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Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Proves It’s A Wizard’s World—Us No-Majs Just Live Here

”I ain’t got the brains to make this up,” says Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a “No-Maj” (translation: Muggle) given a peek inside the world of American Wizardry following a mix-up involving a pair of suitcases—one pastry-filled, the other populated by a menagerie of beasts ranging from Demiguises to Hippogriffs.

Luckily for Harry Potter fans, J.K. Rowling does have the brains to make this stuff up. With Fantastic Beasts, the author/producer has created another franchise that will span a reported five films, the first of which is out this week—and is awesome.

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The movie stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, the future author of the revered Potterverse textbook from which the film takes its name. Scamander is a British wizard travelling in America with a suitcase of contraband beasts (and you thought going through U.S. customs with tweezers was a chore). Picked up by disgraced Auror, Tina (Katherine Waterston) from the Magical Congress of the United States of America (don’t worry, you’ll get used to all these new terms by about the third movie), Scamander is in hot water over both the loss of the suitcase and his failure to wipe the memory of the No-Maj who has it.

Tensions are already high between No-Majs and the wizarding community due to the recent havoc-wreaking a certain “dark cloud with a face” has been visiting on New York City. If Scamander’s escaped creatures are to avoid blame (and ultimately destruction), Newt will have to recapture them all with the help of Kowalski, Tina, and Tina’s mind reader sister Queenie (Alison Sudol). But there are other, even darker forces at play that put the entire magic community at risk. Certain wizarding factions want war and Manhattan is the unknowing host of the catalyst that could destroy the uneasy peace between No-Majs and wizards.

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Potter fans will appreciate Fantastic Beast’s references to the world they’ve become so familiar with (expect to meet a house elf and hear some serious Hogwarts name-dropping along the lines of ‘Lestrange’ and ‘Dumbledore’). Also, just like in the Harry Potter series, the lines between who’s good and who’s bad are blurred here, and—no spoilers!—may catch you off guard once they become clear. Oh, and one final warning: if you have a crush on Eddie Redmayne now, wait until you see his snorting, galumphing impression of an Erumpent mating ritual. So. Hot.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them casts its spell on theatres this Friday, November 18. Check out the trailer below.

INNERSPACE CLIPS