December Nostalgia Trip: Winter Break

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Welcome to Nostalgia Trip! This is your guide to all the fun movies, TV shows, books, and video games from yesteryear that are worth revisiting. Each month, we’ll go over some need-to-see options that you have either forgotten about from your childhood, or that you missed out on completely.

Fall is coming to an end, and we all know what that means: hot chocolate, fireside story time, and, if we’re lucky, snowball fights! School is also coming to a lull as we all leave for a winter break. Winter break is one of my favorite times of the year, because it means I finally get some free time to blast through some good movies and games that I can’t justify indulging in during the busy school year. If you’re looking for some good stuff to watch or read over the break, then check out this list for some suggestions.

Movies

Hayao Miyazaki’s Films

Picture of a giant white wolf against a black background. There is a girl standing in front of the wolf. Her faceis covered in blood.
Source: Wikipedia

Kiki’s Delivery Service? Spirited Away? Ponyo? Howl’s Moving Castle? These films are not only wonderfully animated, but they also tackle very real issues of mental health and depression. Kiki’s Delivery Service was one of my favorite movies as a kid, and now as an adult I can go back and recognize the kind of pain, fear, and lack of self-faith that she struggles with in the movie. Even if you aren’t that big of an anime fan, I would highly suggest watching one or two of these movies. They’re treasures.

 

 

 

A small man is running toward sthe camera with a gun and a briefcase in tow. Superimposed over the background is the face of a man with sunken eyes.
Source: IMDB

No Country for Old Men

I just recently watched No Country for Old Men in an effort to go back and catch up on good movies I haven’t seen, and man, was it worth it. The film takes such a grounded yet cynical approach to the question of “What will a man do out of greed?” and provides a terrifying villain in the form of Anton Chigur. I’m usually more of a fan of supernatural movies and shows, but watching this movie has made me want to re-evaluate my film choices.

 

 

Picture of a boy in a red jacket walking towards a red bike. The jacket has a blue and white pill on it. The bottom of the image says "Akira"
Source: Wikipedia

Akira

This cyberpunk story of biker gang kid turned government test subject is a thrilling watch from start to finish. The gruesome depictions of mental breakdowns are both terrifying and awesome. The animators make masterful use of light and detailed shots to give off a chilling vibe as we witness a futuristic dystopian Tokyo fall further and further into madness.

 

 

Books

A boy stands with his back to the city. He is holding a glowing cube with information flying off of it.
Source: Amazon

Artemis Fowl

What happens when you introduce a boy-genius criminal to a whole new world of technology and magic? A whole lot of trouble. This book series is filled with engaging characters and perfectly timed childhood comedy. In my opinion, it’s one of the best young adult novels out there, and it’s a refreshing break from another dystopian future novel. Even if you’re a little old for young adult books, give Artemis Fowl a shot. You might find yourself falling in love with the series anyway.

 

 

Holes

A boy with a red hat can be seen in profile at the bottom of the page. The background is a desert full of holes. There is a shovel in one of the holes. The sky is dark blue with little stars and the word "Holes" in big red letters.
Source: Wikipedia

This classic book is fun for all ages. There are so many iconic moments in this book that it’s hard to know where to begin. Louis Sachar, as usual, shows his masterful control of the broad range of human emotions. From Stanley’s poor family life to the flashback moments between Sam and Katherine, we see so much character development and a full understanding of the meaning of justice. If you’ve only ever seen the movie, and you’ve never read the book, then I highly suggest you give the book a shot.

 

 

 

Three children are silhouetted against a starry night.
Source: Amazon

A Wrinkle in Time

I think the only way I can describe this series is like a fever dream in book form. It’s been a long time since I read this book, but I distinctly remember thinking the book was beyond strange. The story of these three children is a wild and fascinating one that defies all logic. With the film release right around the corner, there’s no better time than right now to give the book a good read.

 

 

 

Video Games

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Fisheye view of a Skater coming off a ramp. "Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2" sits in the middle of the image.
Source: Wikipedia

Now, I may be a bit partial for this one, but Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 is a fantastic game – and anyone that disagrees can fight me. Violence aside, this game is a nostalgia goldmine. Featuring some of the most feel-good controls, interesting characters, and a phenomenal soundtrack full of 90’s punk hits, you can’t go wrong with this game. There’s no better feeling than firing up THPS2 and just free-skating around while jamming out to Superman’s “Goldfinger.”

 

 

Three figures stand facing the camera. In the background there are machines, aliens, and ships.
Source: Wikipedia

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Now really, who doesn’t want to play their own character that lives in the Star Wars Universe? A game from the early days of BioWare development, it’s easy to see things the company would reformat and later bring to games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Even though it was a progenitor to some of their more popular games,  SW:KotOR is a fantastic game in its own right and is as deserving of praise as any BioWare game. Well, except for Mass Effect: Andromeda. Yeesh.

 

 

Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland

Kirby running across the front of the box wearing a headband. Metaknight's face is superimposed over the black background.
Source: Kirby Wiki

What better way to round off our list than with a Kirby game? This little pink puffball is one of my favorite video game characters, and his likeness is unmistakable. Nightmare in Dreamland is a remake of a former Kirby game, but updated with new powers and a whole new color palette. As a kid I was fascinated with this game. The developers managed to cram so much expressiveness and enjoyment into this game, and it seeps through every level.

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Tommy Calhoun
Hailing from the northeast Georgia mountains, Tommy has been writing for the Peak since Fall of 2016, and became the Entertainment Editor in early 2017. When he isn't working or writing, Tommy enjoys slaying dragons, casting ancient arcane spells, exploring the tombs of long dead kings, and reading a good book. He is currently working on writing a novel series in addition to the multitudes of other hobbies he keeps on a backlog. If you would like to read about a specific entertainment topic, write for the Entertainment Section of The Peak, or just want to pop in and say hi, you can contact Tommy at entertainment.ksulifestyle@gmail.com