It’s that time of the year again when all the tech and social giants give us an opportunity to look back on the year that was. Spotify recently revealed some fascinating facts gleaned from user playlists and now today, YouTube dropped its annual review, featuring a slew of 2018’s popular creators, including James Charles, Liza Koshy, Marques Brownlee, Emma Chamberlain, Lilly Singh and Markiplier, as well as celebrities like Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Adam Rippon, and Trixie Mattel.
While makers have always taken the spotlight in YouTube’s film, this time, the platform turned to them to help create it too. It opens with Will Smith, uncontested winner of Drake’s “In My Feelings” dance challenge, answering the question of how he would control “Rewind.” He calls out tech reviewer Brownlee and this year's gaming megahit "Fortnite," launching a flurry of other suggestions from other YouTubers riding (and then leaping from) a flying YouTube bus.
Woven throughout the film are nods to fun pop culture highlights spawned or nurtured on the platform--Marshmello, K-Pop, Bongo Cat, the Yanny vs. Laurel phenomenon, that grating-to-parents-but-loved-by-little-ones "Baby Shark" song and more, with the soundtrack mashing up some of the year’s most popular tunes such as “I Like It,” “Idol,” “Happier,” “High Hopes” and “In My Feelings.”
Toward the end, the film takes a poignant turn when creators acknowledge their tough hurdles such as sickness and mental health issues--which they were able to weather thanks to support from their fans, as well as how the platform helped promote social change in areas of education, female empowerment and more.
The video once again was created and produced by Portal A, which has partnered with YouTube on "Rewind" since 2011.