At the beginning of this year, it was announced that London’s Natural History Museum will be showcasing a new exhibit entitled Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature which is inspired by J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts. The exhibition will see fictional, magical creatures alongside displays of real animals from the ‘muggle’ world which demonstrate ‘magical’ traits, portraying how nature has inspired myths and fairy tales.
For those who can’t make it to the exhibit, don’t despair, because BBC One has announced a new commission of a documentary made in partnership with Warner Bros. who create the Harry Potter film franchise and the Natural History Museum who are showcasing this exciting new Fantastic Beast: The Wonder of Nature exhibition.
Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content, said: “The BBC is world-renowned for its amazing natural history programming and it is a delight to bring the natural world and Wizarding World together on BBC One.”
This new BBC One documentary entitled Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History (w/t) will be presented by Stephen Fry who has also narrated all the Harry Potter audiobooks and is now very much attached to the franchise. The programme will explore the origins and stories behind the mythical and fantastical beasts in J.K. Rowling’s magical books and explore their history and connection to the real-life animals roaming our planet today.
In regard to the upcoming documentary, Stephen Fry said, “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. Joining forces with the combined powers of the fabulous BBC, its legendary Natural History Unit and the magical Natural History Museum we hope to be able to bring you closer than you’ve ever been to some of the most spectacular and extraordinary creatures ever seen.”
Much like the 2017 BBC documentary Harry Potter: A History of Magic which explored the British Library exhibition, this new documentary will feature the Natural History Museum exhibition which is due to be set up in Spring 2020. “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.”
Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History will take viewers on a journey from London’s Natural History Museum to the frozen land of Siberia and the secret caves of Madagascar. From treasure-finding Nifflers and fortune-telling centaurs, from birds of paradise to the re-born Phoenix, the Natural History Museum exhibition and the accompanying documentary explore the parallels between the myths in literature and the real-world nature which inspired them.
Mike Gunton, Executive Producer and Creative Director of the BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, said: “This incredible partnership between three of the UK’s leading institutions will bring an astonishing array of creatures to our screens. We are thrilled to be working with these talented partners to bring natural history content to a wider young audience.”
While Josh Berger CBE, President & MD, Warner Bros. Entertainment UK and President, Harry Potter Global Franchise Development, added: “It is hugely exciting to be working with the Natural History Museum and the BBC Natural History Unit, such iconic British institutions, on a project which has such a great purpose at its heart. I hope both fans of the Wizarding World and the natural world will enjoy the exhibition and documentary immensely.”
Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History (w/t) is a one-off 60-minute documentary commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content. It is made by the BBC Studios Natural History Unit and Warner Bros Entertainment UK Limited, and the Executive Producer for the BBC is Mike Gunton. There is currently no news on when the documentary will air, however, since the Natural History Museum exhibit is due to go live in Spring this year, we expect the documentary to be released at a similar time to accompany it.