Why "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" Was The Movie Harry Potter Fans Needed This Year

Why "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" Was The Movie Harry Potter Fans Needed This Year

Warning: Spoilers ahead, because as anyone who has seen the movie knows, there is A LOT to talk about.

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Growing up, as any Potterhead of the 21st century will admit, Hogwarts was my home. From pouring through the books in elementary school, to waiting at movie theaters for the release of the films, it's safe to say I was a full-on fanatic. Yes I was Ginny Weasley for Halloween one year, yes I had my own Gryffindor robe, and yes, I created a Pottermore account, because let's be real, we all wanted to know what our house and patronus was.

When the first "Fantastic Beasts" movie was released in 2016, I, like many others, couldn't wait to return to the Wizarding World, even if it was set in a different country this time. The sequel in what is said to be a series of five films was released November 16, 2018, and after seeing it, I can say it's what we've all been hoping for.

In the film, we find out the shocking identity of Credence, finally meet Leta Lestrange, and are introduced to a young Nagini, among many other surprises. Newt's adventures are no less entertaining than the last film, and I think we were all pleased to see the return of the bowtruckle and the nifflers. The sets were just as extravagant and magical, with more than a few scenes at the beloved School of Witchcraft and Wizardry itself. The return of treasured "Harry Potter" characters such as Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, with an appearance by Nicolas Flamel, as well as a passing mention of McLaggen - most likely an ancestor of the striking young man who fancied Hermione in the sixth book of the "Harry Potter" series - make the second film in the five movie series seem evermore familiar.

Even though the movie evokes nostalgia of the "Harry Potter" series, it is still as much a developed story within itself. The plot keeps the audience on the edge of their seat, with a cliffhanger for the ending. We see witches and wizards decide to join Grindelwald after an intense rally and battle between the dark wizard himself and aurors. The very last scene includes Newt going to Dumbledore at Hogwarts and Grindelwald revealing to Credence his identity as a Dumbledore. This leads the audience to develop an excitement for the next upcoming films, where a battle between Grindelwald's followers and those opposed is bound to happen.

Overall, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" was a film filled with action, humor, incredible sets, extraordinary characters, and of course, magic. As a "Harry Potter" fan, this series fulfills all my dreams of being able to go back to Hogwarts, and to see more of the beloved Wizarding World. All I can say is, hopefully, we won't have to wait too long for the next one.

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10 Fun Facts About Animals That Will 100% Make Your Day

A little animal pick-me-up.

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The beautiful world that we live in is filled with so many different animals that are all unique and special. There's something to learn from each living creature on our Earth. Here are some facts about animals that will surely make you smile and maybe give you the pick up that you need!

1. 3% of the ice in Antarctica is made of penguin urine

Penguins really make their mark.

2. Dolphins name their friends

Dolphins associate a sound to each of their friends.

3. Cows love to listen to music

Cows have been shown to produce more milk when listening to slow music.

4. And they have best friends

They get stressed out when their best friend is not with them.

5. Honeybees know how to dance

They dance to survive and tell fellow honeybees where the flowers are.

6. Rats like to be tickled

Rats laugh when tickled. Who doesn't like to be tickled?

7. Squirrels will adopt orphans

If baby squirrels are left abandoned, fellow squirrels will take them in.

8. Elephants self-soothe

We all need some self love.

9. Worms want companionship and with companions snuggle

We all love to snuggle, even worms.

10. Quokka's can smile

I think I found my new favorite animal.

Hopefully, these facts about animals make you feel warm and fuzzy. Have a great day.

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Avatar: The Last Airbender Is Still Iconic, And Here's Why

Although it's a children's cartoon from the 2000s, ATLA remains one of the greatest shows ever made.

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Avatar: The Last Airbender ended in 2008, but I've watched the full series at least ten other times since then. I was a big fan of ATLA when it was first airing, but sometimes I marvel at how lasting it's impact is over a decade later. I've seen ATLA bumper stickers and tattoos depicting the four elements, not mention that I myself have a "Jasmine Dragon" sticker on my laptop resembling the Starbucks logo. ATLA was incredible. It's witty, fun, emotionally impactful, interesting in plot, and filled with relatable characters. "Korra" was a nice attempt to follow up on a passionate fanbase, but it ultimately didn't resonate with viewers to the same degree. That said, sometimes people wonder why I'm still so invested in a kid's cartoon from the 2000s. Here's why.

The show referenced a variety of cultures from around the world

If you've watched the show, you've probably realized that there aren't actually any "white" characters in the Avatar-verse. Not that European cultures aren't valid, but it is notable that the show was created as an appreciation of cultures that often go overlooked. The art and music were heavily influenced by East and South Asia, and the different nations clearly reference Asian and indigenous traditions. Earth Kingdom cities were based off of real cities in East Asia, and the culture depicted drew from various East Asian nations as well. The same applies to the fire nation, which was originally modeled off of Japan and China. The water tribes have their foundations in Inuit and Sireniki cultures, and the air nomads are based on Tibetans, Sri Lankan Buddhists, and Shaolin Monks. There are many other historical references throughout "Avatar," including a nod to ancient Mesopotamia in the Sun Warriors.

The characters were complex and relatable

"ATLA" didn't just give us a typical group of teenage heroes, with each one fitting into a typical mold. They were complex and realistic, and that's what made them relatable. We saw Aang balance his role as Avatar with his personal moral philosophy, all while experiencing the onset of puberty and young adulthood. We watched Katara struggle with responsibility as the main female role model in her family after her mother's death. We observed and related to Toph and Zuko's complex relationships with their families, including the influence that an abusive parent can have on a young life. We experienced the struggles of inferiority to "better" friends with Sokka, and even learned about toxic friendships with Mai and Ty Lee. These were all growing kids and teenagers, and nothing could have been more genuine.

"ATLA" gave us some incredible, strong female leads to look up to

Katara was truly the first feminist I ever encountered on television. Not only did she become a master waterbender in the span of weeks, she also taught the Avatar! And the whole time, she reminded us that strong fighters can be feminine too. Meanwhile, Toph showed us that just because a person has a disability, doesn't mean that they are defined by it. In fact, Toph's blindness only enhances her abilities, rather than holding her back. We also encounter powerful female characters like Azula (I know, she's evil, but that doesn't make her any less of a prodigy), Ty Lee, Mai, Suki (and all the Kyoshi warriors for that matter), Smellerbee, and even Princess Yue (who literally died for her people, mind you).

It made a deep, dramatic topic witty and fun

It occurred to me recently that "Avatar" is basically about imperialism and genocide. The Fire Nation decides to take over the world through military force, and it does so by exterminating an entire people and occupying and colonizing everyone else. For such a deep topic, you wouldn't think the show would be quite as fun as it is, but it is. I've restarted watching, and I find myself constantly laughing. With Sokka's sarcastic comments, Iroh's oddities, and everybody else's regular quips, "ATLA" is regularly lighthearted and never takes itself too seriously.

There's some real wise advice throughout

Finally, what "ATLA" is really known for, is its heart. Uncle Iroh provides us with a regular understanding of the world around us, encouraging us to see the world in balance and look for our true selves. His wise words ring true throughout childhood and adulthood. The underlying themes and messages of the show, including balance, friendship, love, and loyalty, all serve the greater purpose of advising the audience.

In summary, "Avatar" was amazing. If you haven't, I highly recommend you do. If you have, maybe go rewatch!

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