The first film in J.K. Rowling’s new Wizarding World series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Both the DVD and Blu-ray editions of Fantastic Beasts include a slew of featurettes and deleted scenes. Both editions appear to have the same exact features, which should be a relief to those who don’t have Blu-ray players.
I checked out the Blu-ray last night and… it’s fine. The two highlights are the “Before Harry Potter: A New Era of Magic Begins!” featurette as well as the deleted scene reel, but the latter doesn’t have the most exciting material. More on that in a moment.
The aforementioned featurette is a total delight. It heavily features J.K. Rowling, producer David Heyman, and director David Yates talking about getting the band back together for a new story set in the Wizarding World. While the cast members do appear (and geek out about geeking out meeting J.K. Rowling, which is adorable), the focus of the mini documentary is how great David Yates is as a director.
The cast and crew discuss the appeals of Yates, how he needs Heyman to challenge him, and how he loves to dash around set and provide lots of encouragement. You can’t help but love Yates after watching it.
It’s also fun to see Rowling talk about how Fantastic Beasts originally came together. Turns out that at one point WB proposed to Rowling that they turn Beasts into a fictional documentary. When she heard the idea, she came back to them with her idea for a proper story.
There are several more character-oriented featurettes, but to me, they feel like fluff pieces. We buy these DVDs/Blu-rays for the new stuff. Like…
‘Fantastic Beasts’ deleted scenes
Since this film isn’t really based on a book, fans were eager to check out the Fantastic Beasts deleted scenes. They were exciting to look forward to because the scenes are adding new elements to the story that we were unaware of until we watched ’em.
Some of the scenes are, frankly, a bore, but here are a few thoughts on the ones I found interesting:
– Graves cleaning some mustard off of Tina’s lip. This is a strange scene that takes place after she tries to report Newt to Seraphina. I can’t help but think this scene is trying to tell us that there was once some romance between these two. Could the scene have been cut because it’s the only time where we see hints of love?
Then again, Grindelwald was Graves by this point. I guess there’s a chance Grindy was just being a creep.
– Jacob speaks with his fianceé in the street. This scene is significant because the final cut of the movie never let on that he had been engaged to someone. Mildred breaks up with him after he fails to raise money for his bakery. “I’m bored of being poor, Jacob,” she tells him before running away.
It’s too bad the scene was cut because it adds to Jacob’s arc. Then again, it was pretty lame for Mildred to be reduced to a “I’m only here for the money” role.
– The Core Four go after a Demiguise in a department store. It’s fun to watch Newt tell his friends that the beast can see the future’s most likely scenario. In other words, when interacting with a Demiguise, it’s best to act unpredictably.
The scene ends with Queenie and Jaocb having a ~moment~. Speaking of a moment, another (quick) deleted scene shows Queenie learning that Jacob lost his brother in the war. She’s moved by this revelation, drawing them close together. I really liked these Queenie/Jacob moments and wish they weren’t cut from the film. They add to their arc and help build the case for them falling for one another.
– Tina and Queenie perform the Ilvermorny school song. This scene was already released online. It’s cute! Are we going to see Ilvermorny in a future Fantastic Beasts film? … Please?
There are a few other deleted scenes, but like I said, they’re uneventful. (Disagree with me? Tell me why in the comments!)
I’m sure most Harry Potter fans will be eager to get their hands on the DVD / Blu-ray whether or not the special features are selling points. We fans must have complete collections — it’d be insane to own all the Harry Potter movies but not Fantastic Beasts. 🤓