Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a film released in November, 2016. It was the first movie in the Harry Potter franchise since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011, and the first film not to include Harry Potter. It takes place in New York City, where a host of magical creatures have accidentally escaped from magic beasts specialists Newt Scamander. He and his small group of fiends must dash around the city to collect them while also fending off a larger, more sinister threat.
Looking at the poster, compared to some past posters for the series, we can see the similarities. The characters are group together around the main protagonist while an atmospheric fog hovers around the border of the poster. Otherwise that’s where the similarities end. Noticeably the poster lacks any hint of the film’s antagonist, as do every other version of posters for the film.
The rest of the posters do well to show a bit more of the world the film will be exploring. We see hints of destruction – the broken buildings, potholes in the ground – which hint toward a trail and the plot of the movie. However, we are kept in the dark in regards to the real culprit, building an air of mystery.
They also show off the American equivalent to the Ministry of Magic: the Magical Congress of the United States of America. This is the governing body of the United States’ magical world, and another antagonistic force in the movie. America is a new setting for the Harry Potter franchise. Up to this point, the movies have only taken place in Great Britain. It’s why the posters feature iconic parts of the new York skyline, to intrigue viewers with something new and fresh.
Another interesting aspect of the posters is the lighting. Each one features a very distinct flare, with rays that lead gently down the main character. These help guide the viewer’s eye to Newt, help highlight him. Harry Potter is the story of a “Chosen one” and the lighting in these posters emphasize Newt as the newest incarnation of that trope.
All in all the posters for Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them promise a new, exciting setting for a popular and well known franchise. They make it clear that everything from the characters to the setting is brand new and open to explore – provided you aren’t a muggle. Or No Maj, as the Americans put it.