•Home •About the Site •Affiliates •Affiliation •Contact •Privacy Policy •Product Reviews •Site Exclusives •About Megan •Site Map
Ice Cream Man MBBO Harry Potter Alliance

All Affiliates | Apply

Want to advertise on Magical-Menagerie?

Friday Favorites – Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
Posted by Megs

[click any of the thumbnails for larger photos]

If you’re looking for a gift for a Harry Potter film lover this holiday season, look no further than The Creature Vault: The Creatures and Plants of the Harry Potter Films from Harper Collins. While the Collectors Edition of Harry Potter From Page to Screen: The Complete Filmmaking Journey includes a book on the creatures of Harry Potter, titled “The Creature Shop Compendium,” this new book from Harper Collins will be a great addition to any Potter fan’s collection.

For one thing, many people simply do not have $600 to spend on a collection of books and The Creature Vault is only $27 at Barnes & Noble or Amazon. The book, out October 28th, also has 208 pages while the other edition only has 127. This new publication contains a LOT more material. The earlier book is mostly comprised of photos while this combines imagery with all the information you could want on the creatures in the films.  Harper Collins sent us a copy to review, and here are our thoughts!

We went over the basics, now let’s dig in a little deeper. The quality is beautiful, just picking up the book stimulates the senses with it’s textured cover (creatures are debossed in a dark purple.) The attention to detail in the creation of this book is apparent, the cover was designed to look worn out, almost as if it is part of the Potter universe. The book also contains a poster depicting some of the world’s favorite magical creates. It is concealed in an envelope on the back cover of the book.


Inside find gorgeous full color photographs in the form of film stills, concept art and behind the scenes photos as well as detailed sketches of creatures we saw in the films and some we never got to see due to cuts. Perhaps we’ll have the chance in the upcoming Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them films?


What about the content, you’re thinking?  Well, you won’t be left wanting.  There are 208 pages full of little tidbits, fast facts and even film quotes to go along with the descriptions of each creature.  The Creature Vault is a great companion for fans of the movies because within the book you will find details on how certain creatures were made for the films. Also, in the “fast facts” sections you get to see the first film appearance of the creature, additional appearances if any, and other details you may want to know. For example, from Mrs Norris’ section:

First Film Appearance: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Additional Film Appearances: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
Location: Hogwarts Castle
Owner: Argus Filch
Description from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book, Chapter Eight: “Filch owned a cat called Mrs. Norris, a scrawny, dust-colored creature with bulging, lamplike eyes just like Filch’s.”


[flat interior shots thanks to Behance; all others by Magical-Menagerie]

Filed Under: Books, Fantastic Beasts Films, Friday Favorites, Products, Review
Magical-Menagerie Reviews The Bone Season
Posted by Megs

Recently our UK correspondent Patrick was able to review a new book, The Bone Season, by Samantha Shannon. The Bone Season is the first book in a seven-part series of dizzying imagination.  Published by Bloomsbury on 20th August 2013. Welcome to Scion, no safer place. A trailer may be watched below followed by his review here.

Filed Under: Other, Review
Review: Half-Blood Poems
Posted by Megs
Half-Blood Poems

Today I am reviewing a book called Half-Blood Poems by Canadian author Christine Lowther. The book is 113 pages long and contains 71 poems inspired by the Harry Potter books and films.  The poems are separated into 7 chapters, one for each of the books. I am by no means an expert in poems but I do know that I enjoyed reading these. There are funny and weird poems, sad and happy ones and even a song thrown in (“Lord Thingy.”)

Some of my personal favorites were (in no particular order) Longbottom Leaf, Un-Hide, Light and Dark, Dear Diary, The Put-Outer, A Boy’s Hands, Feeling Pensive, Eco-Wizardry, ‘Neville, Unlikely Rebel’ and All The Jinxed Defense Teachers.

