I Am Groot – Season 1, All Episodes

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Possibly the most alarming thing about Baby Groot getting his own, lavish, series of shorts on Disney+, is surely that it’s taken so long. After, in the days before Baby Yoda emerged on the scene to lay waste to all others in the brutally cutthroat arena of the cuddly franchise mascot, the diminutive twiglet has been unleashing a cuteness overload ever since he made his introduction dancing to the Jackson 5 during on of Guardians Of The Galaxy’s post credit scenes. From there, the little son of a birch only got cuter as he resembled a cherub roughly hewn from wood in Vol 2, but now we have a clutch of five mini adventures that apparently fill in the moments between events of both volumes in order for the bouncing baby beech to finally claim the spotlight for himself.
But are these six-minute adventures worth your time or has the rot finally set in for the adorable little acorn?

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The first of our stories, Groot’s First Steps, sees a newly reborn Groot, fresh from the end of the first Guardians and still lodged in his pot, lose his spot on his table to a newly purchased Banzai Tree which stirs up buds of jealousy but will ultimately allow him to take his first steps as he now has a set of perfectly functioning legs to play with.
The second episode, The Little Guy, finds Groot let loose on an alien planet and has him discover a tiny race little blob creatures that live under a rock. After they wage a brief war with the infant with some surprisingly advanced weaponry, Groot inadvertently starts to play god with them when he accidently gifts them sustenance – but even though he’s not at war with them, he still needs to watch his step…
Groot’s Pursuit finds him unable to sleep and has him wandering around at night on the Ravager ship while tracking a mysterious, watery doppelganger that eventually takes his form. In order to deal with this Intruder, Groot has to resort to a tactic the Guardians have utilised before to great success – the dance off – and after outwitting his foe, Groot falls back on the ultimate coup de grace: an airlock.
In Groot Takes A Bath, Groot unsurprisingly takes a bath in order to indulge in a spot of self care and chill out for a bit, but after spicing up his bubbling water hole with various scents, he finds that the water causes his leaves to grow in various ways leading him to experiment with various, extravagant looks while a nearby bird alien tries to sleep.
Finally, Magnum Opus has Groot hunt throughout the Guardians ship in order to locate the resources he needs to draw a picture of his universe saving family, but after stealing bits of Rocket’s fur and Drax’s soap, he resorts to blowing up part of the ship in order to obtain glitter – much to Rocket’s horror.

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I Am Groot is hardly what you’d describe as essential viewing thanks to the fact that it diligently lives up to the title of “shorts” – in fact, if you remove the lengthy end credits that Disney+ originals all come burdened with, each episode barely surpasses 3 minutes; that’s barely 15 minutes for the entire season. As a result, someone who comes hurtling at the show with the hope that they’re going to get an enriching Guardians Of The Galaxy experience thatcwill tide them over between their glorified cameo in Thor: Love And Thunder and the upcoming Disney+ christmas special and third movie are likely to be disappointed. However, despite their rather throwaway nature, I Am Groot’s opening salvo are sweet and silly enough to be worth investing a minuscule part of their day.

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Basically hinging all five episode on the already proven fact that the infant Groot is something of a curious, if spiteful, little shit as he various adventures usually sees him pissing off or getting pissed off with some outside nuisance that he usually ends up screwing over by the time the episode’s brief time is up. It’s a savvy way to prevent the show feeling unnecessary saccharine or annoyingly cutesy and keeps the little twig feeling very much like his movie counterpart and it even let’s him break the fourth wall before She-Hulk as every episode begins with him cheekily fast forwarding through the Marvel Studios admittedly lengthy title sequence.
Animator Kirsten Lepore, probably most famous for her Bad Jupies episode of Adventure Time keeps things moving, sticking in rapid fire jokes that don’t manage to overload the actual story – but it’s hard to be too invested in matters when matters are so brief, if you sneeze you’ll miss a quarter of the episode.
Still, its genuinely impressive that they actually pushed the boat out with the voice talent, not only snagging Vin Diesel to reprise his role (and give a far better performance in this than he did in Fast 9, if you ask me), but also bringing in Bradley Cooper’s vocals to once again voice Rocket. It’s a nice touch, especially considering that Marvel Studios previous animated attempt, What If…, had to find eerily accurate replacements for such no-shows such as Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Hugo.Weaving and James Spader.

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It’s hardly going to change the opinions of anyone who is convinced that Marvel’s phase 4 is proof that the whole franchise is going down the tubes, but it’s still a sweet, if unnecessary, addition that gives us more Groot-time before James Gunn brings this current Guardian line-up to a close.
Not entirely a case of I Am Moot, but close.

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