In April 2016, we were named as Warner Bros. Consumer Products UK and Ireland Licensee of the Year; praised for our overwhelming enthusiasm for the Warner Bros. brands and our own products. Receiving such a fantastic honour comes with exciting perks! In this case it was gracing the red carpet with the stars to enjoy the premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; the latest addition to J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. This is the second major addition to it after this release of the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that premiered earlier in 2016. To support the release of these two marquee releases we have released a Harry Potter wholesale gift range, with lots more to come in 2017! Needless to say we were very excited to be part of the event and be among the first to view one of the most highly anticipated films, well.. ever? Warner Bros. clearly knew that this was something extraordinary as the whole event and experience were exceptional.
The Red Carpet
First came the champagne reception on a balcony overlooking the red (blue, technically) carpet. The perfect view to see all the stars arrive, giving autographs, selfies, talking to the press, and getting photographs in front of the amazing, giant replica of Newt’s suitcase (a key symbol throughout the film), which made for a brilliant backdrop.
We were able to do some live streaming at the event, but if you missed it at the time check out the video below to see our view, and lots of Harry Potter fans going mad over Eddie Redmayne and co.
Once we were in and we’d had selfies with some stars (Me with Tom Fletcher from Mcfly) it was time for the main event – the film! Once in the cinema and J.K.Rowling had sat down (just metres away from us – Aaaah!) the movie begun – and it didn’t disappoint…
Set in 1920s New York, where anti-wizard sentiment is on the rise, and a time where powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is on the loose, the Wizarding World is on high alert. The movie opens with Newt Scamander, played by Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, arriving off the boat with a briefcase full of magical creatures. He’s a zoologist who’s mission is to spread the word of humane treatment of magical creatures. Arriving in a city that has them demonised and outlawed, you watch as his bizarre creatures break out of his suitcase and cause havoc around New York. Prepare to fall in the love with the ‘Niffler’, a cheeky, dumpy looking thing that likes shiny objects and proves himself to be extremely slippery under pursuit.
– the Niffler
Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, is another fantastic comic relief. He plays a “no-maj” (American term for muggle) that is exposed to the Wizarding World throughout the film, acting as side-kick to Newt in his dangerous adventure. He also provides the hilarious yet heartwarming romance with Queenie, the flirtatious and skilled legilimens (that’s mind-reader to all you muggles), played by Alison Sudol.
It combines the huge and spectacular special effects of a blockbuster, with the charming nostalgia of a Harry Potter film. It’s flooded with familiar spells and terminology and added an array of creatures that Hagrid (from the Harry Potter franchise) would have loved to meet. Similar to Hagrid, Newt, was expelled from Hogwarts for keeping banned magical creatures, and he now travels the world and is writing his book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.
Overall Fantastic Beasts provides an amazing digital spectacle, with pleasing characters and themes and a plot containing a couple of very interesting twists. All in all, it will keep the audience engaged, laughing, ‘aww-ing’ and ready for the sequel!
The After Party
A fully themed Wizarding World party for thousands of guests with ice sculptures, cocktails, bottomless champagne, pick ‘n’ mix, Krispy Kreme donuts, freshly made bagels and more – the house elves certainly had been busy!