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First Look at the ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ Cast!

The official Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast portraits were recently unveiled by Pottermore, and spoiler alert, they’re bloody brilliant.

Check out the magical photos below!

Jamie Parker as Harry Potter

Poppy Miller as Ginny Potter

Sam Clemmett as Albus Severus Potter

(Some of) the Potters!

Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley

Noma Dumezweni as Hermoine Granger

Cherrelle Skeete as Rose Granger-Weasley

The Weasleys!

Alex Price as Draco Malfoy

Anthony Boyle as Scorpius Malfoy

The Malfoys!

In addition to these glorious photos, Pottermore also released a short behind-the-scenes look at the photoshoot! 

 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an upcoming play written by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne. The production will be directed by John Tiffany and will include the musical stylings of Imogen Heap.

The story takes place many years after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ended.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. – Pottermore

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opens at the Palace Theatre London in July 2016, with preview performances beginning June 7, 2016.

Are you impressed by the cast and costumes? Let us know in the comments!

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Reactions: ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Teaser Trailer

So Warner Bros just thought they would tuck us in for bed in America, and wake up our UK friends across the pond with this teaser for the latest movie in the Harry Potter universe.

With J.K. Rowling making her screenwriting debut, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them tells the story of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) a Magizoologist who travels to New York City to meet with an important official at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). However, American wizarding authorities are soon on the hunt for Newt when creatures from his magical briefcase escape into the city, and threaten the already precarious relationship between American Wizards and No Maj (the American word for Muggles.)

Directed by David Yates, the film stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Ezra Miller, Carmen Ejogo, Faith Wood-Blagrove, Jon Voight and Ron Perlman. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to arrive in theaters November 18, 2016.

I’ve long been a Harry Potter fan and I am thrilled to see J.K. Rowling transitioning into screenwriting. You’ll have to watch the video below though, if you want to find out if this teaser trailer excites me enough to explore Magic in America! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel!

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5 Things Missing from the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Trailer

The announcement trailer for J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was recently released, and, to be quite blunt, it’s super boring.

If you haven’t yet seen the trailer, check it out below and formulate your own opinion:

Now I know it’s not totally fair to assume that an announcement trailer would show much detail (it is a teaser, after all), but I think a lot of us Rowling fans were expecting something a little more, well, magical.

I’m positive that things will get much more magical as time progresses, but for now, here are 5 things that are sorely missing from the trailer:

1. Fantastic beasts

Call me crazy, but when I heard that the trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was comingI expected to see some fantastic beasts. Instead, the closest thing we get to beasts is the sound of a jungle in Newt’s magical briefcase.

Well, unless you count the super brief look we got of Colin Farrell, who I think most of us ladies can agree is definitely a beast of a man.

Either way, the exclusion of the film’s namesake was a real disappointment.

2. An antagonist

Speaking of Colin Farrell, he is set to play an antagonist of sorts in the film, but you’d never be able to tell it from this trailer.

The trailer makes it appear that the so called fantastic beasts are the only call for concern within the film, but I think we all know better than to believe that.

That’s where Farrell steps in.

He will be playing Graves, a wizard employed at the Magical Congress of the United States of America and, quite possibly, the story’s villain. After the beasts get loose from their leathery holding cell, Graves is tasked with hunting down Newt.

That’s pretty much all we know about his character right now, and it’s clear that he’s definitely not an antagonist on the level of, say, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but rather he’s a dude just doing his job.

Perhaps we haven’t even met the big bad yet… if there even is one.

3. A powerful score

When it comes to the cinematic world of Harry Potter, the one thing that is more iconic than the boy who lived is the franchise’s musical score.

John Williams (who composed the score for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Jaws, and Jurassic Park) was responsible for creating the score for the first three Harry Potter films, but his score was obviously used in later films as well.

Those later films were composed by Patrick Doyle, Nicholas Hooper, and Alexandre Desplat, but it truly was John Williams initial score that set the tone for the entire franchise. It gave Harry Potter the magical and mysterious flare it needed in order for it to be properly translated from print to cinema, and, disagree if you’d like, but the films would not be the same without it.

So when listening to the score in the trailer for Fantastic Beasts, I couldn’t help but feel majorly underwhelmed. The music is delightful, no doubt, but it’s ridiculously generic and does not help set the tone of the film one bit.

