Introducing the Magical Creatures of ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

Aug 24, 2018

Posted by: Emma Pocock

Exclusives, Fantastic Beasts Movie, News, SetReports, Warner Bros.

As we know from our visit to the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald set, this movie will up the stakes for the quartet as Dumbledore’s pursuit of Grindelwald forces Newt’s involvement. We were concerned that magical creatures wouldn’t play as prominent a part in the series, but Warner Bros put our minds at ease, sharing with us a detailed list of the magical creatures in the second instalment!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Set Report Links

Art Department & Plot Run-Through with Martin Foley   |  Walking the French Wizarding World: French Diagon Alley & the French Ministry   |   Props Department with Pierre Bohanna    |    Interview with Director David Yates    |    Interview with Producer David Heyman    |     Interview with Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander)    | Interview with Callum Turner (Theseus Scamander)    |    Interview with Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone)    |    Interview with Costume Designer Colleen Atwood    |     The Magical Creatures of Crimes of Grindelwald    |    Character Profiles: Trouble in Paris

A few familiar creatures will make their way back for Crimes of Grindelwald, namely the Niffler (but this time, with babies!) and Pickett, the clingiest Bowtruckle in the wizarding world:



The sprig-like Bowtruckle is a maximum of eight inches in height and appears to be made out of a tree stem with roots, tiny leafy branches and two brown eyes, making them immensely difficult to spot in their natural environment. Bowtruckles are gentle and intensely shy unless threatened, and then they will do whatever it takes to defend their home. They also have complex social lives and only nest in trees made of wand-quality wood. They also have a talent for picking locks with their long, sharp fingers, which unfortunately makes them valuable on the black market. Newt has a special attachment to a Bowtruckle named Pickett, whom he keeps safely tucked away in his breast pocket and who, in spite of his small size, has come to the rescue on occasion.



The mischievous Niffler is small and furry with a long, rounded snout, making it look like a cross between a duck-billed platypus and a mole. Like moles, Nifflers are burrowers who live in lairs up to 20 feet below ground. With an irrepressible predilection for anything glittery, this remarkably fast and agile little beast will snatch or steal whatever shiny object catches its eye, and store its treasures in the pouch on its belly, which holds considerably more than seems possible. Though gentle and even affectionate, the Niffler can be quite destructive in its pursuit of sparkly things so, word to the wise, they do not make good house pets.

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Nifflers can have large litters of up to eight babies, which can come in a variety of colors, ranging from the typical black to brown & white, gray & white, and tricolor. They are born with an instinctive penchant for anything shiny or glittery and, although Niffler babies are obviously smaller in size, they are pound-for-pound just as mischievous as their parents.


A few creatures will be those we’ve seen – or know about – from the Harry Potter series, too:



The Thestral is a skeletal but strong winged beast that has some equine traits but is decidedly not a horse, with long, bat-like wings, forked hooves and a pointed tail. Thestrals appear black in color to those who can see them; however, they are only visible to those who have witnessed death firsthand.

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The Kelpie, as its name suggests, is a creature that lives underwater, where its camouflage is looking like long, thick strands of green kelp. The Kelpie is extremely strong and hard to tame and has a nasty bite. However, once bridled, it is docile and, for those who know how to handle it, the Kelpie can provide a fast underwater ride.



We’re given a few more details on some brand new creatures, including the Chinese Zouwu (which we previously discussed here):

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The Zouwu is a monstrously large feline beast—as big as an elephant—with a striped body, scraggly mane, four fangs that curl up out of its mouth, and long sharp claws. Perhaps its most distinctive feature is its disproportionately long and ruffled multicolored tail. Native to China, Zouwus are incredibly powerful and fast, capable of traveling 1000 miles in a day. The Zouwu in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was captured by Skender, the owner and Ringmaster of the wizarding world’s Circus Arcanus, and bears the scars of its abuse.


The Firedrake looks like a small flying lizard with long antennae. It could be mistaken for a dragon, except, instead of breathing fire, the Firedrake emits sparks from the end of its tail that set anything flammable ablaze.

Interestingly, an Augurey will appear in Fantastic Beasts, too (you’ll be familiar with this creature if you’ve read/seen Cursed Child!):

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The Augurey is a large, owl-like bird with sharp talons, a horned beak and an expressive face. On its head, the Augury has long individual tendrils that feather out at the ends. Its long tail feathers are dark green and interspersed with pretty purple and green plumes.

After plenty of theorising, we’re told that the cats in the trailer are Matagot, used by the Ministry of Magic for various tasks:

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The feline Matagot is a spirit familiar somewhat resembling a hairless Sphinx cat. In France, they are utilized by the Ministry of Magic to do menial jobs, including staffing the mailroom and providing security for various other departments. Matagots won’t attack unless provoked, but then will transform into something far more menacing.

And finally, another beastie we saw in the scene from Newt’s basement (read more about that here), a Leucrotta – basically a magical moose with a huge mouth! You can see it in the background of this shot with Jacob:

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The Leucrotta resembles a large moose with very long, jagged antlers. At first glance, there is nothing overtly unusual about the Leucrotta…until it opens its mouth. The Leucrotta has what would seem to be an impossibly huge mouth in respect to its head and face—big enough for Newt or his assistant, Bunty, to put their entire head and shoulders in to clean the animal’s teeth.

Are you excited to see Newt’s magical menagerie, and his assistant, Bunty? How do you think all these magical creatures will come into the story? Crimes of Grindelwald hits theatres November 16th – less than three months to go until we find out!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.