A movie set in the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts does a decent job of standing on it's own with very few active call backs to Hogwarts etc. Eddie Redmayne plays a likeable enough lead who loves his fantastic animals, and this gets him into all sorts of humorous problems.
I did find some of his lines a little hard to understand though and the female lead was quite plain (though that's probably the instruction given to her). Also watching Eddie do a pig dance midway through has kinda cringe worthy.
Fortunately Dan Fogler's non-mag (aka muggle) makes everything much better and turned out to be my favorite character in the whole thing! Effects wise, it's very good seeing all the cute, scary, icky creatures (to make toys of no doubt) though for some reason I felt the stage design, especially outdoor scenes, could have used some work.
While most of the problems in the movie are actually caused by the protagonists, there is a bad guy who rates a "meh" on the "ho hum" meter. Maybe he was put in after the fact to give the movie a darker shade? Who knows. The ending bit was also a little too drawn out. Just saying.
Still I quite enjoyed this film, and give it 3 magic suitcases out of 5.