As far as I know, director David Yates has not officially announced a composer for the film, but my money is on either Hooper or Desplat stepping in to do the job.

Hopefully the next time a new trailer comes around, it will have brought a worthy score along with it.

4. The rest of the main cast

Fantastic Beasts is all about Newt Scamander’s adventure in New York with his magical case full of magical creatures… on the surface, at least. The true heart of the film lies in the adventure of four unlikely friends, as confirmed by star Eddie Redmayne himself.

“The assumption is Newt’s front and center, but it’s a quartet,” he told Entertainment Weekly. The other three members of this quartet are Tina (Katherine Waterston), Queenie (Alison Sudol), and Jacob (Dan Fogler).

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But if their dynamic is so central to the story, then why isn’t this highlighted in the trailer?

We do see Tina heavily featured in the trailer, but the other members of this little tight knit magical friendship seem to get the shaft. But, to be sort of fair, we do see Jacob blurred in the background in the end of the trailer.

A good theatrical trailer should be able to show the heart of the film to audiences in under 2 minutes, and if the heart of this film is indeed this friendship, then Warner Bros. has really dun goofed.

5. Uhhhh…

Okay, I admit it: I can’t come up with a fifth thing missing from the trailer.

This may seem surprising, as I know it may seem like I’m just trying to find things wrong with this trailer just to be an ass, but I’m simply just a fangirl with super high expectations about, well, everything.

I’ve spent the last few months gathering intel about this film and getting hyped up about what I was reading,  and after viewing the trailer, I have found the written reveals to be far more exciting and captivating than the cinematic ones.

In fact, unless you’ve been completely oblivious to the fact that this film is being made, the trailer offers no real reveals. It’s plain, dry, and to the basic very point: there’s a wizard with a briefcase full of magical creatures in NYC and some probably, possibly, definitely got out.

So, perhaps I may find this trailer to be lackluster only because I already know quite a bit about the story, but I still do feel that it needs a little more than a waving wand a roaring briefcase to get the casual Harry Potter fan to care about this film. It’s not a great first impression, but make no mistake, I have absolute faith that this film is going to be incredible – it’s written by the goddess J.K. Rowling after all.

Let’s hope the next theatrical trailer is a stunner! If not, then you’ll definitely hear about it from me.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18, 2016.

Is there a 5th thing missing that you’d like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Orlando vs London: Where’s the Better ‘Harry Potter’ Experience?

When it comes to the magical world of Harry Potter tourism, two champions rise above the rest: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, England.

I had the pleasure of visiting both of these locations within the span of a year, and while one can argue that these locations couldn’t be any different (one is in a theme park, the other is a tour), I actually found many similarities between the two.

But which one is most worth a visit? I’ll give a run down of what each establishment has to offer (and supply my own photos!), then spell out the pros and cons of both before giving my final two cents on which one offers the absolute best Harry Potter experience.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

There are actually three locations of the Wizarding World (one in Tokyo and another currently under construction in Hollywood), but the first and most popular is located at Universal Studios Orlando in Florida.

Universal Studios Orlando expanded their Islands of Adventure area in 2010 to make room for their Harry Potter themed area, which just so happens to be a very realistic replica of Hogsmeade Village – snowcapped buildings and all.

Throughout the village you’ll find plenty of souvenir shops modeled after actual businesses in the film (such as Honeydukes), and their window fronts are compatible with interactive wands, which is a great perk if you’re traveling with children (or if you’re an overzealous adult, no judgement!). There are routine street performances, and there’s even a fully functioning Three Broomsticks restaurant that serves traditional English food (which I found to be delicious and incredibly well presented), butterbeer, and probably the best warm apple pie that I’ve ever tasted.

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And, of course, there is a replica of the most famous building in Harry Potter, Hogwarts castle itself.

#tbt I want to go back to Harry Potter World

A photo posted by megbrooks_x (@megbrooks_x) on

The castle is naturally not to scale (duh, that would be absurd), but it is still pretty large. The castle serves as a line queue for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a cinematic roller coaster that takes you on a Quidditch adventure gone horribly wrong. You won’t be bored waiting in line for this ride, either, as the line takes you through famous sites throughout the castle, and prerecorded holograms from the original cast pop up at nearly every turn to greet you. Plus, it’s air conditioned. When you’re done with Hogsmeade Village you can hop on an exact (but again, scaled down) replica of the Hogwarts Express and travel to Diagon Alley, which is located in the normal Universal Studios Orlando park. The train ride itself is extremely entertaining and has a lot of surprises and special effects, and they even decked it out so that you are actually sitting in booths like in the film, rather than in generic tram seats.

