“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions I share are my own.”

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Explore a new era of the Wizarding World before Harry Potter. Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets of 1926 New York, threatening to expose the wizarding community. Newt Scamander arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures. When unsuspecting No-Maj Jacob Kowalski inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose, a band of unlikely heroes must recover the missing beasts before they come to harm, but their mission puts them on a collision course with Dark forces.

fantasticbeasts4kbluStudio: Warner Brothers
Year: 2017
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Run time: 132 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Audio: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Dolby Atmos
Aspect Ratio: 2:1
Disc Spec: 2 BD / Digital HD
Region: A

J.K. Rowling tries her attempt at recreating the magic of her previous creation, and the results are mixed. It is full of promises, but it doesn’t have the same initial level of charisma and power the first “Potter” movie had. Most of the same elements are there, but the overall feel is a bit flat. Maybe because we don’t have the same contrast of innocence and impending doom we witnessed in the first of the “Potter” novels. We dive straight into a new and earlier part of the same wonderful universe, full of incredible non-human creatures, each one beautifully designed, rendered very well with the latest technology. One can look into the various “animals” and almost feel like there’s a living soul there.

Now, the main characters is a diverse bunch, with some very interesting and magical performances, Redmayne, Sudol, and Fogler raising the bar for whoever joins the sequels, and we definitely want to see them become permanent parts of the ensemble. One of the things that is missing is star power because we were treated to the best of the English actors in every one of the “Potter” chapters, and there’s very little of it here, until near the end of the film when Depp makes quite an entrance, hinting at darker forces and enemies to come next. If you’re in for creepy looks, he, like Voldemort, delivers.

Maybe this whole film is a spring board for what is coming, and if we continue with the same level of quality that we witness in this production, and if we are treated to better developed characters, we will have a very enjoyable treat.

Movie Quality: 9/10

Print/Audio Quality

The print is presented in 4K/2160p with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. ‘Fantastic Beasts’ not only ups its game in terms of the visuals from the first ‘Harry Potter’ set of films but the visuals are mesmerizing in 4K. I don’t think New York in the 1920’s has every looked this good as it does here in ‘Beasts’. Colors are absolutely eye popping and jump off the screen like you would not believe. Gray’s, Brown’s and Green’s dominate the color palette throughout the entire film. HDR is well done and doesn’t hinder the picture quality at all. Details are fantastic, especially with the CGI looking so realistic that at times I felt like I was watching a live action film. The lighting is also fantastic here as you can see in the darker scenes as an example where the images doesn’t look like one dark black screen as in some films. Black levels are deep in this film and stand out very nicely with the color palette used.
Video Quality: 10/10

The audio is presented in DTS-HD MA lossless 5.1 mix, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, and Dolby Atmos. I do love with these 4K releases that we do get more audio choices. If I thought the video was impressive, the audio mix is out of this world. The audio is something that you need to experience, and I would go as far as say that this is at a 12 out of 10. The thundering bass stood out as one of the most positive aspects of the audio mix in my view. It was so perfect sounding, which I haven’t heard such great bass in a 4K Blu-ray film. What I also found quite impressive was that each of the beasts have their own distinctive voices really bringing the CGI animals to life. Then add the dynamic sounds coming from the rears in the soundfield. You can hear the various animals just whiz by from speaker to speaker, it is just amazing when you have the correct audio setup.

Audio Quality: 10/10

Special Features

  • Before Harry Potter: A New Era of Magic Begins! [HD]
  • Characters [HD]
  • Creatures [HD]
  • Design [HD]
  • Deleted Scenes [HD]
  • Introductory Trailers

Special Features: 7/10

Final Thoughts

‘Fantastic Beasts’ never quite touches the awe and great characters imbued within each Harry Potter film and book, but it offers many delights nonetheless, and is definitely worth seeing, especially on 4K Blu-ray, where it looks positively beautiful. I can’t wait to see where things go in the world of ‘Fantastic Beasts’ with future entries in the franchise.
Overall Rating: 9/10