The arrival of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the tail end of 2016 was a challenging one. Many Harry Potter fans, desperate for a new adventure in Rowling’s intricate wizarding world, had their expectations fall short several months earlier when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was released in script format. So for this same contingent of fans, Fantastic Beasts was perhaps their last chance for a new and fitting wizarding tale.
In terms of box office results, Fantastic Beasts was a hit, to date bringing in more than $800 million in global ticket sales. While not the highest grossing film in the Harry Potter franchise, those numbers are hardly anything to scoff at. As far as critical acclaim goes, the film was generally appreciated by all, with a few complaints here and there that will hopefully be ironed out by the time Fantastic Beasts 2 arrives in 2018. Until then, fans have the upcoming Fantastic Beasts Blu-ray release, with all its supplemental treats to look forward to.
We know that the Fantastic Beasts Blu-ray will contain deleted scenes and with a couple of months to go until its release, a peek at one deleted scene has already become available, thanks to Screen Crush. The scene shows Tina (Katherine Waterston) and Queenie (Alison Sudol) performing their school song after Queenie and Newt (Eddie Redmayne) have a curt disagreement over what the best wizarding school is. In order to bolster the claim that American wizarding school Ilvermorny is the best, Tina and Queenie sing the above school anthem.
The scene provides a nice little insight into Ilvermorny and its traditions – traditions that don’t receive much explanation throughout Fantastic Beasts’ 133-minute run time. Viewers were left more or less with the idea that Ilvermorny is just an American version of Hogwarts and the subject was hardly touched upon. Seeing Queenie and Tina join together and sing a song that explains the founding of Ilvermorny by “Good Witch Morrigan”, who fled persecution in Ireland for America, makes for a slight enrichment of the Ilvermorny mythology on the big screen (though admittedly, Rowling has already expanded the Ilvermony mythos in other mediums).
Although Fantastic Beasts delivered on numerous levels, much of its weakness lays in the manner a wizarding world 70 years prior to the arrival of Harry Potter wasn’t fleshed out. By contrast, every last minute of the original Harry Potter franchise seemed to have something wondrous and new to discover. At the very least, it always felt as though what viewers were witnessing was truly special. This was achieved (at least partly) by a world that viewers could believe in – a world that made sense even when fantastical things were happening.
Granted, it’s still very much early days in terms of what Fantastic Beasts has to offer. The inclusion of Tina and Queenie’s song was hardly going to alter the immersive qualities of the film, though it would have helped add that extra little bit of authenticity. Perhaps director David Yates wanted to hold off on supplying background information too early on. With four more films to come in the franchise, there’s certainly ample room for future exploration.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will release digitally on March 7th and on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, and DVD on March 28th.
Source: Screen Crush
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald/Fantastic Beasts 2 (2018) release date: Nov 16, 2018