Dover Boys ReAnimated Collab
If you have still not seen the 1942 Merrie Melodies cartoon The Dover Boys by Chuck Jones, go watch it immediately. And after watching it, watch the version from 2018 that was re-animated by various artists. The work of dozens of animators with completely different art styles went into it and it made me laugh even harder than the original version, which I didn’t think was possible. It is a very creative and at the same time loving homage to a classic short.
The Return of David Letterman
If you recall the list I made last year of my ten favorite late night comedians, David Letterman came in at number one. So when he announced he was returning for the first time since retiring from late night in 2015 on a Netflix series titled My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, it was one of my most anticipated series of 2018. Interviewing people such as Barack Obama, Jay-Z, Malala Yousafzai and Howard Stern, Letterman got to have more intimate conversations with even more creative freedom than he had on broadcast television.
Interestingly my favorite stand-up comedy special of 2018 is probably the one that is the least funny, but definitely the most important. In her Netflix special Nanette, Tasmanian comedian Hannah Gadsby takes you on a humorous yet emotional ride that not only describes her struggles but the struggles of many women, and she doesn’t hold back her feelings.
Cultural Shift at the Movies
As I described in my last blog, Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians were big deals when it came to the representation of minorities in Hollywood. Now that they have both made significant bank, it is time for Hollywood to maintain equal representation at the movies to keep up with their audience. Whatever the future looks like, let us not forget how much of a watershed moment 2018 was. For a long time, executives didn’t think movies that didn’t star white people could even sell tickets.
God of War
I’ve been playing video games with emotional storytelling and memorable characters since the Game Boy era, but God of War still surprised me with its dramatic father-son yarn. And oh yeah – it was also a very fun and challenging game.
2018 was a huge year for Spider-Man. Not only did he appear in Avengers: Infinity War, but he starred in his own game for the PS4 that many people are calling the best Spider-Man game (what Rocksteady’s Arkham Asylum was for Batman, Insomniac’s game is for Spider-Man) and in a more unlikely scenario, he headlined one of the greatest animated films ever made, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Some people are saying the movie is so good that it has a chance to beat Incredibles 2 in the Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars. Beating a Pixar movie directed by Brad Bird at the Oscars could be the greatest achievement in Sony Pictures Animation’s history.
The fantastic movie Won’t You Be My Neighbor? about the life of Fred Rogers (aka Mister Rogers) was my favorite documentary of the year. As much as I loved Michael Moore’s no-holds-barred analysis of the problems with America in Fahrenheit 11/9, which would have been my favorite documentary any other year, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? affected me on a more human level, and it shows us the kind of person we should aspire to be, especially in dark times like these.
Princess Bubblegum and Marceline
I don’t want to harp on that same-sex kiss in the series finale of Adventure Time too much with a long spiel because it only perpetuates that a kiss between two girls is unusual, but I also don’t want people to forget how unlikely this would have been just years ago. Back when the 2012 Nickelodeon series The Legend of Korra ended after 4 seasons, the creators revealed that Korra and Asami were in fact a couple. The fact that it was only subtly hinted at in the show is something that they regretted, as if they wanted to reveal it but their hands were tied. Even today TV shows aimed at young audiences drop the ball in LGBT representation, but Adventure Time proved that things are improving. Or as I like to say, becoming normal. Although most Adventure Time fans will point out that moment wasn’t very surprising if you’ve been keeping up with the series, which dropped hints that Bubblegum and Marceline have dated in the past.
2018 was the year of the crossover. Whether at the movies, on television or in video games. I still get a kick out of seeing Scooby-Doo meeting Sam and Dean Winchester in the CW series Supernatural, and the Hulu series Castle Rock combined many characters from the world of Stephen King. But Ready Player One and Ralph Breaks the Internet took crossovers to a whole new level. However, my two favorite crossovers would have to be the two biggest ones: Avengers: Infinity War and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Those two combined the most characters of all and made for such memorable experiences that I can’t even decide which one I liked more. So in the spirit of crossovers, both Infinity War and Smash are crossed over in a two-way tie for best crossover of 2018.
Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu
The most memorable trailer I’ve seen all year was the one for Pokémon: Detective Pikachu starring Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu. It is bizarre, hilarious and definitely looks like something I would have loved back in my Pokémon catching days. Nostalgia factor alone is enough to lure me in since I used to be such a huge fan of this franchise, but disregarding my Nintendo fandom, the movie just looks super interesting and I can’t wait to see it.