15 Magical Lessons From The Best 'Harry Potter' Characters

15 Magical Lessons From The Best 'Harry Potter' Characters

These magical lessons will be sure to stick with you for life.

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J.K. Rowling's creation of an incredible magical world seems so much more real than it does fiction. The characters she created teach countless amounts of lessons to those reading the books and watching the movies. Although there is so much more to learn from so many other characters, these 15 have shown me things I intend to keep with me for the rest of my life.

1. Harry Potter - Bravery isn't always easy.

After losing his parents, being tied to Voldemort for his whole life, and constantly being named as "The Boy Who Lived," Harry Potter never lost hope of a life without evil. He always put on a brave face and never showed any sign of fear when encountering the Dark Lord.

True bravery lies within those who put others before themselves, and that is always what Harry did, despite the struggles that he went through.

2. Ron Weasley - Loyalty is essential in true friendship.

Since the start of their friendship, Ron's loyalty to Harry never faded. He defends Harry, goes to great lengths to keep him safe, and even risks death a few times to help his friend defeat Voldemort. Besides all that, Ron opens his home to Harry and gives him the sense of family that he never had.

Loyalty is what helps a friendship grow, and Ron proves this to be true.

3. Hermione Granger - Never underestimate yourself.

Although it's rare to see Hermione struggle, she never doubts herself when there is a problem in need of solving. Having confidence in your brains and in who you are is essential to living a fulfilling life. She is always the key that Ron and Harry need whenever they're on a mission.

You can do anything you set your mind to, and Hermione is always reminding us of that.

4. Ginny Weasley - Women can be powerful, too.

Although Ginny falls last in the line of the Weasley siblings, she is also the only girl. She was possessed by Voldemort in her first year at Hogwarts, an experience that made her grow to be both strong and courageous.

Her bold personality and excellent wizard skills make her a strong role model to any young girl reading the books or watching the movies. In addition, she is a kick-ass Quidditch player. Is there anything she can't do?

5. Albus Dumbledore - Experiences, good or bad, shape who we are.

Dumbledore teaches Harry countless amounts of life lessons. However, Dumbledore gained his wisdom and was able to pass it on because of the experiences he went through within his lifetime. He taught Harry you learn something from every moment in life, no matter if it's good or bad.

"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

6. Severus Snape - Learn to move on from the past.

It may seem that Snape is just a grumpy, old professor, but in reality, he struggles with some darkness from his past. Although he still holds on to those upsetting memories, he learned to move on from his troubling past at Hogwarts and with Lilly Potter in order to look after Harry when he's at school.

Snape showed us that it's difficult to let go of struggle, but it's possible to move on.

7. Fred and George Weasley - Don't take life too seriously.

Between all of the troubles going on at Hogwarts, these two were always there to lighten the mood and remind everyone that laughter is needed in order to get through life. Their antics helped Harry when he was in trouble, especially when they gave him the Maurader's Map to get into Hogsmeade.

Let's not forget about the time they let off fireworks in the Great Hall in an attempt to defy Umbridge and her absurd policies. Truly iconic.

8. Neville Longbottom - Never give up.

Since his first year at Hogwarts, Neville was always at the bottom of the class list. He never did well in any of his classes, besides Herbology, but that didn't stop him from returning to Hogwarts each year. Neville never gave up on himself and learned so much through his years of schooling.

When he killed Nagini, Voldemort's snake and the last horcrux, it proved just how far he had come as a person and a wizard.

9. Rubeus Hagrid - Always look at the bright side.

No matter the problem Harry, Hermione, or Ron had, Hagrid was always there to assist them in finding a solution. He offered advice to help them see the good side of the issue, and he was always a loyal friend they were able to turn to. Hagrid always saw the best in each wizard, witch, and creature, and he was a bright light in the times of darkness.

10. Luna Lovegood - Accept who you are and be yourself.

Luna was never afraid to let her freak flag fly. Despite other students constantly making fun of her appearance and behavior, she was never one to lack confidence in who she was. Luna becomes a great friend to Harry and reminded him to always be his true self, even if that comes with embracing his dark past.

11. Draco Malfoy - People aren't always born evil.

Because he was raised by two death eaters, Malfoy grew up surrounded by evil, which is why he is constantly tormenting Harry and his friends. It isn't until the characters are older that you discover Malfoy has an internal struggle with both evil and good. This is especially apparent when Voldemort gives him a mission to kill Dumbledore, and he struggles with what to do.

People are a product of their own environment, and Malfoy didn't have a choice in what that was.

12. Sirius Black - Those who love us never really leave us.

Harry has dealt with loss his entire life, and when Sirius, Lupin, Tonks, and countless others die at the hands of the Dark Lord and his followers, it becomes harder for Harry to make sense of death. Sirius reminds him that those we lose can always be found in our hearts, and although they aren't there physically, they are always close to us in spirit.