And here is a snippet from a poem “Vulnera Sanentur,” inspired by Draco Malfoy:

The silken soft sorrow of the white bird
almost more beautiful in death than in life,
as if painted, lovingly,
on the wood of the cabinet
the very shadows of its feathers as sad as beauty,
as beautiful as sadness,
bewildering as a thug weeping
when he finds grief inside himself,
soft and vulnerable as the bird.

So if you know a Potter fan who is also into poetry this would be a great gift idea! *wink wink*

As a side note, for all of you who love being eco-friendly, these books were produced at a printing facility with Chain-of-Custody certification from 3 environmental organizations: the SFI©, PEFC™ and FSC™. This means that the paper comes from responsibly managed forests.

Filed Under: Books, Review
Review: Harry Potter and History
Posted by Megs

Wiley, a book publisher, recently sent me a copy of Harry Potter and History to review for the site. The book gives you “the historical backdrop to Harry Potter’s world, covers topics ranging from how real British boarding schools compare to Hogwarts to how parchment, quills, and scrolls used in the wizarding world were made” AND includes a timeline comparing the history of the wizarding world to Muggle “real” history. If this sounds interesting to you, you can head over to Barnes and Noble to purchase the book, it retails for $17.95 but B&N has it for $12!

I am not normally the type of person to read history books but I do enjoy watching those random history shows on television when they are on an interesting topic so I knew that I would enjoy this book.  It was great to learn the history behind some of the themes and objects in the Potter books. This book is a wonderful learning tool because you are learning history but it is also fun because it is being related to the Potter series.

It was very cool to learn the history of bezoars and how they were prized possessions long ago because of their value, they also believed them to have healing powers. Some more interesting things you will read about, if you haven’t researched them already on your own, include the history of Nicholas Flamel, The Malfoys and the class system, the oppression of witches and wizards throughout history, how Voldemort and his Death Eaters are like the Nazis and so much more!

I encourage you to pick up this book and dig a little deeper into the series that we all cherish and love to read over and over.  It will give you a whole new understanding of the history of the wizarding world.

Filed Under: Books, Review
Review: Kymera Magic Wand
Posted by Megs

Last week The Wand Company sent me one of their Kymera magic wand remotes to review on the site. If you would like your own wand, visit this page to buy one! Before I get to the actual usage of the wand I must say that it is VERY well made and I am in love with the user manual. It is totally in keeping with the Potter world and old timey feel with the parchment background and fun graphics.

The wand starts out in practice mode so you can learn all the different gestures like twisting the wand, flicking up or down, swishing down and more. The wand pulses to let you know you have done the movements correctly, which I found very helpful. Then when you are ready you can go into learning mode to teach your wand what you want each gesture to do, so the wand is very customizable!  This part is a little tricky and took me a while to learn, but the good thing is once you teach it you won’t have to do it again (unless you want to change what a gesture does).

I will admit that I got very frustrated when I tried to teach my wand how to do things but then I asked my father to help and it works a lot better when you have two people. That way someone can do the wand movements and can tell the person holding the clicker when to push the buttons. Or perhaps I have lost all my hand eye coordination now that I’m an old fart (even though I’m only 22).  Now I feel like a real wizard when I change the channel or turn the volume up or down! It’s pretty darn cool! I tried to take a video to show you all how it works, but I’d rather not subject you to that horribleness…

*I was gifted with the wand for the purpose of reviewing but that in no way affected my review. My thoughts are my own.

Filed Under: Products, Review
Magical-Menagerie Reviews Deathly Hallows: Part II
Posted by Megs

I can now post my review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II which I saw in 3D on July 7th! I will post a short snippet below and the rest may be read at this page.

On July 7th I had the opportunity to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in London. Before I go into the regular review I would like to say: I think the movie was totally amazing, I cried for at least half of the movie (I hardly ever cry so that is a big deal). It also may have surpassed the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King as my favorite movie of all time…

Filed Under: Deathly Hallows, Review

Site Design by Jenny Jenkins