I Am Groot Is a Fun and Silly Distraction From the MCU

Dept. of Disneyfied Digressions


When James Gunn first unleashed his madcap crew of superheroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy, way back in 2014, it was undeniable that one character stood out amongst all the rest. But then Gunn doubled down. He introduced us to the toddler version of this organic hero and people lost their collective minds. He was adorable. He was cute. And now, he has his own show on Disney Plus, simply entitled, I Am Groot. But the question remains, did we need really need it?

The announcement of several Marvel led TV shows on Disney Plus back in 2019 meant that the possibilities were now endless. Whatever stories could not be told on the big screen now had the unlimited freedom of the small screen.

Now with what seems like almost every character getting their own show of some sort, it was unsurprising that Feige would announce a Groot spinoff. He was already immensely popular. So why not? Surely they had a guaranteed hit on their hands. But as I sat there and stared at our favourite sapling go on his little wacky adventures, the one question that continued to bother me was, “Is this necessary?” It’s just a bunch of three minute shorts showcasing cute things. Why should I even bother? And then something hit me. I was approaching this all wrong.

I Am Groot

I Am Groot

In this age of superheroes, a sort of mental condition has taken root, especially for the avid followers of the Marvel catalogue. It involves a lot of digging around for hidden meanings, Easter eggs, connections between movies, conspiracy theories, all of it based in the knowledge that things are never as they seem. (Is that Mephisto? Where is Mephisto? Are we Mephisto?) Which is exactly what I was doing while watching this show.

“Where is this set in the timeline?”

“Why is Groot on his own?”

“Which planet are they on?”

Are the Guardians off doing something? If so, what?”

I was mouthing these questions out loud to myself when my best friend turned to me and said, “Chill! It’s just a kid’s show!” And then, it was as if a switch flipped. I had been so waist deep in Marvel lore that I completely forgot that the point of this show was to entertain. And that’s when I really began to enjoy this for what it was: a fun, wacky, and cute ride. Marvel is capable of doing something light. We’ve just never seen it.

I Am Groot

I Am Groot

Throughout these five shorts, we see Groot warring with a Bonsai tree, discovering new species, causing a few explosions and, of course, having a little dance-off here and there for good measure. What more did I really expect? Not everything has to have a meaning. And this is a very good example of that. It’s a welcome break from overanalyzing every single Marvel product. It’s a chance to just sit back, tune out, and watch this adorable little organism run around. (Have I mentioned how cute he is yet?)

As I slowly began to appreciate the show for what it is, it also reminded me of the good old days when the Disney Channel was full of small cartoon shorts akin to this. Once again, I was that seven year old kid, with a Milo in his hands, glued to his favourite channel. You didn’t need words, you didn’t need some major story arc, it was just something to fill the time and make you smile. It was a welcome and familiar feeling that I really missed.

In this fast paced digital world, we sometimes forget to take a moment to just let go of the reality of the world, put down our phones, and just lose ourselves to something silly. I Am Groot couldn’t appear at a better time. The Disney Channel may have ceased to exist, but these five shorts, along with the other ones on the platform, helps relive some of those golden memories.

I Am Groot serves as a welcome respite. Not only from the twists and turns of the Marvel franchise, but from all the harshness of adulthood. Allow yourself to be that kid again, just sit back and watch something fun from a franchise you love. And you know what? I think this show – and Groot – is the perfect embodiment of that thing we all have inside of us that is just yearning to come out. A small, leafy, ball of energy, who just wants to embrace life and live it without a care in the world. God bless you Groot. Never stop being you.

All five I Am Groot shorts are now streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar.

Nick Dorian spent most of his childhood dreaming of being a plumber, mainly because he loved watching Super Mario go on adventures. When he heartbreakingly discovered actual plumbers don't go on great adventures in real life, he went on to sit in front of a TV or movie screen, watching more people go on adventures, and then talk to anybody around him about what he's seen, whether they liked it or not. Fast forward to today, he somehow managed to make watching movies and TV shows, and discussing them, an actual living. Which goes to show, dreams do come true. Except when you dream of being an Italian plumber who fights mushrooms and toads.

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