NEW YORK - J.K. Rowling's wizarding world is unleashed on New York City in the new movie "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," but is the precursor to the adventures of Harry Potter worth your time and money?
The fantastic beasts, wrangled by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, have enough magic to satisfy Potter fans, and pre-teens in particular will likely enjoy Rowling's new world.
It is set in the roaring 20s, in the Big Apple of 90 years ago, and a "magizoologist" has arrived with some creatures, great and small.
Newt Scamander would grow up to write the textbook on 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," the same book Potter and pals would use decades later. But for now, his creatures are causing all sorts of problems. And to further complicate matters, a person without any magical powers -- called a "no-maj" -- has seen them.
Dan Fogler comes close to stealing the movie as a hapless baker, and Katherine Waterston co-stars as a wizard who works downtown at the US Headquarters of Wizarding in America, where Colin Farrell's character is a mysterious force.
Wizards must remain undercover to lessen the prejudice against them, and the film sends a not-so-subtle message against bigotry. But it is also visually spectacular and worth seeing on the biggest screen you can find.
This is to be the first of five films, and there's a cameo by Johnny Depp at the very end that sets up the next one.