13. Lord Voldemort - A life without love isn't worth living.

After a long fight with Voldemort, Harry discovers that he has an upper hand over him because he knows and experiences what love is like. Voldemort isn't able to feel or understand what love and friendship mean, turning his life into something so meaningless. Sharing those feelings with others is what life is all about, and it's why Harry trumps the Dark Lord in the end.

14. The Dursleys - Never discriminate someone because of something you don't understand.

Throughout Harry's entire time at Hogwarts, the Dursley family shames him for his magical powers and they treat him like a piece of dirt. They refused to admit that Harry was a wizard before he got his letter to attend Hogwarts because they believe that those who can produce magic are freaks.

The Dursleys are unable to understand what Harry can do, so they are always judging him and his abilities.

15. Dobby - Friendship requires sacrifice.

Dobby appears to Harry before his second year at Hogwarts to warn him of the potential danger occurring at the school. In order to do so, Dobby betrays the family he is enslaved to so Harry can be safe. He does this countless times and even puts his life on the line to save Harry's life later on.

True friendship means risking it all for the ones you love, and Dobby was never afraid to do so.

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The 9 Eras Of Disney Animation

The evolution of Disney animation over the years
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As a kid I always loved movies, and no movies did it quite for me like Disney movies did. Whether they were old or new, there was something about Disney movies that just spoke to me. The music the characters, the stories-- they all helped to shape some of my fondest childhood memories and are responsible for many of my interests and beliefs today. But what I always found most interesting is the history behind these films, how the time they came out influenced their themes and meanings. So today I’ll be exploring just that-- the nine eras of Disney animations.

1923-1928: The Silent Era and the Origins of Disney

The history of Disney begins with the Silent Era. In 1923, Walt Disney, working for Laugh-O-Gram studios out of Kansas City, Missouri, created a short film called Alice’s Wonderland, which would serve as the first of the Alice Comedies. After the company declared bankruptcy, Walt moved to Hollywood, where he and his brother Roy formed Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios. They worked out a deal with Winkler Productions to produce the Alice Comedies and eventually, in 1926, moved their company to Hyperion Street, where it was renamed Walt Disney Studios. After the decline of the Alice Comedies, Walt created his first ever original character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and produced 26 short comedies starring the character before a falling out with Charles Mintz, who had by 1928 taken over Winkler Productions. Legally, Oswald belonged to Mintz and his company, so he took the character and four of Disney’s animators and started a new animation company, Snappy Comedies.

1928-1937: Pre-Golden Age and Mickey Mouse

The Pre-Golden Age saw Walt recovering from the loss of Oswald and also set the stage for Disney as we know it today. In 1928, Walt, in collaboration with Ub Iwerks, created a new character that he originally named Mortimer Mouse. However, his wife didn’t like the name, so he renamed him Mickey (I think we can all agree this name is much better). Mickey made his first appearance in 1928 in a test screening of the short film called Plane Crazy. However, the film failed to pick up a distributor, so Walt went back to the drawing board and created Steamboat Willie, which was released in 1928. The film was an immediate success due to the fact that it was the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound and established Mickey as the mascot of Disney. After this, a series of Mickey Mouse cartoons were released. This series also saw the introduction of many Disney staple characters, such as Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy. Donald Duck, another iconic Disney character, first appeared in Disney’s Silly Symphonies, a series of animated short films that were popular for their innovative use of Technicolor. With this, Walt had successfully bounced back from the hardships of the Silent Era and set the stage for the Golden Age of Disney.

1937-1942: The Golden Age

The Golden Age of Disney began in 1937 with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The film was the first full-length feature film to use traditional animation and was an immediate commercial success, establishing Disney as one of the leaders of animated filmmaking. Other films that were released during this time include Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo, and Bambi. Although all of these films would go on to become considered classics, at the time of their release only Snow White and Dumbo were commercially successful. What made this time considered the Golden Age wasn’t the commercial success of these films though, but rather the trends they created in terms of Disney filmmaking. Snow White was the first of the fairytale-based movies that Disney is known for and established the “Disney Princesses,” Pinocchio started the concept of taking well-known literature and turning it into a child-friendly film and Bambi explored the possibilities of making a movie through the eyes of a non-human character. Other Disney staples such as exaggerated villains, the use of music and prominent, comedic sidekicks were first introduced during this time as well. Another key characteristic of the films of this time was the inclusion of many dark scenes, which were usually sandwiched between upbeat and light scenes in order to create a mood shift. A similar, toned down version of this techniques would also be used in later films.

