In this blog post (which can also double as a CMOF for the site), Lindsay says that this was the first year she felt like the crew was a family. You can tell she's right from the crossovers that have been released. Everybody is laughing and having a good time in all of the bloopers, and they all sound like they had fun doing them in their commentaries.
Considering that CR! couldn't be in the film because three members of his family died in a short window of time, it's nice to know he was still able to be a part of it by doing the opening illustrations.
It's pathetic and hilarious, but a scared Critic clinging to the Chick is still quite sweet. It could have as easily come off as a jerkassDirty Coward using a smaller woman as a Human Shield, but he really does think she's stronger than him.
Film Brain and Luke Mochrie both putting aside their dislike of one another to screw with the Gate Cleaner.
And, despite the treatment, how Luke was the first to realize that Film Brain was missing.
How Luke is the one to free Film Brain from his mind control.
That whole scene in general, really. It was nice to see everyone concerned about Film Brain's well-being, and genuinely happy to have him back.
Don't worry Film Brain, we'll get you back to normal!
Film Brain's answer about how he'd now come back for Luke may carry an air of Jerkass in its wording, but the tone of his voice carries an unspoken apology for viewing him so negatively and treating him like dirt.
The return of That Dude In The Suede.
Benzaie: It's good to see you!
Suede: Benzaie? I thought you hated me.
Benzaie: Benzaie does hate you, but Conan loves you!
The Critic's lament in the sequence immediately beforehand is such a contrast from when Suede gives him no effort to defeat him before becoming allies on his journey, and it's so heartwarming that Suede would give the poor guy a break from being his obstacle! Awww.
Critic's reaction when he sees Suede. He is squeeing.
When the Voice of the Ancients insulted MarzGurl, she looked sad and Paw broke character to comfort her with a pat on the shoulder.
Relatedly, how he still does what she taught him even when he's completely broken.
During the battle with Jaffers and his lackeys, Benzaie prays to Crom. What does he want? To see Beary once more before he dies.
Phelous blocking Jaffers' sword as he's about to kill the Critic, with a resounding "HANDS OFF MY FRIENDS!"
Especially as it's, well, the Critic. They haven't exactly been friendly in the past.
Critic's reaction to the arrival of Team B. Who would have thought he'd sound so relieved to hear Spoony's voice (especially given their personal history)?
Critic's Rousing Speech and how good it is. He's come a long way from having to put Nazis in there.
Critic, everyone's favorite Lovable Coward, confronting Malachite and saying what an awesome team he has... even though for all he knows he could be blown up without a second thought like the B villains.
And before then, facing death by Jaffers with dignity twice. Also a tad creepy because he gave up both times, but still, he got saved and he wasn't cowering so it's really nice to see.
They might have been coming from a patronizing place, but Critic, Lupa, Mickey and the others trying their hardest - after getting the shit beaten out of them - to stop Ma-Ti going up against Malachite.
The team cheering on Ma-Ti, chanting: "HEART! HEART! HEART! HEART! HEART! HEART! HEART!"
Even more heartwarming when you remember Critic's reviews especially and how sickening he finds The Power of Love solving everything. So him being the one to start it is extra powerful.
The death scene was the start of the Star Trek parody obviously, but it's letting Ma-Ti die peacefully and happily, knowing that for all the shit he got, Critic and the others care about him.
Ma-Ti spent the special being sent on Snipe Hunts, and, following his Heroic Sacrifice, the team gave him a funeral.
There's a small moment before that: When Critic and the rest of the gang see that Ma-Ti is there, they are try to tell to leave and save himself. Even though they've been treating him like a burden, its nice to know that they still care about him to want to see him live.
You might miss it, but Critic kisses the Quaker Oats can before passing it over. Out of context, it's so bizarre. In context, you want to give him a hug.
How about Critic's final monologue about how deeply he was affected by Ma-Ti's death?
Followed by getting started on another epic quest to bring him back to life. There's some Character Development for you.
In fact, Critic's character development as a whole is rather heartwarming. Compare his behavior in Suburban Knights to the way he acted in the Brawl and Kickassia and when he first started his reviews: while Critic's still dickish, bratty and pretty broken, he's a lot less self-absorbed this time around. On numerous occasions, he shows genuine concern for the well-being of his team; when he defends them to Malachite, he isn't just paying lip service—he honestly believes that his reviewers have what it takes to win, and stands beside them proudly. And in the end, he grieves for Ma-Ti the hardest, reflecting on his own mortality and the gravity of losing one of his best friends. He really has come a long way.
Critic finding the coffee when he returns home. Also a Tear Jerker.
Critic finally lets Linkara have a song, and Linkara uses the opportunity to sing about Ma-Ti.
