Throughout the last dozen years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced audiences to all kinds of superheroes, villains, and creatures. From Iron Man to Captain Marvel, Thor and Loki to Hawkeye and Black Widow. Along the way, there have been some unusual characters...cute ones, funny ones, mean ones, and disgusting ones. In 2014, Marvel revealed, according to some fans, one of the most adorable creatures ever...Groot.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, there was Starlord (Chris Pratt; Jurassic World), Gamora (Zoey Saldana; Pirates in the Caribbean: Curse of The Black Pearl), Drax (Dave Bautista; My Spy), Rocket (Bradley Cooper; Limitless), and Groot (Vin Diesel; Fast & Furious Series). When Groot, a tree-like humanoid, sacrificed himself to help save his friends, Rocket planted parts of Groot's branches and, after some time, Baby Groot was born. The tiny tree/human is adorable, especially at the beginning of Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol.2 when he dances, fights rat-like creatures, and eats flying insects. He also has a very limited vocabulary, repeating the same three words over again - "I am Groot". Capitalizing on Baby Groot's appeal, Marvel and Disney have created a series of photorealistic animated shorts. Entitled, appropriately, I am Groot, the first five shorts will premiere on August 10, 2022, on Disney+.
With five three-minute long episodes in season one, there isn't much to create a plot around the little tree but then again, that is the whole point. The episodes aren't meant to tell a story per se but are more to watch as Groot maneuvers the world around him, learning and growing (both mentally and physically) with each new thing he discovers. Anyone with kids can relate as we remember watching our "little ones" explore their surroundings, soaking up bits and pieces of knowledge along the way.
The first episode portrays Groot as little more than a sapling being pampered and just using each day to grow. Of course, when a new plant comes to town and soaks up all the attention, Groot doesn't like it and does his best to sabotage his competition. Episode two has a now mobile Groot testing out his new "legs" and running outside in the sun and fresh air. As he picks up a rock he is excited to see a group of little insects living under said rock. However, when he tries to be friendly, they take his gestures as being hostile and begin attacking him. Of course, by the end of the three minutes, they all makeup leaving Groot to go on his merry way...well, sort of.
The episode sandwiched in the middle has Groot, dressed in adorable pajamas, searching for the cause of the noise he heard before going to bed. He then spends the next few minutes trying to "outwit" an illusion of himself, which leads to a dance-off. Number four is probably the cutest of all five episodes. Simply put, think of Groot as a Chia Pet, spouting all these leaves that he then makes into "costumes". Finally, the last episode, called "Magnum Opus", has Groot on a mission to create a family portrait, and, while the sentiment is sweet, the execution leaves a little to be desired.
Whoever thought of this concept deserves a raise. The shorts are sweet, funny, and created to put a smile on the viewer's face whatever age they are.
Diesel reprises his role as the voice of Groot for these shorts and episode five also includes a cameo from Rocket, voiced by Cooper. Since there is talk of a season two, I wonder if the other Guardians might make an appearance but that remains to be seen.
For now, we will just have to enjoy our fifteen minutes of baby Groot time while he looks adorable and gives audiences quite a few laugh-out-loud moments.