1943-1949: The Wartime Era

With the U.S.’s entry into World War II, Disney Studios faced lower budgets and a smaller team of animators as it entered the Wartime Era. Also known as the Package Era, the films of this time included Saludos Amigos, The Three Caballeros, Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, Melody Time, and The Adventures of Icabod and Mr. Toad. What made these films distinct from the Golden Age films is that instead of telling a single, continuous story, these films consisted of multiple short films within each. These films are largely ignored and widely unpopular, with fans criticizing them due to their lack of consistency and tone in each short. The Wartime Era also Disney Studios producing wartime propaganda, which included anti-Nazi commercials and flyers encouraging Americans to support the war.

1950-1967: The Silver Age and the Death of Walt Disney

Disney’s Silver Age, also known as the Restoration Age saw the return of many of the trends set forth by the Golden Age of Disney. Films released during this time include Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, and The Jungle Book. What made these films distinct from its predecessors was the use of more ornate backgrounds and softer colors. Furthermore, the Silver Age also saw the use of lighter themes balanced with more complex characters, creating many of the well-known characters that are still considered fan-favorites today. The Jungle Book was the last film that Walt himself worked on before his death in 1966, and the movie’s release marked the end of the Silver Age

1970-1988: The Dark Age and the Decline of Disney

Hope you guys have a flashlight ‘cos we’re about to enter a dark place, or rather a dark age (see what I did there?). The Dark Age of Disney, also known as the Bronze Age, saw Disney Studios struggle to find their footing without Walt there to hold the reins. This was a time of trial-and-error in which the animators shied away from traditional storytelling tropes seen in the Golden and Silver Ages and instead shifted toward darker and more secular stories. Films released during this time include The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The Rescuers, The Fox and the Hound, The Black Cauldron, The Great Mouse Detective, and Oliver and Company. With the exception of The Great Mouse Detective, which was both critically and commercially successful, most of these films only received little success, with The Black Cauldron being a box office flop. These films lacked Walt’s imagination and were criticized for only being intended to bring in money. The greatest criticism of these films was their departure from traditional animation and their use xerography. This saved both time and money, allowing animators to directly print their drawings onto cells. However, this process did have its limits and initially only black lines were possible using this method. As a result, films during this era are known as “Scratchy Films” because of the heavy black lines in their animation. While these films weren’t initially successful upon release, many have gone on to become cult classics. Also, the Disney Dark Age helped set the foundation for the pinnacle of Disney animation

1989-199: The Disney Renaissance and Birth of the Millennials

If you’re a millennial like me, then most of your favorite Disney moments and films likely come from the Disney Renaissance. The Disney Renaissance saw a return to the musical fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Golden and Silver Age while at the same time expanding on many of the themes and techniques introduced in the Bronze Age. Films released during this time include The Little Mermaid, The Rescuers Down Under, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Mulan, and Tarzan. These films were also the first films that Howard Ashman and Alan Menken worked on, both of whom are key elements to Disney’s musical success. The films during this time also had many important themes that would influence the current views of millennials; Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame taught us not to judge people by their appearances; Mulan and Hercules taught us the importance of making sacrifices; and Aladdin taught us that there’s nothing wrong with being ourselves and that the circumstances of our birth don’t have to dictate who we grow up to be.

2000-2009: Post-Renaissance Era

Also known as the Second Dark Age, the Post-Renaissance Era was unique in that whereas previous eras were marked with having a common theme about them, this era was defined as a time in which Disney tried their hands at new methods in storytelling, similar to the Bronze Age. Films from this time include Fantasia 2000, Dinosaur, The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Lilo and Stitch, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear, Home on the Range, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, and Bolt. These films explored new storytelling elements marketed towards kids and more mature themes marketed towards the kids that had grown up during the Disney Renaissance that were now teenagers and young adults. While Lilo and Stitch was a commercial success, spawning several sequels and a T.V. show, most of the other films released during this time only received moderate success. This was in part due to the fact that they also had to contend with huge movie franchises like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Despite not doing as well as their predecessors, the films released during the Second Dark Age are well known for their innovation. Dinosaur was the first Disney film that used CGI animation, which would become a popular element of this era’s successor.

2010-present: Marvel, Star Wars, and the Second Disney Renaissance

Just as a Renaissance followed the first Disney Dark Age, a Second Disney Renaissance followed this Second Dark Age. Also known as the Revival Era, this era marked a return to the fairy-tale storytelling seen in the Gold and Silver Ages as well as the first Disney Renaissance. During this time, Disney bought the rights to Marvel and Lucasfilm, meaning they no longer had to worry about trying to market their films toward older audiences since the MCU and Star Wars did that for them. Films released during this time include Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Winnie the Pooh, Wreck it Ralph, Frozen, and Big Hero 6. Like the first Disney Renaissance, the Second Disney Renaissance built off several things introduced by its predecessor. Tangled, for example, used the CGI techniques first used by Dinosaur. Most of the films of this era have been met with great popularity, with Frozen being the highest grossing animated film of all time and Big Hero 6 being the highest audience-rated film of this time period.

