Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the original screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the original screenplay by J.K. RowlingFantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the original screenplay by J.K. Rowling
Published by Arthur A. Levine Books on November 18th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 293
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When Magizoologist Newt Scamander arrives in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when his magical case is misplaced and some of Newt's fantastic beasts escape, it spells trouble for everyone…


After being a bit let down by The Cursed Child I didn’t set any high hopes for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the original screenplay. I’ve read the mini textbook way back when and wasn’t impressed by it, so I was a bit interested to see how it would be turned into a movie. I picked up the screenplay first because I’m not much of a movie goer and heard it followed the movie. The thing is I wasn’t exactly thrilled with reading Fantastic Beasts in a play format like The Cursed Child was in. Honestly, I wish that all Harry Potter books would be written in novel format because it makes things easier to imagine and while the play format does pick up the pace, I’m just not getting the “magical” vibe I did when I read the Harry Potter series.

Newt was a likable hero. He’s not perfect, but he does have an enormous heart when it comes to his creatures that he keeps in his bigger on the inside trunk (that trunk would be a traveler’s dream – lightweight and can pack many, many clothes without going over the weight limit). While he seems comfortable interacting with his creatures, from the Niffler to Pickett the Bowtruckle to Dougal the Demiguise, he’s pretty awkward with interacting with people. He’s got a bit of charisma, which doesn’t impress Tina. I loved their interaction. She’s feisty and is determined to dislike him because of the way he’s making her job difficult. One of my favorite parts is when she steals his suitcase and presents it to the Magical Congress and out he pops – not fazed at all by the unexpected interrogation. But while he seems awkward around people, Newt instantly takes a liking to Jacob the No-Maj (the American word for muggle) and I enjoyed that Jacob is open mind about the things he’s experience and sees throughout the play unlike the Dursley’s.

I especially loved Newt’s interaction with his creatures. After seeing Pickett I don’t know why Ron complained about Bowtruckles. I have overcome with massive feels for Pickett the Bowtruckle. Nifflers might come in handy for finding gold, but you gotta have something more practical when you are locked in a dungeon and the only weapon you have is a Bowtruckle, who are very good with locks. Though I’m sure you can bribe the guards with gold if your Niffler has found any…anyways…

As far as the romance is concerned I’m not sure if I liked it, but I enjoyed the slow paced of the growing friendship he has with Tina. They have to learn to trust each other and it’s not easy for Tina to do so when her career is on the line because of him. That aside I would’ve liked to learn more about Ilvermony and the Magical Congress. There’s not a whole lot of information, but just tiny details – like brief mentions. It’s cute when Newt and Queenie gets into a small argument about which wizarding schools is the best (I have to put my vote with Newt because I feel like I hardly know anything about Ilvermony than what we were given through Pottermore and I really wanted to learn more).

So, if you haven’t seen the movie yet (like me) I really love being able to get a glance at it in the screenplay. Not only that the illustrations and cover was just gorgeous. It’s hard to not buy this book just for the cover alone.


Author: Jackie

6 Replies to “Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the original screenplay by J.K. Rowling”

  1. I’ve seen the movie, so I probably won’t read this. I should have held off and read it first! I know what you mean about the play format lacking the magic in TCC. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed this one more!

  2. I haven’t seen the movie, and didn’t read The Cursed Child but I might read Fantastic Beasts now. I’m a Harry Potter purist I guess lol – I like the original stuff and don’t really have a lot of interest in the newer stuff. But the US setting and the main character sound like really interesting aspects to this one!

  3. I’ve seen the movie and read the screen play both of which I really enjoyed!

  4. Jacob was hands down one of the best parts of the movie — I loved him! and I was crushed he didn’t remember anything by the end. I still am not sure about the format — not of the Cursed Child or this… and I’m so tornnnn! Thank you for such an indepth review!

  5. I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this screenplay. A lot of people missed out on the magic you mentioned you found it difficult to get from reading. But I am glad it made it easier for you to imagine, and that you could like Newt’s character as well!

  6. I’ve been considering reading the screenplay since this does sound fun but I’m not a big movie person either. I’m hesitant though simply because of the screenplay aspect. Like you said, it’s harder to feel the magic and visualize everything and get into a story the same way with a screenplay as opposed to a book. Newt sounds really lovable though! And the creatures sound so cute.

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