Article by Kieran Burt
Marvel has released its five I Am Groot shorts, and it gave five, very quick, chuckle worthy performances, showing off the cuteness of Baby Groot, though not enough to surpass Baby Yoda.
Apart from the first short, there is no real chronology to the shorts, with Groot going along standalone adventures. Marvel no doubt has put out an official chronology, but it’s merely academic, as it’s not evident in the shorts themselves. These shorts are just Groot having fun, outside of the Marvel films.
The shorts themselves are much shorter than expected. Each episode is six minutes long, with just under half of that made up of credits. The length of the shows is one of the biggest surprises they have to offer. When Marvel announced this series, it seemed like they were going for about ten minutes per short, and maybe try and appeal to a younger demographic, but this doesn’t appear to be the case. It means that the episodes don’t overstay their welcome, but they aren’t long enough to leave an impression.
Marvel promised that these shorts would be comedic in tone, and the humour skews toward younger sensibilities. Each short would gain a small chuckle, but not anything that would be hilarious laugh out loud humour. The length of the short is a factor that hurts the humour, as gags are one off and aren’t built on.
Something that is unexpected in these shorts is the occasional darkness they veer into. For a show aimed at a much younger audience, Groot displays quite a high propensity for violence. In a way that’s to be expected, the family he grows up around aren’t exactly peaceful role models, but it’s surprising to see that manifest its way into shorts for kids.
The best short was the one titled “Groot Takes a Bath”. This short features exactly what the title suggests, and has a bit of everything packed into a short runtime. It has some humour, but also a heartfelt moment for Groot near the end. It also has a morbid kick to it, with an even worse implication.
These shorts are a cute fun little experiment for Marvel, documenting Baby Groot’s fun, chuckle worthy and morbid adventures. Any Marvel fan looking for hints of future plans for the Guardians or the MCU as a whole should turn away, though it’s likely there will probably be a quick reference to this show in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Three. Otherwise, these shorts will inoffensively fill ten minutes, and that’s probably the best compliment there is.