10 Things That I Enjoyed About Watching 'Creed II'

10 Things That I Enjoyed About Watching 'Creed II'

You'll be racing to renew your gym membership after watching this movie.

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Warning Spoilers are going to be in this article review.

So this movie has been on my watchlist for the whole year and when the trailer dropped, I was ready to go reserve my seat at the movies. I went to see Creed 2 during Thanksgiving break twice in different theaters and the second time, the power went out right in the third act before the second fight is about to start. Thank god they gave us all free tickets to use to see the movie again once the power came back on. The first time I saw it with one of my friends and she had never seen Michael B. Jordan or the first Creed movie. When I tell you the thirst was real, I can't even go into detail.


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If you haven't watched the first Creed movie or seen any of the Rocky movies, I'll give you a recap. Rocky was a boxer and his best friend, Apollo Creed, was killed in the ring by Ukraine boxer Ivan boxer. Adonis is Apollo's secret child who was born right after his death. Thirty years later, Adonis wants Rocky to train him to become a boxer and escape his father's shadow. Now in Creed 2, Adonis faces off with Viktor Drago, the son of Ivan Drago, in a revenge-style match. Caught up to speed, cool. Now let's get into this review and the best parts of this movie.

1. This was more a "Creed" movie than a Rocky movie

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The first Creed movie was more of a continuation of the Rocky movies. In this sequel, the story of Adonis Creed is the focus and Rocky is more of a supporting character but still brings the same heart and wisdom he has been giving for the last seven movies. Adonis is not only challenged in this movie professionally but also personally as he becomes a husband and a father while going into this fight and recovering from the aftermath of it.

2. The Dragos are actual villains with a score to settle.

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The beef between the Dragos and the Creeds is real. Not only do we see them behind the scenes of these fights but also see what happened after Ivan Drago killed Apollo Creed and lost to Rocky Balboa. He lost the respect of his country of Russia, his wife left him, and he was basically exiled. He raised his son Viktor to be a fighter and was constantly putting pressure on him to be the best fighter in the world. Basically, he lives vicariously through his son and all that Viktor wants is to have the love and approval of his father. You actually start to feel sorry them throughout this movie even though they're the villains.

3. The Rocky and Adonis Father/Son Relationship

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The surrogate father-son relationship between Rocky and Adonis is powerful and a fan favorite between men and their own sons. We see there is a rift between them when Adonis takes the fight with Drago against Rocky's wishes. He refuses to train him in fear of him dying in the ring like his father Apollo. We see them later in the film have a heart to heart moment when Rocky takes a three-day train from Philly to Los Angelas, something he never does, to be there for his boy and becomes the godfather to Adonis's daughter.

4. Michael B Jordan gives an Oscar worthy performance.

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Michael B. Jordan has been having the best year and he's closing out 2018 with his most iconic role to date. Adonis Creed is on top of the world but when he's challenged by Drago, he does a lot of self-exploration and evaluation of himself. He spotlights how the pressure of living up to the legacy of his father and having his own legacy he made on his own. We see him recovery physically and mentally after his first fight with Drago. He was motivated through anger and ego but when the second fight comes around, he's motivated by the people in his corner. His surrogate father, his mom, his fiance, they all in the ring with him during this fight.

5. Tessa Thompson is more than just the token boxer's girlfriend.

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Tessa Thompson took more control over the role of Bianca this second go round. She looked to artists such as Jill Scott and Rihanna for inspiration for her character. Bianca isn't just another girlfriend on the sideline who complains why her man isn't at home with her. She rides or dies for her man and checks him when he goes off the deep end all while she has her own rising career as a singer. My favorite scene is when she sings one of her songs during Adonis's walk into the second fight. I was clapping and yelled "Wifey Goals" in the theater. We also see how her progressive hearing loss is taking a toll on not just her life but her relationship with Adonis and their new family. She has her own goals and ambitions that she wants to achieve and I loved seeing that.

6. Adonis and Bianca are Relationship Goals.

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Having Black love in a mainstream movie just warms my heart. Michael and Tessa wanted to expand the story of their characters and give the audience a millennial love story. In the first movie, we see them have a meet-cute moment, an unofficial first date, they support each other through their personal struggles while they pursue their dreams. In the sequel, we see them get engaged, go through setbacks and come ups, all while expecting their first child. There were so many moments watching you think "this is the breaking point. Is she going to leave? He's gonna go off the deep end." But that isn't the case. They got each other's backs and by each other's side through the good times and bad as if they're already married.