  Childhood dream come true.   A photo posted by megbrooks_x (@megbrooks_x) on

And just as a note, in order to access both areas via the Hogwarts Express you will unfortunately need to purchase Park to Park admission, rather than admission to just one section of Universal.

Like Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley is a near exact replica of the film set, and it includes plenty of  functional stores that are familiar to fans of the film, including Ollivanders and the Weasley’s joke shop. This section also is home to its own ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, which is yet another 3D cinematic ride.

A word of advice for travelers: Orlando is extremely crowded during peak travel times, so if Universal Studios Orlando is on your list of places to go, then I highly suggest planning your trip around typical school vacation schedules. I was fortunate enough to visit the park just before October of last year, and the maximum wait time I encountered was only 2 minutes!

But based on all the detail and care that was put into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I can say with absolute certainty that I will happily wait in line for even 3 hours just to be able to experience the magic of this park once more.

So if you’re a Potterhead like me, then this place is absolutely worth checking out!

PROS:

  • Visually stunning and exciting rides
  • A working Hogwarts Express
  • Fun gift shops
  • Butterbeer (frozen varieties available, because Florida) and authentic dining
  • Street shows
  • Pre-recorded content from the films stars
  • Domestic travel if you live in the United States

CONS:

  • The Orlando heat somewhat takes away from the illusion, as it’s strange to be looking at snow capped buildings when you’re in shorts and a tee.
  • American employees with ridiculous fake english accents, or no accent at all
  • Very crowded if you are visiting during peak tourism times (aka, when children are on vacation!)
  • You need to pay for Park to Park admission to gain access to both parks and the Hogwarts Express

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

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If you’re a Harry Potter devout, then the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is your temple.

This is the actual studio where the cast and crew filmed the Harry Potter franchise for over a decade, and today the location is basically a huge museum full of original sets, props and costumes from filming.

After entering the studio and going through the line queue, fans are first brought into a small theater where they are shown a pre-recorded video from the stars of Harry Potter, who introduce the location and share some insight into their time there. When the video ends, the tour group is then moved into different areas of the studio indoors, where you’re free to explore and check out everything.

20150911_111103You’ll see the Great Hall, Hagrid’s hut, the Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore’s office, etc. etc. You name it, they have a set for it. There even is a full set outdoors, which includes Privet Drive, Godric’s Hollow, Hagrid’s (well, Sirius’s) motor bike, and the Knight Bus. Perhaps the most notable props are the original Hogwarts Express and Hogwarts Castle, both of which make for an amazing photo op.

And speaking of photo ops, there are plenty of opportunities throughout the tour to get your photo taken with their green screen technology. You can soar above the Hogwarts Express in the Weasley’s Ford Anglia, Hop upon a broomstick and test out your flying skills, or get your photo taken on the train. Guests are able to try out the green screen technology totally free, but you do have the option of purchasing the photos later if you so please. It’s definitely good fun, but the only problem is that the attendants don’t always angle the cameras correctly – both my head and my sister’s heads were chopped off in the photos during the broom ride, rendering our photos totally useless (they did try to rectify the situation by allowing us to skip the lines to retake them, but we passed on that opportunity as we were short on time).

Butterbeer is readily available during the tour if you get thirsty, and you even have the option of purchasing one with a souvenir glass. But beyond chugging down some butterbeer, there really aren’t many dining options available on site except for a Starbucks and a small cafe.20150911_122837

As far as souvenirs go, there are a few small shops throughout the tour, but at the very end you’ll exit through a very large gift shop, which pretty much has all the Harry Potter swag you’ll ever need.

The full tour takes approximately 3 hours, so visitors are going to want to plan accordingly. You’re also going to want to purchase your tickets well in advance (at least a month), as they sell out extremely fast. Your ticket will be for a specific time slot, and only a certain amount of people are let into the tour per time slot, ensuring that it’s never over crowded once you get in there. Once inside, you’ll also have the option of purchasing an audio guide.

