if you haven't watched the smash bros collab, you definitely should, cuz this writeup won't really make sense if you don't: https://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/723282
between this collab and the DBZ collab before it, @IvanAlmighty and @PhantomArcade have managed to pull off some really impressive feats as collab organizers. it goes without saying that successfully bringing people together to make 30+ minutes (let alone 45 minutes) of animation is nothing to scoff at, but what's even more worthy of praise is how many of those minutes i spent being genuinely entertained. this, to me, is actually really refreshing.
quick trip to 10 years in the past, for a little perspective: back in my day (xd), there was this big debate on NG between people who made video game parodies and people who didn't, to the point where people actually made an audio documentary about it. this probably sounds pretty dumb hearing about it now, especially since nowadays we only attack each other on the internet for crucially important things like not all having the exact same political opinions (xd), but at the time it was a pretty prominent discussion that we all kinda played into, even people like me who just kinda hung out and didn't really animate.
the simple answer that people concluded on was that you're an asshole if you tell people what they should and shouldn't make, and so people kept making what they wanted. despite this, there were valid points to be made about the quality and effort put into those parodies, as many of them actually weren't really good, especially when you look back at them now and see how they've aged. many people made cartoons solely with the aim to be popular, which in many cases did have an affect on the perceived comedic and artistic value of their work. as people goldrushed over to youtube, content suffered further in the pursuit of stronger profit and more views until it died out almost entirely when the algorithm ceased to be profitable.
what i'm getting at: to watch this collab and see so much animation in one sitting, all done for fun as opposed to profit by web-generation animators, is inspiring by itself — but on the other hand, if this was more of the same milquetoast memebait many of us grew up with, this collab wouldn't be nearly as an enjoyable as it is. instead, what the smash collab offers is a sizable amount of visual comedy, which i strongly feel generally holds up a lot better than humor more based on references and staying current. some parts didn't have strong visual comedy, but where there would've been cringy references and attempts at making things viral and quotable 10 years ago, there's now at least harmless / cute / clever references to the game that at least accomplish the job of not making me angry. for this group to pull that off in 2018 where everyone laughs at absolute nonsense and schadenfreude-bait cringe content, well... shit, it brings a tear to me eyes!
granted not every part was amazing, but the amount of overall quality compared to the collabs we used to have is staggering. visuals were tight — even the less visually impressive parts still typically had interesting aesthetic choices, either pretty BGs, colors, good compositing, or a unique drawing style that if nothing else usually stood on its own and fit the rest of the presentation. it was all clean, really no sloppiness to be found, and use of animation was also really smart, plenty of good use of limited animation across the board. more than topping the newgrounds collabs of yesteryear, what amazes me is the fact that the smash collab brings me right back to the state of mind i was in when i watched the old stuff for the first time: feelings of excitement, community, and a funny sense of regret that i didn't try and participate myself.
tl;dr: ivan is the fucking man, and i think his team's collabs have taken both NG content and online animator collaboration overall in the right direction. whether this is his second collab in a series of many more to come or his last go, i'm really glad this got made and hope to see the flash animators of tomorrow pick up this kind of torch as opposed to the one we left behind when so many of us all let our inner children die and stopped making things just for the fun of it.
favorite parts visually: twistedgrim, bocodamondo, natededeur, spazkid, bassetfilms, andobiki, dreaminerryday, ryanmoberly, nevarky, gr8tree
parts i laughed at the hardest: oddboy, dreaminerryday, srpelo, fantishow, twistedgrim
parts that made me happy tbh: johnnyutah, shigloo, phantomarcade, seanatar, bocodamondo, 3drod, piggybank
hope y'all had a merry christmas, also add me on switch if you wanna play smash because i fookin love this game: SW-5063-9204-8627