Friday, December 31, 2021

10 Delightful Things that Happened In 2021

 This year hasn't been the year everyone wanted. We emerged from the pandemic only to find ourselves... Well, still in the pandemic, and the complications from events have not helped the overall situation. Despite this, some roses have managed to peak out through the gloom of 2021 and today I want to focus on those, because what we focus on is what will grow.

10: Disney's Animated Encanto and Luca

Disney did not slouch this year with it's animated fare. First giving us Luca, the touching story about a sea monster who wants to be human told through a beautiful friendship and impressive visuals (Does anyone remember when Pixar cut a scene from The Incredibles because they didn't want to mess with hair underwater?). Following it for the holidays was the musical Encanto, an enchanting film about a magical family with music by Lin Manuel-Miranda, the talent that brought us Hamilton. Despite having no children of our own, the Encanto soundtrack has been all but on loop at our house. 

9: Marvelous World of Marvel

I don't want this post to be Top 10 Things that Came Out on Disney+ This Year, unless they're going to start kicking over some sponsorship money, so I'm just going to say that Marvel had an excellent year and take a chance to plug my two favorites: Wandavision and What If? The fact that Marvel can cater even to my esoteric nerddoms like all-powerful magic beings and multiverse-level threats shows that Marvel truly does have something for everyone. 

Before I move past Disney let me also just mention: 


Olaf Presents

Muppet's Haunted Mansion


Star Wars: Visions

8: Pokemon Games

This year we got three great Pokemon games (Two if you count Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl as the same game), and each one gave hardcore nostalgia fans something we wanted. For fans of the fourth generation we got the afforementioned Brilliant Diamond and Shiny Pearl, and for N64 fans we got New Pokemon Snap , a remake of the classic game with about a billion new Pokemon. The franchise is alive and well, and any lingering doubts will probably burn away next month with the new Zelda: Breath of the Wild inspired Pokemon Legends: Arceus. 

7: The Snyder Cut

As a DC fan it's been hard watching Marvel clock my favorite heroes in the box office, but this year we saw DC make one of its strongest strikes with The Justice League: Snyder Cut. A cinematic masterpiece featuring the original superhero team up. The film is rivaled only by Joker and The Dark Knight (I might be a Joker fan) in quality. It's no wonder cries of #RestoreTheSnyderverse can still be heard throughout the internet. 

6: Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Happy Home Paradise

Animal Crossing: New Horizons got a lot of us through the roughest part of the pandemic, and became the 15th best selling game in history according to Wikipedia.  As a farewell to the game Nintendo released a $30 DLC which was basically an entirely new game with all the cute animals our little gamer hearts could take. Most importantly: Wardell. 

5: Loop Hero
It's hard to review games on our blog, since they tend to take 40+ hours these days and we have jobs and families, but they're are a few games, including the several already mentioned and the ones that will be mentioned, that just had to be played. Loop Hero is an indie darling that absolutely needs to be played to be understood. You rebuild a destroyed world almost down to one molecule at a time, all while running around a constant loop of ever increasing intensity. Play it, if for nothing else so then you can be like the cool kids. 

4: The Suicide Squad

Controversial opinion I know since this movie is a hard R, but anything that releases with Harley Quinn or an adorable CG monster is my jam, and this had both. The film was a fun anarcic ride through a little slice of the DC universe and I rewatched it more times than I care to admit before it left HBO Max. Also if anyone knows where to get a King Shark Funko Pop that's not ridiculously priced hit me up. 

3: Rick and Morty Season 5

Another controversial show, but one that needs to be discussed: 


Season 5 gave us a complete picture of Rick's backstory, the reason that he's the angry antisocial drunk that we've all come to love to hate. We had a hint in season 3 that Rick watched his world's Beth and Diane killed by another Rick in order for him to be motivated to invent the portal gun. We then get Rick going on a multiverse killing spree, at first for vengeance but later out of nothing else to live for. It broke our hearts and explained everything. 

Wubba lubba dub dub. 

2: Monster Hunter: Rise

That wasn't an order sit down. 

The latest in the long running Monster Hunter franchise was as usual a delight to play, with even more giant monsters to battle and turn into fashion accessories. It's odd how the gameplay loop of "Kill giant monster, skin giant monster, go after next monster wearing the last monster's skin" never gets old. Plus in this one you can have a cat and a dog as your companions. MULTIPLAYER IS DEAD IF YOU HAVE THEM! 

1: More Temples Reopening

Oh, did you think they would all be geek related? 

Nothing has warmed my heart more than stopping at my local ice cream place to find it packed with young people in white shirts and modest dresses. It always puts a smile on my face as I get back in the car and look for somewhere less crowded (I'm not waiting in that line!). It means that temple work is resuming in earnest. One of the darkest moments in the pandemic for me was the closing of the temples, a sure sign that things were very much not okay. But now the work of God is happening again and the world can start to truly come back to life. We may not be back to normal yet, but we're slowly but surely moving that way. 


No comments:

Post a Comment