And just as a big FYI, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London isn’t actually in London, but rather in Leavesden, which is about an hour drive from Central London (without traffic). If you plan on staying in London, then I highly recommend booking a charter bus to bring you to the studio and back. I booked my visit to the studio through Evans Evans Tours, which included admission to the studio, complimentary hotel pickup (which many tours do not offer), and drop off at Victoria Station in Central London.

Visiting the studio is kind of an all day commitment, but hey, if you’re in London and you have the opportunity to go, I say absolutely take it. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is definitely an experience you won’t forget.

PROS:

  • Original sets, props, and costumes.
  • Prerecorded intro by the cast
  • Green screen activites
  • Authentic feeling experience
  • Controlled lines
  • Plenty of photo opportunities.
  • Butterbeer
  • Stand where Harry Potter stood!

CONS:

  • Need to purchase tickets well in advance
  • Limited food selection
  • Green screen experience is fun, but results aren’t always impressive.
  • Expensive and long trip for foreign travelers
  • Not ideally located if staying in London

Ultimate Decision:

To be fair, both of these Harry Potter tourist traps offer pretty much the same thing: incredible sets, fun activities for muggles, and butterbeer. The souvenirs that you will find in both of these locations are also EXACTLY the same (literally; the only difference is the establishment name branded on the products), so you wouldn’t be missing out on unique swag if you decide to go to one location over the other.

But honestly, if you’re stuck between choosing between these two, I’d tell you to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando. This location doesn’t have the real props like the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London does, but Universal did an INCREDIBLE job with their craftsmanship and attention to detail when making the Harry Potter expansion. Couple that with the live performances, adorable shops, an unforgettable visit to The Three Broomsticks, and you’ve got yourself an experience of a life time. Oh, and there’s rides.

It’s also way cheaper and easier to get to Universal Orlando if you live in the United States, but if you are by chance going to be in London, I’d absolutely recommend planning a full day to visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. There is absolutely nothing as magical as experiencing the world of Harry Potter in London, but it’s just not worth planning an entire vacation around.

I hope that all of you Potter fans are able to visit both of these amazing locations during your life time like I was, but if you can only choose one, then Orlando has my vote as the absolute best Harry Potter experience.

Which Harry Potter location would you prefer to visit? Let us know in the comments!

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First Images of ‘Fantastic Beasts’ & American Word for ‘Muggle’

Warner Bros. is finally revealing some of its well kept magic secrets!

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s logo reveal, we now have some official photos from the set of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!

These eight new photos from the set of the highly anticipated Harry Potter pre-quel (of sorts) come courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, who exclusively shared them online today in a preview of their latest print edition.

Check out the photos (along with the original captions) in our gallery:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s difficult to garner any real plot information about the film based on these photos, but take a close look at the seal that Eddie Redmayne’s character is standing on. The words inscribed upon it are ‘The Magical Congress of the United States of America’, which (thanks to EW), we now know is the American equivalent of the Ministry of Magic.

The MACUSA is located within the Woolworth Building in New York, which at this point in time would have been brand spankin new.

By the looks of it, the place is SUPER Art Deco, which isn’t too surprising as the film will take place in New York City in the 1920s.

We don’t know much about how the American wizarding world works, but we do know one thing: the American word for Muggle. According to Rowling, American’s refer to Muggles as No-Maj [no madge], which is short for no magic.

Aren’t we Americans so clever?

More insight into the story and world will be revealed when the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly hits newsstands on Friday!

Do you think that Fantastic Beasts will have the same magic as the Harry Potter franchise? Let us know in the comments! 

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Official Logo for ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Unveiled

Warner Bros. has released the official logo for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and needless to say  it’s pretty damn epic!

Check out the logo, which was shared on the film’s brand spankin’ new Twitter page earlier today, below:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a new film written by J.K Rowling that takes place in the Harry Potter universe decades before the boy who lived even, well, lived.

The film will star Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, and Ron Periman (to name a few), and is currently scheduled to be released on November 18 2016.

And for those of you that are bad at mental math (guilty), that’s more than a year. Ugh.

But fear not, GGW will keep you updated on all the latest news regarding the film!

Liking the artwork for the film so far? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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Colin Farrell Joins ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff Film

Things are about to get a whole lot more magical for Colin Farrell!

