Is Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore safe for kids? Read the Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Review | Safe for Kids?, an honest parents guide to the new Warner Bros. Pictures’ Harry Potter inspired third film sequel. No spoilers! #TheSecretsofDumbledore May contain commissioned links.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Review | Safe for Kids?
If the first movie is fantastic and the second movie is a crime, what does that make Fantastic Beasts 3, aka Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore? Third time’s the charm?
Well, let’s hope there’s some magic left in the Fantastic Beasts franchise, especially with more sequels already under contract. While I certainly loved the first movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the Harry Potter prequel movie series certainly took a dark turn for The Crimes of Grindelwald. But after a devastating fall, can the magic obliviate the past? Or are Harry Potter fans proving to be unforgiving for the future of Fantastic Beasts movies?
In this Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Review | Safe for Kids?, I’m talking visuals, the story, a full PG-13 rating breakdown, and sharing whether this Fantastic Beasts 3 sequel is worth watching at all. A no spoiler parent review – this is the post you want to read before rushing your kids to see another Newt Scamander and Grindelwald sequel.
There’s a familiarity with the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films that feels like home. Maybe it’s the muted color palette or the darker skies, but that shadowy 1930s pre World War II film vibe definitely returns in this film sequel. Combined with magical CGI, new beasts, Dolby 4K Cinema and reclining seats, and I’d say that visually, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore fits right in with the movie series.
New magical creatures, new Grindelwald and a baker, oh my! Loosely based prequel on the popular Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts 3 continues to follow Newt Scamander and his unusual magical creatures, set in the early days of Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald. With a familiar returning cast including Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), two-time Oscar nominee Jude Law (“Cold Mountain,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, and introducing Mads Mikkelsen as the new Grindelwald, many are wondering if after a disappointing sequel, if the story can ever recover.
In this prequel sequel, we dive into the past of the Dumbledore family and the connection/deeper understanding of the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. I wish I could say that the story is less confusing and easier to follow along than the previous two. However even as a avid Harry Potter fan and movie lover, the story magic lost it’s touch.
While not under performed by the characters, the story was muddled, choppy, LONG and at times too weighty and dialogue heavy. Perhaps the screenwriters were hit with a confundus charm? While Mads Mikkelsen made for a great villain as the new Grindelwald, the personality compared to that of the former Johnny Depp – a bit of the nostalgia connection to the audience (as little as we had to the Fantastic Beasts series) was lost.
Fantastic Beasts part of the movie title becomes a tiny secondary to the Dumbledore/Grindelwald power struggle – with just enough new magical creatures to keep the movie from becoming boring (and perhaps at times more confusing) – but not enough to become center stage. A few highlights and laughs, the magic is sparse. In all honestly, I think I loved Jude Law more than Eddie Redmayne in this one, but had more than my fill of the supporting characters.
But in one word, this Fantastic Beasts movie felt bleak. While overall a marginally better story than Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, I worry about the franchise and how much of it is about a money grab versus satisfying the fans who are the foundation of the franchise. However, for diehard Harry Potter fans there is hope. Many of the questions that have been on our minds will be answered about love, loyalty, friendship, and family. And for the nostalgia to the classics, the Hogwarts/Harry Potter Easter Eggs were a welcome sprinkle of magic to the otherwise dark and dreary movie feel.
That PG-13 Rating
Is Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore ok for kids? Skeptical? Because I am! It’s no secret (of Dumbledore) that I am highly skeptical of all MPAA ratings (um hello, PG-13 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker not disclosing any language and The Jungle Cruise not disclosing suspense??). With film ratings unpredictable these days, even PG ratings oscillating between Incredibles 2 intense to Christopher Robin calm, having fully disclosed parent guidelines can help determine if a movie is family friendly – and safe for the whole family to watch together.
Why Is Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore rated PG-13? In this Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Review | Safe for Kids?, the new Warner Bros. Pictures’ Harry Potter inspired film sequel is rated PG-13 for “Some Fantasy Action/Violence.” But those who have watched the first two Fantastic Beasts films, these prequels are quite a bit darker and more suspenseful than Harry Potter fans suspected.
Is Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore too scary for kids? Hint, they didn’t disclose it all. Parents who have allowed their kids to watch the original 2016 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the 2018 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald movie releases – be warned. Here’s what parents need to know before watching The Secrets of Dumbledore with your children:
Language. While none are officially disclosed in the MPAA rating, there are two bad language instances of h-e-double-hockey-sticks to note. One with “bloody” and one by itself. Other than those two possible swear words (depending on your family), the more mild insult of “stupid” was used twice and “geeze” once. Overall a very clean movie in terms of bad words.
Adult Themes. While mild and can be easily explained to little kids as friendship or family type of love, the question of sexuality does come up in this film. Certainly not surprising to this parent movie reviewer and again, very mildly explained in the film, but the presence is there. There is also mild consumption of alcohol and hugging.
Violence/Suspense. Thankfully the body count is toned down for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore…at least when it comes to humans. Human torture, intense wand fighting, spell casting are present, but very little blood or injury is seen. There are instances when dead bodies are encased in vomit, but overall inferred with no faces seen in the scenes.
But those personally sensitive to the magical beasts in the film, there are multiple scenes that may affect kids. Creatures killed including use of knives, blood pools, and what looks like creepy ancient rituals with beasts may be concerning. Mild birthing scene with “magical goo” present as well, very G-rated.
What Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore age rating is recommended for kids?
Is Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore kid friendly? At a runtime of 2 hours 23 minutes, this lengthy live action fantasy film is what I expected from a PG-13 film. Actually longer than the original (2 hours 13 minutes) and the sequel (2 hours 14 minutes), that extra 10 minute run time is felt. With heavy adult dialogue, puzzle piecing the story and longer scenes at times, I even had trouble keeping up. But if it’s magic and beasts your kids have come for, there are a few highlights that will entertain and delight.
What age is recommended to watch Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore? With the full PG-13 rating breakdown above, this parent movie reviewer would not recommend Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore for kids younger than the age of a mature 11-years old preteen, for sure. Dark, scary themes and a very puzzle piece storyline is confusing for adults and kids alike. Between the heavy dialogue, violence and potential sexuality questions – this teen film fits right in with the PG-13 rating, most likely only appealing to kids who love Fantastic Beasts.
Third time’s the charm? Almost. But will the audience embrace the magic? Don’t count your coins before the Niffler gets out. After a letdown of a second movie sequel, it appears that Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore had nowhere to go – but up. A marginally better story than Fantastic Beasts 2, but overall not as enrapturing as the original, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore feeds our desires for answered questions, but not enough for a full satisfying meal. Perhaps hit with a confundus charm? Is there a Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore end credits or mid-credits scene? No, sorry Harry Potter fans. No post credits sneak peeks for Fantastic Beasts 4.
I honestly think this is the make or break third sequel. Fans will either embrace the villain change and a slightly better story, hopeful for what’s to come OR they will leave Fantastic Beasts behind in Phoenix ash and stick to the original Harry Potter lore.
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I was invited to screen this film in exchange for this Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore Review | Safe for Kids? All photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians for more movie updates, celebrity interviews, entertainment and behind-the-scenes info!