7. Baby Creed gives you all the feels

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We all knew from the trailers that we were going to get a Baby Creed. The few scenes this baby has is still so important to the story and the characters. Baby Amara inherits her mother's progressive hearing loss and is born deaf. This is a gut punch to the heart to both her parents and the audience. We see Bianca be devastated and brave during her daughter's hearing test, having the immediate instinct to protect their daughter. Another great scene is when Adonis is trying to get the baby back to sleep in the gym and he breaks down and finally releases his emotions that he had been keeping in for so long. He finally holds his daughter and is able to soothe her to sleep, finally gaining the strength to fight again.

8. The training montages are phenomenal

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The training montages Adonis endures in preparation for the 2nd fight is insane. Rocky takes him out to the desert where they basically call "The Gate To Hell". He tested to his limits and wants to give up but he keeps fighting and finds the determination. He goes from regular fighter to full-blown boxing machine.

9. The boxing scenes are epic

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We get two main fights between Adonis and Viktor. We see Adonis be brutally pummeled by Drago with so many hits. Viktor loses due to being disqualified for hitting Adonis as he was on the ground. The second fight, Adonis is stronger and has a different motivation this 2nd round. He TKO's Viktor twice and ends up winning the fight and kept his championship title.

10. The meaning of family is the main plot.

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This whole movie has a central theme, family. You see father and son relationships, love for your children through generations, the love and support of your partner. It runs so deep in the movie and it wraps the whole movie in a perfect bow at the end where you see Adonis visit his father's grave for the first time and introduce him to his fiance and his daughter.

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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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The Original Disney Princesses Are Just As Important To Young Children As The New Ones Are

The animated princesses have paved the way for children in ways the live-action films sometimes can't.

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Disney Princesses, particularly the animated ones, have somewhat of a stereotype built around them.

When people think of Disney Princesses, they usually think of the classic princesses from the 1930s through the 1950s, the Golden Age of Disney. They think of Snow White's high-pitched voice, Cinderella's passive nature, and Aurora's tendency to waltz through the woods singing a pretty little song. These were the original princesses, and they definitely started a trend of delicate characters who aren't entirely helpless, but they also aren't too willing to advocate for themselves and fight for what they want.

The Disney Renaissance, however, brought about a whole new world (yes, that was intended) of Disney Princesses.

In 1989, Disney kicked off their animation Renaissance with the release of The Little Mermaid, a film which introduced an entirely new Disney Princess. Ariel was stubborn, got into serious trouble at times, was endlessly curious and amazed by the world around (and above) her, and was more than willing to fight for what she wanted. She still maintained her status as a princess, but that wasn't her only personality trait.

And the stereotypes kept breaking more and more with the introduction of two new princesses, Belle and Jasmine. They both followed Ariel's example of being more than just a pretty face in their own ways. Belle was the most beautiful girl in her village, but she didn't allow that to define her. She was well-read, confident, loyal, and desired nothing more than adventure. Jasmine, on the other hand, was the daughter of a Sultan and was forced to choose a prince to marry. But she wanted no part in this, and she set out to find herself and married the man she chose for herself. She was fiercely independent and didn't let anyone stand in her way.

I recently read an article about how the live-action remakes of Disney films are giving Disney princesses like Belle and Jasmine entirely new roles and how they're better role models for girls than ever before. While I do agree that young girls who go to see the remakes of Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast in theaters will definitely have good role models to look up to, we really shouldn't be dismissing the original princesses, either.

These new Disney princesses are not replacements for the old ones. Just because the old princesses don't have as much of a "strong independent woman" complex about them doesn't mean they still can't teach important lessons to young children. Yes, the original Belle and Jasmine may not have been as outspoken as they are in the new remakes, but they always had a quiet strength about them and a certainty in who they were. This is just as good of a lesson to teach young children.

One of the most important lessons a child can learn is to be themselves in all parts of life, no matter how many people may think they're strange. Both versions of Belle and Jasmine teach this lesson, but as we start to move into an era where children may grow up with the remakes instead of the originals, it's also extremely important that they learn the lessons the original Belle and Jasmine taught us in the first place. Sometimes, a person doesn't need to be incredibly outspoken in order to be who they are. Sometimes, all they need is a good head on their shoulders, a joyful heart, and quiet confidence in themselves to live the life they've always dreamt of.

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