6 Bollywood Movies Everyone Needs To See To Get In On Bollywood Culture

6 Bollywood Movies Everyone Needs To See To Get In On Bollywood Culture

From old (1990s to 2000s) to new (mid-2000s and beyond), here are six films that are absolute must-watch Bollywood movies.

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If you've ever met me, you know that I love Bollywood movies. I love the actors, the acting, the overdramatic plot-lines, and the series of songs that serve as both musical accompaniment and essential plot devices to each story. My friends and family all know that if given the aux, I will either play Panic! At the Disco, The Script, or Bollywood songs. If you've ever wanted to get in on the Bollywood hype, here are 6 movies you need to watch to get almost every reference any Bollywood-obsessed person (read: me) will make.

1. "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge"

Released in 1995, this classic film tells the story of two people who meet abroad and hate each other when they first meet. Of course, through the course of missing trains in Europe, being forced to spend large amounts of time together, and getting drunk together, the two fall in love as they are about to leave back for India. The songs in this movie are arguably the most well known Bollywood songs through the generations of Bollywood fans, especially the thematic mandolin phrase that Shah Rukh Khan, the movie's hero and main actor, plays throughout.

2. "Kal Ho Na Ho"

This one is another one of Shah Rukh Khan's classics. "Kal Ho Na Ho" was released in 2003 and is set in New York City, featuring Preity Zinta, Saif Ali Khan, and Shah Rukh Khan as three friends who evolve into a love triangle-type scenario. The songs in this movie are timeless, and everyone I know always gets up to dance when "It's The Time to Disco" starts playing. This movie tells a story of romantic and familial love and sends the message that you don't have to be with someone to love them with every fiber of your being.

3. "Hum Tum"

"Hum Tum" was my favorite movie as a kid. My absolute all-time favorite actress, Rani Mukerji, stars in this 2004 film alongside Saif Ali Khan. This story follows the model "girl meets boy, girl hates boy, boy falls in love with girl" trope, but with a couple of twists (and some really good music) to keep the audience on their toes. This movie is set all over the world, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to watch a cute love story.

4. The "Dhoom" Franchise (Specifically "Dhoom 2")

Now onto the newer movies! The "Dhoom" franchise is a trilogy (as of now), revolving around a cop and his partner in the Mumbai Police Department. Out of the three movies in the series, my personal favorite is the second one, "Dhoom 2." One of my favorite actors, Hrithik Roshan, plays the star villain, and his brilliant acting, matched with his unparalleled dancing, makes this movie one you will not regret watching.

5. "Chennai Express"

Another Shah Rukh Khan movie! This one is a comedy, starring another one of my favorite actresses, Deepika Padukone. Set in India, "Chennai Express" tells a love story while incorporating parts of other classic movies with a bit of a ridiculously humorous twist (we love Bollywood movies that are parodies of other Bollywood movies). The songs in this movie range from dance bops to cute love songs, and this movie also touches upon the cultural differences that two people in love may face when trying to be together.

6. "Padmaavat"

I just recently watched "Padmaavat," a 2018 film starring Deepika Padukone, Shahid Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh. "Padmaavat" is a movie remake of an Indian epic that tells the story of Queen Padmavati and explains the philosophy behind Jauhar. "Padmaavat" was one of the highest grossing Bollywood movies to be released and the highest grossing Bollywood movie of 2018. Deepika Padukone does a stellar job in the role of Queen Padmavati and is a feminist icon as she plays the role of queen, lover, and warrior.

The world of Bollywood goes on far past these six films, but this is a good place to start for anyone who wants to watch something new, explore a new genre of film, or develop a new obsession. And don't worry if you don't speak Hindi—I don't and I watch these all the time! Subtitles are my best friend. Enjoy!

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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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5 Timeless Classic Film Underdogs We Love To Root For

Against all odds? I was never good at math anyway.

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You can't keep a good man down. Between a rock and a hard place, swimming upstream without a paddle, when you have no other place to go, you have the underdog. There is no one better to learn from when the options are close to none. Though their steps are small, their leaps have no bounds. Here are five underdogs we can't stop cheering on.

1. Luke Skywalker.

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Luke Skywalker's father wants to rule the galaxy with or without him, and distant relative Obi-Wan Kenobi just had to keep it a secret. Everyone goes through that hating-your-parent faze, but Luke never outgrew it. Living on a moisture farm on the deserts of Tatooine with smugglers and Tusken Raiders will force anyone to thirst for more. That deserves a swig of blue milk.

2. Marty McFly.

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Exploiting the very fabric of the space-time continuum to travel forward to the past only to travel back to the future. Sounds heavy. Marty McFly is a hip square that's a little rough around the edges, but he always gets that Kodak moment in the nick of time. Who gets to meet their parents before they're born? My friend in time, Future Boy, that's who. Or Calvin Klein or Clint Eastwood if you prefer.

3. Daniel LaRusso.

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The best defense is the best offense. That is, of course, if you decide to sweep the leg instead. Daniel LaRusso is the New Jersey newcomer to California and he's made some friends but more enemies. When you're the new kid, it's hard avoiding rumors and keeping and starting a reputation. Nothing like a little karate to kick start your life. Wax up some more cars, LaRusso!

4. Rocky Balboa.

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Another Italian, this time from the humble streets of Philadelphia. Rocky Balboa taught us that life will knock you down, but you decide to get back up and to roll with the punches. Life is more than black and blue though. Sometimes it's red, white, and blue, or yellow, or Russian, but no matter what, even after the final bell, there's a champion in all of us. Going the distance, proving yourself for yourself, that's the true spirit of an underdog.

5. Rudy Ruettiger.

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Faith without work is dead. No one knows this better than Rudy Ruettiger. Playing for Notre Dame started as a dream, then it became a goal. The mark of a good athlete is having a good an academic standing. The Irish get a bad rep, what with all the drinking and big families, but leave it to Rudy here to dispel the myths and fulfill his dream. In life, luck is only half of it.

Underdogs don't get the respect they deserve until they learn to respect themselves. When they do, they return that respect twofold. Rock the boat, but don't fall overboard.

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