Parents' Guide to

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Delightful but dark Potter prequel is more grown-up.

Movie PG-13 2016 133 minutes
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 46 parent reviews

age 8+

Fun and adventure for the whole family!

So many of the reviews of this movie here seem very conservative in their age recommendations. My husband and I watched this movie with our 8-year-old and our 10-year-old. Granted, both of our kids have read all of the Harry Potter books and then saw all of the Harry Potter movies. As a parent I enjoyed Fantastic Beasts much more than I enjoyed the Harry Potter movies, which paled in comparison to the books. Fantastic beasts is funny, exciting and very pleasant to watch given the costumes and time period. Some reviewers have complained about the sexual innuendos. I found them very mild, if noticeable at all to children. There certainly is a lot of adventure, and fighting, and yes, death. Seeing as our kids had already experienced all of Harry Potter this was not an issue for them but if your kids have not seen those movies or read the books this could be too much for them. Don’t let the reviews here scare you off from watching this with your kids. Just keep in mind how they did with Harry Potter and what specific concerns you might have, as all kids are different.
5 people found this helpful.
age 8+

Imaginative parallel to Potter’s world.

The whole family loved this. We are both Potter die hards and uninitiated. I was enjoyable to both sets. My 8 year old did ask lots of questions, but was not bothered by the wizard violence.
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (46):
Kids say (139):

Immersing yourself in JK Rowling's magical universe is always entertaining, but fans should know that this exploration of America's wizarding world is definitely a more grown-up movie. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them isn't set in child-friendly Hogwarts, full of House-sorted students going to class and learning about magical creatures. This is 1920s Manhattan, where magical characters face a very separatist attitude toward those without magic, as well as a frightening dark force that's a threat to all New Yorkers. The period cityscape provides a wonderful contrast to Scamander's amazing personal zoo, which he keeps hidden in his briefcase (that briefcase must use an even more impressive spell than Hermione's purse in Deathly Hallows). All the wildly imaginative creatures are a marvel to look at, from the adorable Niffler, who loves to hunt for shiny things, to the Groot-like Bowtruckle, to the enormous hippo-like Erumpent and the awesome Thunderbird.

The performances are led by a perfectly cast Redmayne as the curious, kind Scamander, who just wants to protect the magical creatures. Fogler is fabulous as his No-Maj friend, a factory worker who dreams of owning a bakery. The Goldstein sisters are opposites but both easy to root for -- with smart, capable Tina a bit reminiscent of Hermione and Queenie a lovely, Luna Lovegood-esque optimist. The villains aren't quite as grand as the Big Bad Voldemort, but it's clear that the anti-"witch" New Salemers (including secretly magic-curious Credence, played with creepy goodness by Ezra Miller) and whoever is suppressing and unleashing their magic aren't the only people to be wary of in New York. The characters' developing friendships and romances are kept pretty tween appropriate, but the violence and themes might be too much for single-digit-aged Potterheads.

Movie Details

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