Ah, the joy of a Magizoological trip through the world of Harry Potter! Is there a more simple pleasure that can be attained that doesn’t involve the use of illicit substances and/or a trip to the local insane asylum, when people refuse to believe your wild ramblings about the horde of Leprechauns that are marching on London to steal our gold and destroy our rainbows (The lawyers told me I shouldn’t be informing you of this, to prevent the unnecessary spread of fear, but I know that you can handle this, dear reader. And you must be prepared!)
Regardless of the oncoming Emerald Swarm, there are plenty of other Fantastic Beasts out there to sink your teeth into* and they’re all to be found within the numerous films of Harry Potter. But what if (hypothetically speaking) you can’t watch those wonderful films due to a pathological, Freudian fear of the phallic shape of wands and how they are held? Well, my friend, first of all it would seem that you are currently dealing with some very curious problems, and I would suggest you seek professional help instead of looking to a rambling introduction to an article which appears to rapidly losing its focus, and secondly, you should read our handy-dandy guide on where to find all the mythical creatures of the Harry Potter universe in other films with nary a wand in sight! (And just like that, we’re back on topic.)
*Our Lawyers have informed us that you should not sink your teeth into many of the creatures on this list. Especially dragons. Please do not try and bite any dragons.
All creatures in this list have been taken from the Harry Potter Wiki, if I haven’t included one of your favourites
Acromantula – Eight-Legged Freaks
Also known as the arachnophobic’s worst nightmare, the Acromantula are gigantic spiders that first appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as part of the trail of breadcrumbs for Harry and Ron to discover the true meaning of controlling a giant snake (in what I assume is a metaphor for puberty.) They’re certainly not for everyone, but if large arachnids are your bag, then look no further than Eight-Legged Freaks for a chilling look at what would inevitably have been dubbed the “Spider-pocalypse” had it been released today (N.B. Spider-pocalypse is now my screenplay about a world overrun by spiders of varying size and the remainders of humanity forced to live in anti-web bunkers to survive. I’m expecting a call from SyFy any day now.)
The unique combination of comedy and abject terror you’re sure to feel throughout the film will help remind you of Harry and Ron’s wild adventure and subsequent joyride through the Forbidden Forest.
Basilisk – Basilisk: The Serpent King
Staying within the second book/film of the series, we now take a look at the main antagonist of the book. Despite remaining hidden for the majority of the plot, this humongous snake arrives at the denouement where the main character grapples with it over the life of his future love interest (once again, this book is all about coming of age in more ways than one. No wonder some of the more conservative folks were up in arms!)
Regardless, if the idea of a twelve year old boy getting hot under the collar around a red-head makes you uncomfortable (and well it should!) you can take your mind off the events by watching Basilisk: The Serpent King. Full disclosure, I haven’t seen this film, and can’t possibly comment on the entirety of what happens, but after watching the special effects of people getting turned to stone, I believe I can safely say that you’ll be longing for those heavy-handed adolescence metaphors like a cool drink on a hot day.
Centaurs – Fantasia (The Pastoral Symphony)
Moving away from sex for a while to Centaurs (Shhhhhhhhhhh. We won’t talk about their perversity here.) These creatures are often viewed as elegant, powerful and at one with nature; they truly are the woman’s equivalent of mermaids for men. (Sorry. That one just slipped in there.) In order to display their grace, it’s best to watch them from a time when cinema was just beginning to find its feet and animation was in its infancy. I am of course talking about Walt Disney’s Fantasia, more specifically, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. The soothing strings combines with the gentle, romantic nature of the centaur’s courtship, creating a rather harmonious vignette.
You can also use it as a palate cleanser if the previous two entries have made you a little riled up!
Dragons – Far too many films to count!
Dragons are the bread and butter of the fantasy realms. It’s almost impossible to throw a stone in a setting with magic and monsters and not hit a dragon (a very unwise choice, as the dragon will now most likely want to eat you.) Fortunately, not all dragons are bad and there are plenty of choices to make, should you want to view the scaled beasts.
If you want dragons who are paragons of their kind, you would do well to look towards films such as Dragonheart, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Neverending Story. The positive relationship between human and dragon will help to consolidatethe childlike wonder of these magnificent beasts.
However, if you wish to take a look at the darker aspects of the draconic nature, you may wish to set your sights on Reign of Fire, The Hobbit Trilogy and The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad. These malevolent dragonsdo little more than lay waste to settlements and kill off some of the cockier characters before being brought down by their own hubris, or some sort of cunning plan by the humans.
Of course, if you’d rather your dragons in a more serial nature, look no further than Game of Thrones. The children of the Khaleesi, these beasts are loyal to their mother and are more than capable of taking on small armies. In fact, the CGI is so good that you’ll almost forget some of the nudity that is in the show! (Dammit, I was so close to not making a sex reference in this section.)
Mermaids – Splash
As previously mentioned, Mermaids are a male fantasy made flesh (or is that flesh and scales?). But we’re not here to discuss the forbidden lust that takes a man when he stares too long into the ocean with naught but the terrible loneliness to comfort him and a map to the local aquarium… I feel I’ve lost my train of thought again.
It’s far too obvious to pick the Disney classic of The Little Mermaid to get your mer-person fix. Instead, I shall plump for Splash. The 1984 romantic comedy featuring Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah is a unique take on the aquatic/human relations genre (an admittedly small pool of reference) and manages to pull it off charmingly.
Trolls – Troll 2
The term troll can be somewhat nebulous in its definition. To some it conjures up images of great, hulking, moronic brutes who carry tree branches around as crude clubs. To others, they are somewhat more benign, showing great intelligence, at least when they are cool enough for their brains to work.
Much like dragons, there are plenty of trolls in the realms of fantasy, but instead of giving you a list of films to watch, I shall just point you in the direction of Troll 2. Why, I hear you ask? Because if you’re a fan of films, you’ll already know why, and if you aren’t… Well, let’s just say you’re in for a treat.
Leprechaun – The Leprechaun Series
As I mentioned in the introduction to this article, the Little Green Men are coming! If we are to survive this onslaught it is important that you familiarise yourself with the enemy. You must eat what he eats, drink what he drinks, and most importantly, embezzle all the gold you can find at the end of the rainbow in order to cripple them financially.
Fortunately, filmmakers have been giving us warnings of this uprising since 1993, and we now have a rich library of documentaries that detail the inner mind of the Emerald Scourge. I am of course talking about The Leprechaun series of films which gives us a variety of tactics for dealing with the small buggers in a number of different scenarios, including defending the inner cities and our space stations (just in case they stow away on a rocket to the ISS.)
If we don’t prepare for this attack, we’ll be doomed to work in the gold mines to fill their crocks. The government have ignored my warnings for too long, and I fear it may be too late. Or maybe they’ve been indoctrinated already… which means they’ll know where I am.
It is too late for me now, comrade, but not for you. You must spread the knowledge and build the resistance. The Irish will help you, they have fought them before and their knowledge of the shillelagh may just turn the tide in the upcoming struggle.
Editor’s note: Graham went missing shortly after this article was written, his house was found ransacked and painted green with shamrocks littered about the place. The police chalked this up to rowdy teens and closed the case as a missing persons incident.
Occasionally, there have been rumours of a man wielding shillelagh and screaming at thin air. If you see anyone matching that description, please let us know. He may need our help.