I put off watching the episode until I was finished with my holiday preparatory obligations and it was worth the wait!
I feel like if you were a non-fan and/or didn't have the context that this was the big one-thousand you'd find the episode over-produced and bizarrely sentimental but as someone who's been following the series, starting with the anime, for almost fifteen years now it was simply wonderful. As soon as the episode begins and we're treated to the original sub-HD, 4:3 We Are! opening scroll complete with Chikao Otsuka Gold Roger monologue before it transitions to modern HD widescreen you know you're in for a very special, celebratory episode. It was clearly a very important, intimate work for the staff who were on it since I noticed that the vast bulk of the key animation was handled by the in-house Toei staff and regular affiliates while the prominent freelancers like Takashi Kojima, Takeshi Maenami, and Hiromi Ishigami were tasked with handling the We Are! remake. There were at least three generations of One Piece staff working on this episode depending on how you break it down: from the old veteran guard who've been around since the very beginning like Hisada, Yokoyama, Takagi, even Hideaki Maniwa who was one of the best animation directors from the early days who hadn't worked on the show in many, many, many years, the animators that came on board and contributed very heavily during the Hisada era like Shida and Tomita, and finally the new generation with the likes of Yong-ce Tu, Junwen Tan, Henry Thurlow, and of course Matsuda and Ichikawa. I think the only big animator in the body of the episode itself who'd never worked on the franchise at all before was Yu Yoshiyama. I'd love to see her on the show more in the future; she has such a unique style that really stands out these days.
So episode 1000 was especially fascinating to watch for someone like myself who's had an eye on the production for so long and seen the staff go through so many changes, both for good and ill. Thanking the audience at the end was such a classy move and I'm glad I've stuck with this story for so long, through all the ups and downs.