Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them takes place in the growing dangerous wizarding world of 1926 New York. Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets, threatening to expose the wizarding community to the No-Majs (American for Muggles), including the Second Salemers, a fanatical faction bent on eradicating them. And the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, has slipped away…and is now nowhere to be found.
Unaware of the rising tensions, Newt Scamander arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures, some of which are safeguarded in the magical hidden dimensions of his deceptively nondescript leather case. But potential disaster strikes when unsuspecting No-Maj Jacob Kowalski inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose in a city already on edge––a serious breach of the Statute of Secrecy that former Aurora Tina Goldstein jumps on, seeing her chance to regain the position as an investigator. However, things take an ominous turn when Percival Graves, the enigmatic Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), casts his suspicions on both Newt and Tina.
Now allied, Newt and Tina, together with Tina’s sister, Queenie, and their new No-Maj friend, Jacob, form a band of unlikely heroes, who must recover Newt’s missing beasts before they come to harm. But the stakes are higher than these four outsiders––now branded fugitives––ever imagined, as their mission puts them on a collision course with dark forces that could push the wizarding and No-Maj worlds to the brink of war. (Gary Reber)
Special features include the following featurettes: Before Harry Potter: A New Era Of Magic Begins! (HD 15:31), Characters—The Magizoologist (HD 04:14), The Goldstein Sisters (HD 05:04), The New Salemers (HD 04:42), The No-Maj Baker (HD 04:42), The President And The Author (HD 05:37), Creatures—Meet The Fantastic Beasts (HD 04:18), Bowtruckle (HD 02:36), Demiguise (HD 02:20), Erumpent (HD 03:42), Niffler (HD 02:29), Occamy (HD 03:09), Thunderbird (HD 02:25), Design—Shaping The World Of Fantastic Beasts (360º) (HD 05:45), New York City (360º) (HD 07:25), MACUSA (360º) HD 07:07), Newt’s Magical Case (360º) (HD 04:59), The Shaw Banquet (HD 04:29), and The Blind Pig (360º) (HD 04:39); 11 deleted scenes (HD 14:43); upfront previews; and an UltraViolet digital copy. The 360º segments can be experienced on tablets and mobile phones using the Warner Bros. Movies All Access App., available on both iOS and Android devices.
The 2.39:1 1080p MVC 3D picture is a most excellent conversion by Prime Focus World, Stereo D, and Legend 3D, with Angus Cameron serving as the stenographer. The 3D imagery is extraordinarily spatially dimensional, with spectacular depth and perspective. The scenes in New York City are fabulously realistic in 3D. The natural sense of architectural space and shadow depth is visually engaging. Humans and creatures exhibit a natural sense of volume, which enhances the realism of their presence within the dimensional spaces. The production design and its dimensional treatment are dramatically effective. From scene to scene this is pure 3D eye candy. The color palette is perfectly natural throughout. While a generally dark movie, shadow delineation and black levels are excellent. The darker scenes are nicely composed with contrasting lightening highlights. Resolution is excellent as well, with fine detail evident in facial features, hair, clothing objects, and architectural attributes. This is an absolutely wonderful 3D visual experience that is reference quality throughout, with captivating and mesmerizing, as well as magical visual effects that float in space. Forget the 2D version, which is far less the visual experience. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is wonderfully dynamic with loads of sound effects and dimensional atmospherics that aggressively energize the soundstage with aggressive directionalized surrounds. Fidelity is excellent with sharp sound effect transients. Pans are aggressive as creatures swoop through the soundfield. Other sound effects, such as collapsing buildings and large disturbances, are effectively boosted with strong sub-25 Hz .1 LFE bass extension. James Newton Howard’s score is period influenced with jazz and orchestral segments that occupy a wide and deep soundstage that extends aggressively to the surrounds, for penetrating immersive envelopment. Dialogue is intelligible with a good sense of spatial integration. This is a superb reference-quality holosonic® soundtrack that is dynamic sounding with exacting clarity and dimensional scope. (Gary Reber)