[RECAP & REVIEW] I AM GROOT 

I Am Groot is a series of five animated shorts about one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The series starts streaming on August 10th. 

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These are just some of the thoughts you might have as you watch I Am Groot, a collection of five bite-sized shorts that offer viewers a fun, albeit inconsequential, romp through the titular character’s corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the miniseries might be unnecessary, it delivers plenty of cute Groot moments, which was likely the main goal.

Starting with “Groot’s First Steps,” everybody’s favorite tree goes about his day, getting cleaned by some robots and snacking on some cheese puffs. It’s left unclear why he’s alone for the vast majority of the collection, but putting aside the lack of dialogue, this opening story begins the series with a strong start. It captures the sensation of watching a child develop before your very eyes, as Groot grows legs, crawls, and eventually walks in a triumphant scene. Here, I Am Groot presents what may be its most substantial development by gifting Groot the power to walk.

Next up, “The Little Guy” takes Groot to an alien planet. He gets put through the wringer when a mysterious bird-like creature destroys a treehouse he took the effort to build. After screaming out of rage for 37 minutes, which is accelerated by a time jump, Groot discovers a colony of alien bugs. He towers over them and comes off like the adult version fans came to love in Guardians of the Galaxy. Leaning into the bugs’ perspective, Groot seems like a giant, and he scares them to the point that they treat him like Godzilla and shoot an arsenal of weaponry at him. The bugs win the battle, but they warm up to Groot when he inadvertently sprouts a leaf, and they snack on it.

Seeing that they were only hungry, Groot races to get more leaves for them, but in his hurry, he accidentally squashes a number of his new friends, as conveyed to the viewer through a nasty “crunch.” Groot grows into a felon before our very eyes as he uses a rock to hide the bodies and conceal the evidence. Thankfully for everyone involved, the clip ends with a glimpse of numerous bugs spawning at the site where Groot stepped on their predecessors, so evidently, it all worked out.

“Groot’s Pursuit” picks up where “The Little Guy” left off by taking the collection down a slightly darker path. In a scene right out of Alien, Groot is seemingly left alone on the ship, but he finds a broken capsule with a trail of goo leading away from it. He decides to investigate, and all the while, a mysterious creature continues to close in on him. The strange substance forms a goo-based version of Groot and stares at its counterpart. Mirror images of each other, the two Groots say their signature line and proceed to have a dance-off. What begins as a heated competition evolves into a joyful activity, but when the newcomer briefly morphs into a massive monster, Groot realizes he’s dealing with a potential threat. They keep dancing, all smiles, and Groot tricks the gooey creature into a pod, which he immediately ejects into space.

At this point, the combined events of “Groot’s Pursuit” and “The Little Guy” make one think that the series is showcasing the corruption of Groot, given his rising body count. At the very least, it’s clear that Baby Groot isn’t so innocent, and he’s a force to be reckoned with moving forward.

“Groot Takes a Bath” returns the series to its mostly harmless roots. Groot finds a puddle of mud, which turns out to be some powerful goop that helps him grow hair. After emerging from the bath, Groot discovers that he’s covered in thick foliage. While he’s initially scared by this discovery, he decides he likes the way he looks, and he gives himself several makeovers. He trims his new hair and gives himself a mustache. He also uses it to grow long hair and create a dress, at which point he speaks in a feminine voice and does a twirl. A creature attacks Groot and ruins his fun, and the hero’s day worsens when he finds out that the mud is gone, so he must resign himself to a life of baldness. The creature laughs at Groot, and he snaps; the scene shifts to Groot walking away, wearing the bird-like creature’s fur like a scarf, leaving his new adversary cold and naked. Clearly, Groot is a full-on savage.

Finally, “Magnum Opus” sees Groot return to his ship. At first, he’s alone, and he starts working on what initially seems like an art project and eventually becomes a bomb. Groot sets the explosive off, causing significant damage to one of the rooms. The fire alarm catches the attention of Rocket Raccoon, who makes a welcome cameo. Surveying the carnage, he scolds Groot for practically blowing up the ship. To get himself back into Rocket’s good graces, Groot gives him some puppy dog eyes and hands him his drawing of the Guardians. Like any loving parent, Rocket sees the childish art, and his heart melts. He tells Groot that he can’t stay mad at him, and he’ll put the picture on the fridge so everyone can see it. The short ends with Rocket nearly falling into a hole caused by Groot’s explosion and the latter saving him. It’s fair to say there’s never a dull moment in the life of Groot.

Perhaps that’s the entire point of I Am Groot. The beloved hero is always up to something, even if it doesn’t necessarily matter in the epic scope of the MCU at this point. The collection of shorts is worth checking out; if nothing else, they are incredibly easy to watch, and one way or another, they’re likely to put a smile on your face and fill the Groot-sized hole in your heart until the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special drops in December.

SCORE: 7/10 

(Cre: Comingsoon.net)

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