Ian Nathan: Inside the Magic: the Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them



While waiting for the Harry Potter Book Club to open, it’s good to dive into the magical world of witches and wizards of the US. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them offered a whole new magical universe for the Potterheads with flavours that left no-one indifferent – 1920’s New York would be a magical backdrop to any story. But what made the movie shine was the cast and the attention to detail, and that is to be expected from all movies in the HP world. This book provides all the behind the scenes info a fan could wish for and in a very stylish package.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Author: Ian Nathan
Publisher: Harper Collins Nordic 2016, Finland (the Finnish edition)
Category: YA fiction
Original language: English
Rating: 5/5

It is fascinating to see how the movie has been created and how the designs have evolved over time into the final form that we saw in cinemas. The book brings up a lot of details from the props I didn’t notice while watching the movie and reveals how pedantically they actually have been designed.

A script, even by J. K. Rowling, is just a foundation on which several professionals build upon in order to create a whole new world and the experience we have when watching the movie. How to dress up Newt Scamander or Tina and Queenie Goldstein? What kind of pastries Jacob Kowalski has in his suitcase? What kind of wands each character should have? How does Erumpent seduce its companion? How Niffler moves?

There is an almost infinite number of options from which to choose when deciding what should be the visual image that the story will convey. And yet, looking at how all the elements of the story and their visual elements have been developed as it is presented in this book, it feels inevitable that the final result should be just as it is and nothing else.

I wonder whether the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be featured in the Warner Brothers’ Studios in UK anytime soon? It would be amazing to see the sets and props of this movie series as well. The book tells that most of the scenes where filmed at sets in the Leavesden Studios in Watford, UK. The studios have as a new feature this year the Forbidden Forest.

There seems to be a short tour in Warner Bros Studios Hollywood.


The movie:

Newt Scamander’s Book:

The Original Screenplay:


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