Book vs. Film: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

Posted February 25, 2017 by Amber in Bookish Things / 0 Comments


If you liked Harry Potter and you haven’t seen Fantastic Beasts by now, you’re missing out.


My husband and I went to see this last weekend because this film is wonderful. A friend of mine and I went to see it back on opening weekend in November and we loved it.  A bit of a gushing review: it has silly points, scary points, is well acted (Queenie + Jacob = <3)

It’s also loosely based on a book!  Very loosely.  As in, why bother.  Which is likely why the script has been released in book-format.  I’m not going to start reviewing movies on this blog, because I think you get enough book reviews, but I think it’s interesting to look at a film based on a book (especially when I’ve read the book) and see how the two stand together.

So this is going to get a little weird because, in this case, they almost aren’t comparable.  One is a film with a plot and characters.  The other is a textbook with amusing notes in the columns by the trio.  Let’s try this anyway.

How They are the Same

  • Both contain magical creatures.
  • Both contain some comedy.
  • Both are somehow related to the book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by Newt Scamander.

How They Differ

In the film... there are characters, a plot, and adventure.

In the book the format was not a story, so no need for characters

In the film the story takes place in the 1920s.

In the book the “story” takes place while the trio is at Hogwarts.


In the case of Fantastic Beasts, the changes are 100% forgivable.  The story was inspired more by the backstory Rowling had on Newt Scamander than on the actual textbook itself.  I did like that the manuscript made an appearance in the film, but I do think that this new series will be based on something much larger than “fantastic beasts”.

If you haven’t already seen this film, I cannot recommend it enough.  It was my favorite film of 2016, and that’s saying a lot for a year that saw a huge Marvel release and a Star Wars film to boot!


For more information on the film, original book, and published script, check out:

Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them on IMDB
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2001) on Goodreads
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) on Goodreads

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