The True Detective star will be joining the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed today.

Farrell will play Graves, a wizard that main character Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) encounters in New York. We don’t know anything else about his role at the time, but with a name as ominous as Graves, there might be a chance that Farrell will be playing an antagonist in the film.

The Irish actor will join the already stellar cast of Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller and Alison Sudol.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a brand new story from J.K. Rowling that takes places 70 years before the events in Harry Potter, but it isn’t a prequel. The story follows a young wizard named Newt Scamander on his journey to find, well, magical beasts!

The film is currently scheduled for a November 2016 release.

Are you excited to see Colin Ferrell join the cinematic world of Harry Potter? let us know in the comments below!

 

 

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Celebrate J.K. Rowling’s Birthday with Her Best Tweets

Can you believe that J.K. Rowling is 50-years-old today?!

It’s so difficult not to love J.K. Rowling. She’s the woman who brought us freakin’ Harry Potter after all, the series that pretty much defined the childhood of every millennial out there (including my own).

But beyond pioneering the world of wizarding, Rowling has also become a leading voice on Twitter, completely slaying people engaging in social injustice and giving people everywhere a reason to love her beyond her literary prowess.

So, without further adieu, here our some of our favorite tweets from this lovely, lovely lady:

When she wasn’t afraid to have some light hearted fun with her fans:

…or give unruly muggles a complete smack down:

When she wasn’t afraid to show love to the LGBT community:

…and was even quick to defend it:

That time she proved that she knows the internet very well:

https://twitter.com/jk_rowling/status/573429165942272000/photo/1

When she apologized for killing off George’s brother:

…and proved that fictional tragedy even affects the author:

When she showed us all how modest she really is:

When she shared her other possible career choices:

And finally, that time, and every time since, that J.K. Rowling has made her fans feel like pure magic:

Do you love J.K Rowling as much as we do? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Harry Potter Play to Open Next Year!

Muggles rejoice! Harry Potter is getting the theatrical treatment!

J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany have joined epic forces to bring a brand new, never before told story about Harry Potter to the stage.

The play, titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, opens next summer at the Palace Theatre in London, with tickets going on sale this autumn.

Rowling announced the exciting news this morning (well, her morning) on her official website.

We don’t know much about the plot of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child yet, but we do know that it will be set when Harry was just a wee lad, still an infant in the ways of magic.

She actually teased the play a couple years ago (yup, this has been in production for a while!) in an official release, releasing these plot details:

This brand new play, which will be developed for the UK theatre, will explore the previously untold story of Harry’s early years as an orphan and outcast. Featuring some of our favourite characters from the Harry Potter books, this new work will offer a unique insight into the heart and mind of the now legendary young wizard.  A seemingly ordinary boy, but one for whom Destiny has plans…

Although it will tell the untold story of Harry’s early years, the play will NOT be a prequel, a fact which Rowling herself stressed on Twitter:

This means that the story will most likely take place during one of Harry’s summer breaks from Hogwarts, a time frame that was rarely explored in the books.

But don’t expect to hear many plot details from Rowling! She will be keeping tight lipped about the play until it premiers next summer in London.

There is no word yet on whether or not the show will ever expand to Broadway in New York City, but for the sake of Potter fans everywhere lets sure as hell hope so!

How do you feel about Harry Potter hitting the stage? Let us know in the comments! 

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Rowling Announces New Film

J.K. Rowling recently announced that she’s bringing back the magical world of goblins, witches, trolls, and spells in her screenwriting debut with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

The film will be produced by Warner Bros., the company responsible for all eight Harry Potter films, and will tell the story of Newt Scamander: author of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and famed magizoologist (a zoologist specializing in magical creatures).

And Potter fans: If the title of the film sounds familiar to you, it should! “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” was on Harry’s required reading list as a first year student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

But don’t expect to see the boy who lived in the upcoming saga.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” said Rowling in her official statement on her website. “Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

Daniel Radcliffe confirmed his iconic character’s absence in the film during a press event for the new Sky Arts series “A Young Doctor’s Notebook & Other Stories”, stating “I, needless to say, won’t be involved. I don’t know if any of us [the original cast] will be. I know nothing about it.”

A release date for the film has yet to be officially announced.

How do you feel about this rekindling of magic? Let us know in the comments below!

 
Image credit: examiner.com
 
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