RT Podcast

"Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong" About... Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

With The Secrets of Dumbledore in theaters this week, we look back at the first Fantastic Beasts to determine if it's just as charming as its predecessors, or if the magic has fizzled.

by | April 14, 2022 | Comments

IMAX poster for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

(Photo by ©Warner Bros.)

Author J.K. Rowling was living in poverty and studying to become a teacher when she penned Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997, and there’s no way she could have known the full-blown global sensation her fledgling series of fantasy novels would become. Almost two and a half decades later, not only does the so-called Wizarding World media juggernaut include her insanely popular book series, but also a multi-billion dollar feature film franchise, theme parks around the world, video games, a stage production, and more.

Listen Now: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | StitcherTuneIn | Google Podcasts | Radio Public | Deezer | iHeart | Art19

Speaking of the films, if the books themselves hooked millions of fans, the eight Harry Potter movies blew their minds even more, so when the initial franchise came to an end in 2011 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Warner Bros. was understandably eager to continue expanding the Wizarding World however they could. Their solution was to adapt Rowling’s 2001 companion book Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them, originally presented as one of the textbooks that Harry Potter himself and his classmates studied from, and transform it into a prequel series all its own.

The film adaptation Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiered in 2016 to much fanfare, particularly from the Potter fandom, and it earned solid reviews; it’s Certified Fresh at 74% on the Tomatometer and boasts a 79% Audience Score to match. Led by Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne as “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, the author of the titular tome, Fantastic Beasts transported the action to 1920s New York City and introduced fans to a host of new characters embroiled in a new magical adventure, and for the most part, people seemed to be on board with it all.

But with the second installment, The Crimes of Grindelwald, earning poor reviews, and this week’s The Secrets of Dumbledore doing marginally better, it made us wonder if the critics were just so eager to dive back into the world of Harry Potter that they were perhaps a bit generous with Where to Find Them. Is the first film a genuinely rousing adventure with likable characters, spectacular visuals, and a rich mythology, or is it merely a blatant attempt by a studio desperate for reliable blockbuster box office to milk one of its most reliable cash cows? Can it be both?

Joining regular co-hosts Jacqueline Coley and Mark Ellis is returning guest Andres “Ace” Cabrera, write for Geeks of Color, co-host of The Meaning Of podcast, and co-founder of YouTube channel First Cut. Like millions of others, he also happens to be an unabashed fan of all things Harry Potter, including the Fantastic Beasts films, and acknowledges that people generally might not be as invested in the new series because, unlike the original Potter movies, they didn’t grow up with them. With that caveat in mind, he thinks the Tomatometer for Where to Find Them feels about right, if a bit lower than he’d like. Mark, on the other hand, thinks the movie misses the mark, even if it’s not outright terrible, and wouldn’t consider it Fresh, while Jacqueline simply thinks the film is terrible.

Check in every Thursday for a new episode of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong (A Podcast From Rotten Tomatoes). Each week, hosts Jacqueline and Mark and guests go deep and settle the score on some of the most beloved – and despised – movies and TV shows ever made, directly taking on the statement we hear from so many fans: “Rotten Tomatoes is wrong.”

Check out some more episodes of Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrong:

If you have a suggestion for a movie or show you think we should do an episode on, let us know in the comments, or email us at rtiswrong@rottentomatoes.com.

Meet the hosts

Jacqueline Coley is an editor at Rotten Tomatoes, with a focus on awards and indie coverage but with a passion for everything, from the MCU to musicals and period pieces. Coley is a regular moderator at conventions and other events, can be seen on Access Hollywood and other shows, and will not stand Constantine slander of any kind. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter: @THATjacqueline.

Mark Ellis is a comedian and contributing editor for Rotten Tomatoes. He currently hosts the Rotten Tomatoes series Versus, among others, and can be seen co-hosting the sports entertainment phenomenon Movie Trivia Schmoedown. His favorite Star Wars movie is Jedi (guess which one!), his favorite person is actually a dog (his beloved stepdaughter Mollie), and – thanks to this podcast – he’s about to watch Burlesque for the first time in his life. Follow Mark on Twitter: @markellislive.

