An Animal Crossing: New Horizons island is, as long as players aren’t just paying others to design it for them, a reflection of its creator’s personality. The kind of dedication that goes into building a town that resembles The Haunted Mansion might tell us, for instance, that the person who made it is devoted to the lite-goth aesthetics of family friendly spookiness. Or, in the case of actor Danny Trejo, an island filled with barbells and butterflies might reveal a man defined as much by toughness as kindness.
In the first episode of Danny’s Diary, a new video series hosted on Gary Whitta’s YouTube channel, we’re given an initial glimpse into the kind of cartoon utopia Trejo has created for himself inside the popular video game. A stubby little Trejo avatar, ubiquitous tank-top and ponytail recreated, guides the host around his virtual home, showing off some of his island’s highlights.
There’s a model version of LA’s Muscle Beach, a bedside table holding a giant jar of protein powder, and a money tree the actor is sure nobody would dare steal from. All of this is in keeping with his movie roles as a muscle-bound ass-kicker, but, when the first of several butterflies escape from Animal Crossing Trejo’s pocket, you know there’s more to the guy than that.
“I thought you were a tough guy. You got pockets full of butterflies?” the host asks when the second one comes out. After going to check up on a few more of his favorite talking animal neighbors and, of course, hunting for more pretty bugs, a third butterfly escapes from his character’s pockets, and Trejo asks, “Is that a butterfly or are you just happy to see me?”
Listen to Trejo’s constant smokey laugh and his impersonation of the villagers’ chirping language and you can get some measure of the man—and understand just how lucky his digital island is to have him as its benevolent, butterfly-obsessed leader.
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