FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM is about Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) and his other fellow wizards attempting to save the life of Jacob Kowalski (played by Dan Fogler) and then leave him with a fulfilling mission. Join us as we discuss these Christian themes and so much more on the Finding Christ In Cinema podcast.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction and Previous Episode Recap 
  • 00:05:11 – Movie Discussion
  • 00:28:00 – Update for Podcast listeners (not heard on radio version)
  • 00:32:15 – Christian Themes in FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
  • 00:53:25 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 00:55:40 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 00:58:00 – Upcoming

Fantastic Beasts are One(s) of Us

No one really knows why Newt Scamander has come to the United States. He says his mission is returning a rogue Thunderbird to its Southwestern-American home, but there’s not much more deliberation beyond that. We can opine that his arrival is directly linked to Gellert Grindelwald’s imposing rise to power. It seems a little more than coincidental that Scamander should be the one who finally unmasks Grindelwald in the film’s denouement. These are, of course, just a few of the lingering questions that will compel the audience to return to the Wizarding World in the sequel.

As mysterious as his presence is for now, however, we can garner a better understanding of Newt Scamander when we consider how he befriends and ultimately saves the life of Jacob Kowalski. Jacob is a No-Maj (a non-magical being – referred to as “muggles” on the other side of the Pond, or Atlantic Ocean), and he knows a lot more that mo-majs are supposed to know. But rather than obliviate him (that is, make him forget everything he knows about magic), Newt and his cohorts Tina and Queenie Goldstein decide to keep him around.

This image from FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM shows Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski.

And it’s a good thing, too, because Jacob needed saving. He works in a canning factory, and, as he admits to Newt, he’s dying there. He’s confined to the work line when he would rather open and operate his own bakery. He sees the value in a community, family, and the strength that magically appears in numbers, and he longs for it. He believes there’s something better out there for him, but he knows he’ll never find it as long as he’s at the canning factory.

Luckily for Jacob, Newt and Queenie (and possibly Tina, though she never admits it) actually enjoy his company and eventually give him something that he can cling to and hope for. Newt needs help in feeding the magical creatures in his care and recapturing the ones who have escaped, and Jacob is happy to oblige. As a token of gratitude for that and so much more the Jacob helps with, Newt gives Jacob the silver occamy shells for the collateral that the bank requires for a loan to open his bakery.

This image from FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM shows Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander.

The most important thing about the relationship between Jacob and his new magical friends is that those friends invited him into their fold and welcomed him. This inviting nature should be what everyone – especially Christians – gets out of of this film. It should make us long for the family and community that God Himself has invited everyone to be a part of. Being a part of that community can be the homiest home of them all.

Key Text for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Let this passage be your guide as you watch FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM with your friends and loved ones.

Galatians 3:28-29 NLT

There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.

Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes – including links to articles discussed – by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. He has his M.A. in Theatre Arts and is always looking for a good way to use stories to soften peoples' hearts. Find him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever.
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