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J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is another screenplay like Allied, a $100+ million film that could have been greatly improved by a little bit of story-editing.

20 years from now, no one’s going to remember Fantastic Beasts, but everyone’s going to remember Harry Potter. Despite having decent reviews, Fantastic Beasts suffers from all sorts of story-structure problems. Apparently, a billion dollars can’t buy a decent screenplay-instructor!

After reading this site, I’d expect you to have a much better story-structure than MS. Rowling.

Analyzing the Story-Structures of Famous Screenplays: Harry Potter Universe - Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

The supporting-characters’ love-story plays out. They kiss. The protagonist’s love-story plays out, they make plans for the future. The muggle gets his bakery and the girl shows up so they can live happily ever after.

Denouement: BACK FORWARD

In the mid-1920’s, Newt Scamander visits New York City with a suitcase full of magical beasts - and manages to lose a few. He must recapture the beasts before the magical authorities arrest him.

An abused boy, who is forced to repress his magical powers has created a powerful entity that threatens the city. The antagonist tries to unleash that entity so that muggles can learn about the real world, but is stopped at the last second by Newt and his team of misfits.

Everyone lives happily ever after.

Inciting Incident: 1st Turning-Point: 2nd Turning Point: False-Victory or False-Defeat:

VERY WEAK FIRST TURNING-POINT!

The first turning point is when Scamander finds out he switched suitcases with the muggle.

The quest: Get the suitcase - and get the beasts back into the suitcase! Although, this isn’t the real quest, that comes half an hour later when we are introduced to the obscurus (and not actually then either).

Notice how the setting changes: Actually, it doesn’t change very much. New York without beasts - to New York with beasts. But, they had beasts at the beginning.

Notice how the stakes rise tremendously: Actually, they don’t really rise very much. Newt has just lost some of his animals, and they might do some damage. So, he’s at risk of being arrested by the magical authorities.

A magical beast destroys part of New York, to the stunned glares of the nearby muggles. A beast escapes Newt’s suitcase (Niffler).

A rather weak second turning-point. The obscurial is set loose on the city. Ooh boy.

Notice how the setting changes: Again, it doesn’t change very much, we are still in New York. Normally, Hollywood would have a much stronger turning points than this. If you handed in a screenplay this weak, they’d script-note you to death! You really can get away with murder if you make the studios billions with your previous movies (see George Lucas)!

Notice how the stakes rise tremendously: Again, another weak element in this script. The obscurial is the abused boy! Well, not really much of a rise in stakes.

False-defeat - They are all sentenced to death, the suitcase will be destroyed. They’ve lost. If you have a false-defeat early in your script, you can probably guess what’s coming later, around the 2nd turning-point: a false-victory!

False-victory - comes at roughly one and a half hours into the film. They’ve captured all the beasts, and everything is good in the world. But, of course, that can’t last. If you remember from reading this site, a false-defeat or false-victory often comes at the second turning-point, so you can probably imagine that this is the scene immediately before we do come to the second turning-point.

Original movie posters from the film

Screen-Writing Contests:

Plot Recap:

Environmentalism. Protect the Earth’s creatures.

Punishing people for just being themselves is wrong.

Theme:

None. That’s why the movie is so shallow and has no depth (and, therefore, won no major awards except for the technical categories). Of course, they’ll be making four sequels. Sigh.

Character Arc: WARNING: May Contain Spoilers!