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5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

Families can talk about everything from the dangers of bullying to what makes Newt Scamander a role model.

The wonderful world of Harry Potter comes back to life in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which takes place in 1920s New York City and follows the adventures of magizoologist Newt Scamander. Like the later Potter movies, it's pretty dark, but it also has strong themes of curiosity, compassion, and courage. So families will have plenty to talk about after watching this Common Sense Seal-honored movie! Try these topics/questions to get started:

  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them can be very dark and disturbing at times -- do you think it's appropriate for younger Harry Potter fans? What parts might be too much? (For more, check out our age-by-age guide to Harry Potter.)
  • Is Newt Scamander a role model? How does he demonstrate curiosity, courage, and compassion? Why are these important character strengths? What about the other characters? Are Tina and Queenie strong female characters?
  • What are some of the dangers of bullying and abuse? What effect did bullying and abuse have on Credence? Can keeping magic inside be a parallel for keeping emotions bottled up? What are healthy ways to express emotions?
  • Newt cares very deeply about his magical creatures, even though many people think they're dangerous. Is there an environmental message in the movie? Why are things scarier when they're unknown?
  • What are some of the differences and similarities between the American and British wizarding communities? What do you think about the laws forbidding American wizards from marrying or even interacting with a "no-maj"? What parallels can be drawn to the real world?
Frannie Ucciferri
Frannie Ucciferri is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where she earned a degree in cognitive science and taught a class on "Arrested Development and Society." Her passion for reading and writing is paralleled only by her love of Bay Area sports, especially baseball. When she isn't playing with her dogs or trying out great new restaurants, you can probably find her watching Pixar movies, Parks and Rec, or one of her favorite girl power movies and TV shows.