And there you have it, the nine eras of Disney animations. I hope you guys enjoyed reading about the history of Disney and its growth through the years. I personally loved writing this article and look forward to writing more like this one.

Cover Image Credit: Travel and Leisure

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What Movie Musical You Should Watch, According To Your Zodiac Sign

With recent releases such as "The Greatest Showman" and "Mary Poppins Returns," movie musicals seem to be all the rage right now. So, which one should you watch according to your zodiac sign?

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Two of my favorite things are movie musicals and astrology. Thus, I decided to use my knowledge and create a list of which musical is best for each zodiac sign.

1. ARIES: "Newsies"

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"Newsies" is the perfect movie musical for the outspoken and hardworking Aries. Aries are natural-born leaders who are very insistent on getting their way and are also very faithful to their friends. With such faithful, driven and ambitious characters, as well as the overall theme of learning to not let anything get in the way of your goals, "Newsies" is a great watch for any Aries.

2. TAURUS: "Mamma Mia!"

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If you're a Taurus, you're probably very easygoing and love to relax and is there a better way to relax than to be whisked away to Greece while listening to ABBA's greatest hits? A Taurus will love this fun and flirty movie musical, as well as appreciate the independence and confidence of its characters. So to any Taurus, next time you want to relax and indulge, just turn on Netflix and watch "Mamma Mia!"

3. GEMINI: "The Greatest Showman"

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Geminis have a constant need for change — they hate dullness, repetition and routine. Also, this sign tends to be superficial and exaggerating, which fits perfectly with the circus aspect of "The Greatest Showman." But Geminis are natural-born entertainers and this high-tempo and lively musical will surely satiate their need for adventure and excitement.

4. CANCER: "Anastasia"

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Home and family mean everything to Cancers, so "Anastasia" is a perfect watch for this emotional and compassionate water sign. This movie tells the story of a girl finding her true family and going on a "journey to her past" (*cue song*). With their need to be loved and appreciated, as well as their interest in history, Cancers will enjoy this story about finding where you truly belong.

5. LEO: "Chicago"

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Leos are one of the most powerful and determined signs and are very extravagant and charismatic. "Chicago" is about two showgirls that, despite committing murder, find themselves in the spotlight (something that they absolutely love). Similarly, Leos love to be treated like a celebrity and hate being ignored, so "Chicago" makes the perfect watch for the theater-loving Leos.

6. VIRGO: "Beauty and the Beast"

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Virgos love to draw in people with their fascinating stories and a major part of "Beauty and the Beast" is the importance of individual life paths. Virgos are intelligent, loyal and passionate like Belle, but can also be dominating and bossy like the Beast. And because of this movie's central theme of self-improvement, it makes a perfect watch for any Virgo.

7. LIBRA: "Hairspray"

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The most Libras want out of life is harmony and to see all hate and injustice eliminated. Behind the catchy tunes and colorful '60s atmosphere, "Hairspray" has a more serious tone with the issue of discrimination and racism. In addition to the fight for equality, this movie is perfect for the romantic Libra because of its theme about finding love above all odds.

8. SCORPIO: "Les Misérables"

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Scorpios are often misjudged because of their unwavering strong nature when in reality, they have strong and deep emotions. Like the young revolutionists in "Les Misérables," Scorpios face their problems with control, certainty and concentration, but underneath, they are fueled with strong emotion. The driven, passionate, truth-seeking and independent characters of this movie make it a perfect fit for any Scorpio.

9. SAGITTARIUS: "Funny Face"

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This movie musical has everything a Sagittarius needs in life: freedom, travel and philosophy. In "Funny Face," Audrey Hepburn portrays a character who goes to France to learn about philosophy while exploring and meeting new people along the way. It's an optimistic and feel-good musical that will surely entertain a Sagittarius.

10. CAPRICORN: "La La Land"

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Some of the most ambitious and goal-oriented people are actors, musicians and Capricorns. "La La Land" is the perfect movie for this earth sign because it demonstrates the hardships and discipline it takes to achieve your goals. With characters that are determined and driven for success, this musical will please any Capricorn.

11. AQUARIUS: "Enchanted"

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An Aquarius will do anything that they can to help people and are constantly striving to make the world a better place. "Enchanted" is about an animated princess who finds herself in the real world, where she does as much as she can to help the people around her. With fairytale-like characters that are loyal, charming and friendly, this movie matches perfectly with the characteristics of an Aquarius.

12. PISCES: "Moulin Rouge!"

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If "Pisces" was a movie, it would be "Moulin Rouge!" With its combined elements of music, romance, creativity and of course, a bohemian revolution, this film provides a perfect escape for this water sign. The emotional, delicate and naïve Pisces will love every aspect of this romantic tragedy and will without a doubt be crying by the end.

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