Before being offered the chance to write Fantastic Beasts, Newton Scamander worked at the Ministry of Magic. For two years he worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and then another two years at the Office of House-Elf Relocation before being transferred to the Beast Division.
Hogwarts is unique to the United Kingdom, but it has a North American counterpart called “Ilvermorny,” which is on top of Mount Greylock in Massachusetts. Actress Alison Sudol, who played the eccentric Queenie, came up with lyrics to the school song, and there was actually a scene where Tina and Queenie sing it to Newt, but it was cut from the film.
In the scene where Newt shows Jacob his collection of fantastic beasts, there is a Grindylow in a bubble of water. That’s a nod to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where the creatures were featured in the Triwizard tournament’s underwater challenge.
Magical Government works a bit differently in the United States than it does in the United Kingdom. Instead of the Ministry of Magic, there is the Magical Congress of the United States (MACUSA), led by a Wizarding President. The Congress’ headquarters is hidden inside the Woolworth Building, a classic part of Manhattan’s skyline.
The grey and yellow scarf that Newt Scamander wears in the final scene of the film references the fact that he was in the Hufflepuff House when he attended Hogwarts—Hufflepuff’s colors are yellow and black.
16Daniel Radcliffe and Eddie Redmayne
In an interview, Daniel Radcliffe joked that he was “jealous” of Redmayne’s costume in the Fantastic Beasts film. While Harry Potter’s costume mostly included either bulky robes or jeans and a zip top sweater, Redmayne’s character Newt has an elegant teal coat, a corduroy waistcoat, and a “snazzy” bow tie.
Part of the tension in the movie comes from a magical law in the United States that prohibits fraternizing between magical and non-magical persons. J.K. Rowling actually developed an extensive backstory for the law, called Rappaport’s Law after Emily Rappaport, the 15th president of the Magical Congress of the United States.
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Queenie Goldstein’s character is a Legilimens—someone who can use magic to navigate the layers of someone’s mind. A Legilimens can’t simply read a person’s thoughts, but they are able to gain an extremely deep understanding of a person through the use of their magical abilities.
In the opening scene of the Fantastic Beasts movie, the first notes of music reference John Williams’ iconic theme from the main series before changing into an original composition.
The wizarding currency used in the Harry Potter books is knuts, sickles, and galleons, but apparently, even wizards have to convert their money to American currency. In the film, Americans don’t use dollar and cents, but dragots and sprinks.