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

marvel cinematic universe toronto APB Rom-Com Hallmark hispanic heritage month latino Mudbound CBS scary movies concert sag awards Star Wars Celebration marvel comics science fiction football Disney+ Disney Plus VOD Marvel YouTube 2020 Vudu emmy awards YA art house sequels posters composers SDCC Women's History Month TIFF Brie Larson Film Prime Video sequel kaiju Spring TV Paramount Instagram Live Holidays stop motion movies Amazon Prime Video target Nickelodeon movie live event Best Actor Acorn TV trailers FOX spinoff Biopics scorecard razzies harry potter canceled TV shows NBA mutant Emmys Funimation Music political drama renewed TV shows twilight streaming Emmy Nominations biography Spectrum Originals docuseries spider-verse Lionsgate NBC laika casting TV festivals witnail Red Carpet WarnerMedia docudrama Pet Sematary nbcuniversal zombies free movies mockumentary streamig summer TV criterion superman Western summer preview Best Director 93rd Oscars wonder woman Sneak Peek South by Southwest Film Festival Song of Ice and Fire National Geographic The Walking Dead DGA Arrowverse Geeked Week a nightmare on elm street Trophy Talk Ovation A&E scene in color Best Picture dreamworks Country The Academy hist OneApp Television Critics Association richard e. Grant Certified Fresh black comedy Comic-Con@Home 2021 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ABC Pop critics cinemax documentary politics deadpool international HBO Go festival vs. Winners TBS Bravo what to watch strong female leads Netflix Christmas movies Starz LGBT japan CBS All Access vampires satire Mary Tyler Moore FX on Hulu teaser documentaries boxing venice GLAAD worst movies comics CMT Classic Film diversity mcc french supernatural Shudder The Arrangement spain Winter TV Tubi jamie lee curtis Legendary television boxoffice GIFs WGN indiana jones thriller First Reviews Netflix Broadway psychological thriller asian-american worst scary Reality Fox News Marvel Television DC Universe know your critic Watching Series all-time joker obi wan Academy Awards MSNBC broadcast fresh BET Awards Musical 71st Emmy Awards rt archives Neflix Spike crime thriller Mystery Fall TV BBC One werewolf 20th Century Fox natural history technology Pride Month halloween tv Tarantino series ID Reality Competition Cartoon Network streaming movies travel Amazon Heroines Kids & Family kong Writers Guild of America CNN Video Games Focus Features dc Universal Pictures Film Festival DirecTV Esquire Oscars 007 The Purge book adaptation films cancelled TV shows 24 frames Countdown talk show best king arthur telelvision Crunchyroll mob robots cancelled italian genre BAFTA 21st Century Fox golden globes Hollywood Foreign Press Association Walt Disney Pictures Discovery Channel Nominations Quiz Musicals Sony Pictures Paramount Pictures Pop TV award winner 4/20 BBC zero dark thirty doctor who ESPN Oscar Set visit Cosplay cops saw Trailer Tomatazos Image Comics biopic PaleyFest ratings Food Network children's TV video Turner Classic Movies australia parents Avengers Disney streaming service Masterpiece target scene in color rotten Britbox VICE Sundance Shondaland TNT spanish language Superheroe Trivia Baby Yoda Comedy Central singing competition Christmas reboot superhero die hard romance Marvel Studios hidden camera ViacomCBS new star wars movies Logo prank true crime news Sony franchise fast and furious theme song south america justice league Superheroes HBO Max Exclusive Video Election E3 adventure anthology 2021 Amazon Studios canceled olympics First Look ABC Signature HFPA Star Trek Action foreign Paramount Network 94th Oscars Ellie Kemper TCA Winter 2020 police drama slasher new york New York Comic Con hollywood Lucasfilm toy story CW Seed live action Pacific Islander scene in color film series 73rd Emmy Awards tv talk screenings rom-coms 90s cars Sundance TV chucky trophy Fargo heist movie TCA TCA Awards Apple TV Plus Black History Month cartoon Cannes Syfy aliens scene in color series Mindy Kaling dexter American Society of Cinematographers cancelled TV series anime Creative Arts Emmys AMC Plus SundanceTV IMDb TV Native blockbusters Drama YouTube Red TCA 2017 comic books adenture History Photos cooking based on movie discovery facebook Comics on TV Polls and Games green book stoner gangster royal family Awards Tour dogs jurassic park Thanksgiving blaxploitation versus Disney hispanic kids spanish Travel Channel SXSW 2022 zombie USA Network comic book movies indie Sundance Now Amazon Prime The CW obituary psycho cats 2018 The Witch spider-man popular serial killer crossover Elton John cults AMC Columbia Pictures Comedy LGBTQ 1990s MTV Apple social media reviews remakes Year in Review TruTV Fox Searchlight Calendar Opinion VH1 dragons mission: impossible Disney Channel finale Mary Poppins Returns dceu Mary poppins rotten movies we love disaster rt labs critics edition Indigenous 45 Teen 2019 79th Golden Globes Awards 2015 Chernobyl godzilla HBO 2017 Awards golden globe awards Horror unscripted TV renewals leaderboard comiccon Black Mirror miniseries TV Land ghosts game of thrones NYCC DC Comics breaking bad war SXSW Ghostbusters Disney Plus Premiere Dates universal monsters USA San Diego Comic-Con Martial Arts Super Bowl rt labs transformers interviews Tags: Comedy Hear Us Out TCM young adult high school comedies crime drama DC streaming service President Rocky sports Lifetime Christmas movies MCU historical drama binge action-comedy FXX Marathons Turner blockbuster Warner Bros. Family animated halloween romantic comedy space monster movies dark IFC Films black king kong Wes Anderson Valentine's Day Box Office debate crime MGM BBC America directors name the review comic GoT Anna Paquin Star Wars BET legend Freeform 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards new zealand cancelled television Podcast medical drama archives Lifetime summer TV preview Rocketman spy thriller aapi Toys quibi nfl revenge FX period drama batman critic resources women Crackle TV One Pirates Animation PlayStation stand-up comedy book Rock YouTube Premium comic book movie Nat Geo The Walt Disney Company 99% A24 Schedule sitcom video on demand christmas movies Apple TV+ Paramount Plus 2016 Sci-Fi Hallmark Christmas movies 72 Emmy Awards ITV Tokyo Olympics screen actors guild El Rey Television Academy Hulu Best Actress See It Skip It Tumblr E! lord of the rings suspense independent basketball PBS Captain marvel Pixar Character Guide Stephen King child's play Best and Worst Adult Swim Infographic Binge Guide pirates of the caribbean OWN Fantasy TV movies Dark Horse Comics ABC Family adaptation Endgame Universal japanese RT History Showtime classics TLC Grammys Epix Comic Book game show james bond X-Men feel good nature Holiday slashers Summer Alien IFC Extras dramedy Chilling Adventures of Sabrina sopranos Peacock elevated horror Interview RT21