So When (and Why) Exactly Fantastic Beasts Went Off The Rails?

So When (and Why) Exactly Fantastic Beasts Went Off The Rails?
Image credit: Legion-Media

In the ongoing story of the wizarding world of Harry Potter, the Fantastic Beasts films took a more whimsical view of the fictional universe.

Centering around the magical creatures of the mystical world initially, the critical and popular response was very favorable of the Harry Potter successor. However, throughout the trilogy, interest in the franchise waned.

The films received increasingly less money, as well as less than encouraging reviews. Here is a list of the reasons when and why, according to the fans, the film series really went downhill.

Less focus on Newt and the creatures

One reason for the franchise's decline is the shift in focus from the central character, Newt Scamander, to the larger wizarding world.

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While the basis of the first film was Newt's adventures and his relationships with his friends and creatures, subsequent films moved away from that formula. Introducing more subplots and political conspiracies that took away from the charm and whimsy of the original.

As the fans themselves put it; if the series solely focused on tracking down and discovering fantastic beasts instead of all that Dumbledore side quest, the trilogy could have been much more successful.

The films attempted to cram too much in

Something else that fans are quick to pick up on is how the movies struggle with balancing the narrative across the franchise. Each film attempted to introduce more and more elements of the larger wizarding world; while still keeping the focus on Newt. This resulted in a convoluted storyline. Where it was difficult for audiences to follow the central thread.

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Some fans accredit this to J.K. Rowling's inability to adapt her works directly to screenplays. Others wonder if it was simply a failure to recreate the magic which made the Harry Potter series so great.

David Yates wasn't up to the task

An entirely different blame from fans lands on the director of the trilogy himself, David Yates. As well as directing the final four Harry Potter films, Yates was brought on to do the Fantastic Beasts trilogy. However, not all fans agree he was the right person for the job.

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Yates' HP films are noticeably darker in tone and color, to represent the darkness and growth in maturity compared to the later movies.

Some fans believe that although this adjustment worked well in Harry Potter, it added an unnecessary bleakness that the Fantastic Beasts movies didn't require.

And therefore cinematically, created much contradiction with the style against the narrative of the films. For example, FBAWTFT was an uplifting movie, yet it was still depicted with a darker theme and format.

Overall, the Fantastic Beasts movies are not the worst of films. However, it's clear the franchise suffered from a loss of focus, a cluttered storyline, and a failure to handle its most important themes effectively. Arguably the quality declined as they progressed, but as the fans very honestly allude to, maybe the franchise never found its footing from the very beginning.