Something about the way he asked, "Linkara, do you ever think we'll see Ma-Ti again?" He sounded so earnest when he said it, almost like a little kid.
Linkara coming to see if Critic was okay in the first place. Sure, he bitched about not getting a song, but he also wanted to make his friend feel better.
Sad Panda's theme song: "I don't want to endthisway, in my flight of fantasy. Stand by my side, it will be okay, in our flight of fantasy."
It just seems to say "This is my fantasy and I'm not letting anyone suffer in it!
It's such a sad, yet inspiring, song, anyone can use it for any situation.
The part in the cast commentary where they defend Marzgurl from all the comments mocking her imperfect Japanese, given how hard she worked on translating her lines.
Which both Doug and Rob also do on their own commentaries, and challenge these people to find a Japanese person who speaks flawless English.
In Benzaie's VLog, Doug thanking the cast (and Holly in particular) for pulling through so well and not letting him give up. You can hear him struggling not to cry at some points.
When Linkara initially attempts to confront the Nostalgia Critic about his disbelief in magic, albeit for reasons outside the film proper. Considering that his signature gun is not only magic, but also has the spirit of a young girl inside it who was tortured and killed to allow it to become so, Linkara can be seen as standing up for said girl.
This is confirmed in his commentary.
On Linkara and Iron Liz's commentary, Liz calls herself out for always saying "we" while talking about the Channel Awesome people. Linkara replies "You're a part of my show, so you're a part of the site."
There's another one in that commentary. At one point, Liz mentions how she had to forgo dinner with the rest of the cast and crew because she was too tired (besides being one of the Cloaks, Liz also did a ton of behind-the-scenes work). Linkara tells her "And we all appreciated everything you did".
As it turns out, Liz ended up being wrong to call herself out beyond being part of Linkara's show. Two months following the conclusion of Suburban Knights, Liz's show, Pen and Paper Corner, made its debut on TGWTG.
This video reveals the other proposed idea for the third year anniversary: an epic battle of pirates vs. ninjas with the site contributors as pirates and all the site "villains" as the ninjas. The reason Doug didn't go through with it? The movie wouldn't be complete without James Rolfe as master pirate Bloodbeard Joe. What a nice guy.
Even more heartwarming is that Rolfe seemed to genuinely want to pull it off, even though he was also filming his role in the remake of Plan 9 from Outer Space at that time. It didn't work out, but the fact that he did really try was just so sweet!
The making-of special on the DVD shows that things looked so hopeless during filming that Doug, Rob, and Mike Michaud were all fully prepared to scrap the whole thing and simply film everyone hanging out in Chicago as the special. Holly told them everyone wanted to get the film done, so they tried to have a vote. However, the producers refused to even bother with the vote, because they were so committed to the project, with Linkara even going into a speech (backed up by all the other producers giving a cappella stirring music) that Doug is the reason that every one of them has a job on the site, and they're going to finish this thing for him no matter what, followed by them all giving Doug a Slow Clap. Doug thanks them profusely and leaves, newly energized to figure out the best way to finish the film.
Pay attention during the speech and you'll see Rob having to steady his little brother by keeping a hand on his shoulder.
Beforehand, Lindsay telling Doug very firmly that they he needs to let them help him out because they really do want to.
Perhaps the only time that a Precision F-Strike has been a CMOH, Holly turned to Mike, Rob, Doug and Bargo and announced, "I fucking told you so!" when the cast stated they wouldn't give up on the movie.
And afterwards, Doug is leaning against the wall, obviously still stunned by how much he's cared for.
On Doug's commentary, he repeatedly brings up regrets about his directing choices, while also praising Rob's performance despite Rob himself thinking he's a terrible actor. And on his own commentary, Rob cringes at his acting while saying Doug's a much better director than he thinks.
Doug opens his commentary by dedicating the movie to the cast and crew, stating flat out that he would have abandoned this movie if not for them.
As sad as it is sweet, but Rob musing that he would have been fine with none of his ideas getting to the final script if Doug had got what he wanted, but he didn't and that made Rob feel even worse.
Rob's Big Brother Instinct really comes through in his commentary, from being real with Doug and telling him his work obsession isn't working out anymore, to only squicking over the mini-skirt because it made him feel like a father watching his daughter's porn movie.
He also states he could give Battlefield Earth to Doug for editing and Doug could turn it into a good movie. Any other fandom that'd be a bizarre compliment, but in this one it means a lot.
On their commentary, Liz and Holly mentioned how they kept fawning over Luke. Especially when he was tired and they offered to get him something from the grocery store.
And when he was asked this, he simply said, "Cheerios." D'awwwww.
Related to the above, Doug drove himself to a day's depression (not able to get out of bed, couldn't face eating or showering) because he was worried about the low morale of his team. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the king of Team Dads.