It’s difficult not to be wary of films detailing the backstories of our favorite movies. Between the disastrous Star Wars prequel trilogy and the decision to turn the relatively short novel The Hobbit into three bloated films adding up to the length of a full day’s work, there was reason to be concerned about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Harry Potter novelist J.K. Rowling was writing the screenplay herself, it would have been hard to see it as much more than a desperate cash grab by Warner Bros. Especially when it was recently announced that there would be five films in this new series set in the Potterverse, decades before Harry was even born. It turns out that Rowling was all the reason fans needed to feel confident because this first film in the series is a complete joy to watch.