Marvel Studios has released I Am Groot, an animated original series featuring the toddler-aged Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, on Disney+ today. As the title suggests, the cartoon spotlights Groot, the floral colossus of the Guardians of the Galaxy, in his "Baby Groot" form. The series is made up of shorts that see Baby Groot getting into and out of trouble in a world of photorealistic animation. Vin Diesel returns to voice Groot and Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn is one of the show's executive producers. I Am Groot is just the latest in animated efforts from Marvel Studios, joining What If...? as the only two cartoon efforts from the outfit to date. Soon, they'll be joined by Marvel Zombies, Spider-Man: Freshman Year, and X-Men '97.
"Yeah, I had great meetings with James at several points in the process," animator Kirsten Lepore previously said. "And the most pivotal one being our initial kickoff meeting, where we basically just discussed this amazing character that he created just to make sure we could do baby Groot the way we're supposed to," she says.
Lepore added, "And I remember him telling me like, oh yeah, he's a bad baby. And also he's like an emoji guy, which cracked me up. And I kept repeating that in meetings. I was like, we gotta make sure that we're just nailing these poses and facial expressions because you know, all he has is two eyes and a mouth. He doesn't even have a nose, it's a very limited face. So it's like just like an emoji, nail an emotion and expression."
"I think if I told you about our animated plans, it would blow your mind," Marvel Studios Animation head Brad Winderbaum previously told ComicBook.com.
"I mean, you're completely unbounded from any sort of rules, which is both the most exciting and the most daunting thing about it, because then you have to create your own rules," he continued. "But I mean, it really is, in many ways, the purest interpretation of the imagination of the people behind it. There's an element of chaos in all things. There's an element of chaos in animation. Certainly a major factor in live action. Filmmaking is chaos. And how things don't go as planned and how you end up ultimately with a whole different set of tools than you thought you had going in. In an animation, kind of get to work with this infinite canvas where anything you want can be achieved. And if you can conceive it, you can do it. If you can dream it, you can do it."
The first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies are now streaming on Disney+. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is due to hit theaters May 5, 2023. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has yet to receive a release date.