of the unforgivables either.
3. Newt’s briefcase
We’ve seen a lot of magical tools and crafts in our time with Harry Potter, but still the fascination continues in this new era.
Apparently, customs aren’t a problem for wizards and witches carrying dangerous goods that may or may not blow up the city; or in this case – a fantastical creature. Just turn your lock to option ‘muggle worthy’ and you’ll be fine.
Ta-da! Just a typical British traveler’s attires and miscellaneous items – map, watch, magnifying glass, pyjamas and.. a hufflepuff scarf?
We’ve seen magically expanded space before, Hermione’s bag for example, was enlarged internally using a spell called the Undetectable Extension Charm. There is a law in place stating that one cannot use such advanced spell for private use as it violates the International Statue of Wizarding Secrecy. But it’s clearly not the case here, this briefcase is definitely Newt’s; so either this is approved by officials, or the law hasn’t been established in 1926, or Newt just doesn’t give a crap.
2. Magical Creatures
You can’t have a film called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them without actually putting in fantastic beasts. Let’s have a look at the two we’ve got now.
Die hard fans should know who this little guy is. The niffler is a british beast known for their talents in finding shiny objects, they were first introduced to us in The Goblet of Fire, as Hagrid was teaching a lesson in Care of Magical Creatures, instructing young wizards and witches to find shiny coins using these little fellows.
Known on Pottermore as the Swooping Evil, this butterfly-like creature emerges from a small object – possibly a cocoon and have not been in the series before.
1. Newt’s past
We don’t know quite a lot about Newton Scamander aside from the fact that he wrote the bestseller/approved text book FBWTFT, you can dig in at Pottermore or Wikia to learn more extensive details, but from what we can tell in the trailer…
Newt was expelled from Hogwarts on the crime of endangering human lives with dangerous beasts, something that up ’til now, we thought was Hagrid’s specialty.
The expulsion was not unanimous however, as Dumbledore – a mere transfiguration professor at the time, who should be around 45 years of age in 1926 fought to counter the punishment. A funny coincidence is that in the same year that Newt arrived in America, Voldemort aka Tom Riddle was born.
From what was described of Scamander on Wikia, the main story of the film is his adventure in New York to recover accidentally released beasts from his briefcase. At the time he was travelling around the world researching for his upcoming masterpiece that would grant him a reputable respect in the field of magizoology, and the supposed quick stop in America became a lengthy hassle after a muggle opened his brief case… not on the ‘muggle worthy’ setting.
Will Fantastic Beasts triumph to bring us another adventure in the wizarding world of Rowling’s? It’s looking pretty good but there’s still 7 months to go.
Check out the ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Teaser Trailer below:
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits Australian cinemas November 17, 2016.