What did the critics think?

Course Correction for the Wizarding World

ComicBook.com reviewer Patrick Cavanaugh says that Dumbledore’s secrets is the course correction the franchise needed after the missteps of The Crimes of Grindelwald:

Being halfway through the planned five-film series, the fate of the series surely does not rest on the success of this film, as the wizarding world has enough supporters to guarantee the completion of this prequel tale, but Dumbledore’s secrets could surely kill any interest among the audience if it is as disappointing as its predecessor. Fortunately, this film manages to correct the narrative enough to evoke the excitement of the characters and what the future might hold for them, even if it is still far from the success of the good Harry Potter series, as it invests more in its characters than its predictable premise.


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Good for potter’s heads

Variety thinks that while casual viewers may not “get it,” Potter-Heads will love the deep mythology and prequel connections of Dumbledore’s secrets:

“Fantastic Beasts: Dumbledore’s Secrets” is rooted deep in Rowling’s wizarding world mythology, rarely slowing down long enough to explain the magical spells or strategies used by its characters. This will no doubt upset casual viewers, keeping them away from the interpersonal relationships that make this great fight for the planet worth watching. But worshipers will likely love the various reveals in store, including a deeper engagement in the tragic love story between beloved Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) and the wizard determined to settle a score with gender. muggle.

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Spinning around to nowhere

According to Polgyon, Secrets of Dumbledore is trying to right the ship, but still hasn’t quite found the right direction to go:

But as long as the money is green and the galleons are gold, the streak will continue. The third installment continues to expand the geography and history of the wizarding world, getting hopelessly lost along the way. the fantastic beasts the spinoffs began as wonder adventures bringing mild-mannered naturalist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) into contact with a menagerie of CGI creatures. It has now been fired on the fringes of its own franchise (and poster art). His presence has been reduced to a handful of whimsical interludes that feel gravely out of place in what is otherwise a moody political thriller. An obvious attempt to right the ship has turned into a calamitous case of mission drift, as an identityless property travels in absurd circles, in search of a new sustainable direction.

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buyer’s remorse

IGN sees a clear attempt to change the storytelling path of this franchise into a more direct Harry Potter prequel – instead of the birth story of Newt Scamander’s famed guidebook:

Warner Bros. seems to have buyer’s remorse when it comes to this series. The posters all downplay the “Fantastic Beasts” part of the title (in favor of the “Secrets of Dumbledore” subtitle), but since this is still a linear franchise, it doesn’t have the luxury of giving the kick off to its main characters. .

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Enough prequel storylines

For The Guardianthe new elements of the Harry Potter franchise incorporated into Dumbledore’s Secrets are intriguing enough to pull off a few magic tricks:

Dumbledore’s Secrets is another very lovable and delightful fantasy adventure with excellent production design and visual effects, especially in New York scenes. But it’s not so much about “secrets” as new IP franchise narrative components mixed into ongoing content and mixed again. Still, there’s certainly something intriguing about the questions raised by the saga’s approach to Potter’s existing timeline.

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Too many real distractions

THR argues that a combination of real-world concerns and behavior about real people involved in this franchise all but killed the magic of the wizarding world:

Yes Dumbledore’s secrets has a reason to exist, maybe it’s like proof to deal with disenchantment. It’s hard to stay in love with the wizarding world when its output is mired in controversy and its creator frequently espouses dangerously myopic views. This inevitably influences perceptions of the work, revealing, at least to this reviewer, how obsessed these films are with binaries – good and bad, poor and rich, love and hate, light and darkness. But life, like storytelling, is much more complicated, and that’s a lesson the franchise would be wise to adopt.

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The spark is (re-)ignited

Empire comes to the conclusion that Secrets of Dumbledore manages to rekindle the spark of the Harry Potter franchise – if only barely:

Tellingly, the year before Dumbledore’s secrets involved a concerted effort, via anniversaries and special gatherings, to regain the magic – a tacit acknowledgment of how much of it has been lost in recent years. Then comes the multi-million dollar question: can we Dumbledore’s secrets maybe hope to retcon some of it?

The answer, roughly, is a yes – if not a resounding one.


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