Are you wondering how to watch the Fantastic Beasts movies in order? There are a total of three Fantastic Beasts movies in the series. What started as a textbook in one of Harry Potter’s classes was expanded to a beautiful movie trilogy that expands on the Wizarding World, written by author J.K. Rowling. While the Fantastic Beasts movies don’t fully replicate the magic of Harry Potter, they do an excellent job of scratching that magical itch that never seems to go away. The movies also provide some insight into the history of the series’ most influential figures, who got their start long before Harry Potter was in the picture. Here is everything you need to know about how to watch the Fantastic Beasts movies in order.
How to Watch the Fantastic Beasts Movies in Order
You will want to watch the Fantastic Beasts in the order they were released. However, all the movies follow each other canonically, so you don’t need to worry about trying to piece timelines together or watch movies out of release order.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)
The first Fantastic Beasts movie takes place in 1926, 65 years before the events of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Newton, “Newt,” Scamander is the protagonist of the series. His book shares the same title as the movie and is what Harry Potter and his friends read as a textbook in the original book series. He arrives in New York City, where a creature accidentally gets unleashed upon the city. He joins forces with two Muggles to prevent the Wizard World from being exposed.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them was the first Wizarding World film to win an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. It was also nominated for five British Academy Film Awards.
Description: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)
The second Fantastic Beasts movie takes place a year after the first film’s events, in 1927. Our goofy and adorable protagonist, Newt, is back, and this time the movie’s story arc takes a darker turn when he faces off against dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. The Crimes of Grindewald was highly praised for its performances, direction, and entertainment value but criticized for its “overburdened” plot. However, the film was nominated for two British Academy Film Awards in Production Design and Special Visually Effects, so you know you will be in for a treat visually.
Description: To thwart Grindelwald’s plans of raising pure-blood wizards to rule over all non-magical beings, Albus Dumbledore enlists his former student Newt Scamander, who agrees to help, though he’s unaware of the dangers that lie ahead.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)
The third Fantastic Beasts movie takes place an entire decade after the events of the second film, in 1937. From the movie’s start, we learn an important fact about the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald and their history. After an initial meeting fails, Dumbledore must task Newt and his friends with stopping Grindelwald and his army. Unfortunately, while The Secrets of Dumbledore avoided many of the pitfalls and criticisms of the second entry, it lost a bit of the magic in the process and failed to transport us into a world we all wish we could live in.
Description: Professor Albus Dumbledore must assist Newt Scamander and his partners as Grindelwald begins to lead an army to eliminate all Muggles.
J.K. Rowling announced in 2016 that there would be five total entries in the Fantastic Beasts series. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we will get installments four and five as the Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore didn’t perform as well at the box office as Warner Brothers hoped. As of this writing, there are no reports of any further installments in development. Our next best hope to explore Harry Potter and the Wizarding World is with Hogwarts Legacy.
All three Fantastic Beasts movies are available to stream on HBO Max with a subscription.
- This article was updated on November 17th, 2022