REVIEW: ‘I Am Groot’ Brings Intergalactic Chaos To Disney+

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I Am Groot - But Why Tho

I Am Groot is a series of five short films written and directed by Kristen Lepore, inspired by Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy films by James Gunn. Each film follows Baby Groot (Vin Diesel) as he gets into a different misadventure. The films featured include: “Groot Takes A Bath”, “Groot’s First Steps”, “Groot’s Pursuit”, “The Little Guy”, and “Magnum Opus.”

The Guardians of the Galaxy films are perhaps some of my favorite films within the Marvel Cinematic Universe; the mix of science fiction tropes, alongside the found family element, make for a great addition to the world of superhero movies. And in the same way that the Baymax! short films expand upon the ending of Big Hero 6I Am Groot films expand on what Groot is doing when he’s not guarding the galaxy. And the short answer: a lot of chaos. From Groot nearly blowing up the Guardians’ ship to inadvertently starting a war with a race of microscopic creatures, there’s never a dull moment.

A lot of that is due to Lepore’s work. She said during the Marvel Studios Animation Panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con that she drew from experiences with her three-year-old son. Indeed, a lot of Groot’s misunderstandings are those of a toddler, and it’s completely understandable. At that age kids are curious; they’re going to make messes and find joy in little things like baths and art! Groot just happens to be a tiny three-foot-tall tree that can grow his limbs and only speaks three words. Lepore is also clearly having a blast directing the films; “The Little Guy”, for example, has scenes that take place almost entirely from the microscopic beings’ perspective as they view Groot as some sort of massive wooden God – and respond by trying to destroy him.

And that’s what makes these films such a great draw: they’re fun. There’s no setup for future MCU projects, no hints to fan-favorite comic book characters – it’s just Groot doing Groot things! And honestly, I feel the MCU, and more franchises can use that energy. It’s a great way to take a breather from all the intricate storylines, as well as enjoy one’s self. While I believe film and television can often reveal profound truths through their stories, I also believe that sometimes it’s nice to kick back and just enjoy something. And I Am Groot was made to be enjoyed.

Of course, you can’t mention a Groot project without referring to the man who gives him his voice. Diesel continues to prove that he’s an amazing voice actor by keeping his voice rather high-pitched for Groot, as well as delivering different emotional inflections to what is essentially the same phrase. And in “Magnum Opus”, my personal favorite of the shorts, he’s joined by Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon. A large part of why the Guardians films work is Rocket and Groot; their bond – both as mercenaries and then as father/son – is a genuinely touching one and both Diesel and Cooper have put in the work to make them feel like flesh and blood characters. “Magnum Opus” is a hilarious but sincere reminder of that.

I Am Groot is a charming, chaotic look into the titular Guardian of the Galaxy’s life, as well as a fun way to spend 20 minutes. With another set of short films on the way, viewers can look forward to more of Groot’s misadventures. Who knows, maybe this next set of films will feature Groot in his teenage form.

I Am Groot is currently available to stream on Disney+.


I Am Groot
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

I Am Groot is a charming, chaotic look into the titular Guardian of the Galaxy’s life, as well as a fun way to spend 20 minutes. With another set of short films on the way, viewers can look forward to more of Groot’s misadventures. Who knows, maybe this next set of films will feature Groot in his teenage form.

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