New BBC Special Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History Will Explore the Wizarding World’s Mythical Creatures

Ever wonder about the science of centaurs, hippogriffs, or nifflers? A new documentary exploring the magical critters that populate the Potterverse will be right up your Diagon Alley! BBC One’s Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History—narrated by none other than Stephen Fry—will investigate the real-life inspirations, historical origins, and myths behind the titular beasts.

“I could not be more delighted to be a part of this magnificent opportunity for us Muggles to show the wizarding world that the fantastic beasts in our world are more than a match for theirs,” Fry said, in a statement.

According to a BBC press release, the documentary is the result of a partnership between BBC One, Warner Bros., and London’s Natural History Museum, which will debut a new exhibition this spring called Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature that will appear in the documentary. BBC News reported that the exhibition will feature 50 specimens alongside props from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts movies, as well as interactive displays.

“You’ll recall the Erumpent’s mating dance from Fantastic Beasts,” Claire Matterson, executive director of engagement at the NHM, told BBC News. “We’ll be making comparisons with the peacock spider, which has its own extraordinary movements that it uses to attract a mate.”

“Then there’s something in the magical world called a Demiguise, which, as the name suggests, has ways of making itself disappear,” she added. “And, of course, there are all sorts of examples in the natural world but one of the most famous is the octopus which can change its colours and camouflage itself, blending into its natural surroundings.”

Here’s the synopsis of Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History, according to the press release:

Offering exclusive access behind the scenes at both the Natural History Museum and Warner Bros. Studios, the documentary will dive deep into the bewitching secrets, marvellous wonders and surprising truths behind a host of fantastic beasts, both real and imagined.

Footage from the BBC Natural History Unit’s extensive treasure trove of archive content, alongside spellbinding scenes from the Fantastic Beasts films will show how closely real world animals, mythological creatures and wizarding world beasts are intertwined.

There’s no word yet on a release date.


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