Adaptations: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” needs to stop


Aubrianna Martinez, Senior Digital Editor

In a few weeks, the long-awaited third movie in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” series will be released into theaters, and it’s time this fever dream prequel series was well and truly leveled with.

Fans of original series across all fandoms are often criticized for flocking to adaptations or new editions of the object of their affection, regardless of how they are executed, but fans of the “Harry Potter” series should truly take the opportunity to re-evaluate their relationship with this wizarding world.

The introduction to the prequel series, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” was initially viewed as an acceptable addition to the story because the film offered more of what fans had enjoyed from the original, and was compared to the more mature “Harry Potter” movies. Yet as time passed, and the second movie was released, some fans had to remove their rose-tinted glasses and ask what exactly was happening.

The second prequel movie, subtitled “The Crimes of Grindelwald,” features some of the most bizarre sequences in an attempt to world build and expand upon an already fairly dense history of the wizarding world. By the end of the first prequel, it was clear that the author of the original series who wrote the screenplays for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” had wedged a backdoor pilot for a story she had already told within her original series into a series advertised as a lighthearted return for audiences to the world of magic and whimsy.
Instead, fans were met with more abused orphans, confusing references to the future characters from the original series, and ridiculous plot points that frankly read more like someone misremembering a Victor Hugo novel that they skimmed for class. Not to mention, the prequel series plays extremely loosely with information from the original series that was introduced as rules for the world and scrambles it for a story that is obviously written on a movie-per-movie basis, as opposed to a consistent story that is being told over the course of multiple chapters.

The prequel series is aging poorly in real-time, which makes defending the original series much more difficult, as fans of the original must choose either to acknowledge their nostalgia bias that keeps them from being able to see how far the series has fallen in the cold light of day, or at the very least consider why they are continuing to see these films, and if they bring the joy that the audience is seeking, and will never get from these films.