Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them finally brings the wizarding world to life here in the United States. Set in 1926 New York City, Newt Scamander inadvertently unleashes terror as he's passing through on his way back to the UK. North America's Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry stands in Massachusetts, New York City makes for a much more interesting setting of magical creatures on the loose.
The highly anticipated adaption has already been confirmed for at least five films ahead of the opening of the first. Other news surrounding the new franchise includes casting news that Johnny Depp will have a pivotal role in the second feature. But what has really set Fantastic Beasts apart is the emphasis of real world locations, including the sequel taking place in Paris.
It's always fun to see movie studios team up with big companies to provide fans with an interactive experience that extends beyond the theater walls. According to Google (h/t to CB), the WB and Google have done just that with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Pull up Google Maps, and type in "Fantastic Beasts, New York City," and you'll see two different locations pop up -- The Goldstein Residence and The Blind Pig.
Located just two blocks from Washington Square Park in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, regular folk can explore the interior of The Blind Pig; which is a popular speak easy for Witches and Wizards. According to the pub's description, "Underground speakeasy open to witches & wizards (if they know the secret knock). No-Maj? No Entry." "No-maj," is just another term for muggle, or non-magic people.
Several blocks up, near Midtown, fans can also explore The Goldstein Residence, home to Porpentina and Queenie Goldstein. The sisters find themselves as allies to Newt as he traverses the city trying to undo the damage he's done. In their tiny brownstone, we can get a look at their humble yet cozy home that is filled with surprisingly ordinary things.
After exploring the world of 1926 New York (and reading reviews, The Blind Pig has an average 5-star rating!), pull up Google on any Android device and have a little fun. If your device is new enough, start with the "Okay, Google," command, then speak those commands Harry Potter fans will recognize from Charms class. "Lumos" activates the flashlight, "Silencio" puts the phone into do not disturb/mute mode, and "Nox" will shut it down.
Notably missing from the map is the Magical Congress of the United States of America, which is located in downtown New York's famed Woolworth Building. Fantastic Beasts has recently dropped several new TV spots ahead of its main release.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) release date: Nov 18, 2016