The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Review: Marvel Studios Delivers the Holiday Cheer

Marvel Studios has had a tough time with their Guardians of the Galaxy franchise over the years after they removed director James Gunn from the third film due to some controversial tweets the director had posted on Twitter earlier in his career. Gunn has since been brought back on after apologizing to simultaneously direct The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 earlier this year and has since wrapped on both projects. The studio has been hammering out a bunch of series on the streaming service and even released their first Special Presentation with Werewolf by Night this past October. Now, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will be the next Special Presentation from Marvel Studios to land on the Disney+ streaming service and while both projects are very different from each other, this one is far lighter in tone. With the studio getting ready to release the holiday special later this week, we can confirm that the Holiday Special is a holly-jolly good time.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is pretty reminiscent of the other Guardians films, but this one definitely feels emotionally heavier than what has come before it. What Gunn has crafted is pretty sentimental, joyful, and could really inspire some holiday cheer. As with all his other projects, the director masterfully creates a Christmas playlist that fits right in with the MCU and sets itself apart from other holiday films. With its very short run time, the Marvel Studios Special Presentation weill definitely leave you wanting more, but in a positive way. It's so good that you'll want a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special every year. Marvel Studios has captured lightning in a bottle with this adventure because it allows them to push past the boundaries of the main storyline.

What makes The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special so unique is how absolutely insane the concept is. Gunn delivers a bonkers Marvel Cinematic Universe project that's contained itself from the Multiverse Saga but still fits in with Phase Four. In the Special, Peter Quill / Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) seems pretty sad after the events of both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame due to Gamora (Zoe Saldana) perishing at the hands of her father the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). It also happens to be Christmas time on Earth, so Kraglin (Sean Gunn) is telling the Guardians and the Ravagers a story about a time that Yondu (Michael Rooker) ruined Christmas for a young Peter. Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) come up with a hare-brained scheme to give Peter a good Christmas by kidnapping and gifting him his favorite actor, Kevin Bacon.

With the story, Gunn gets to finally re-team with Pratt, Bautista, Klementieff, Karen Gillian, Bradley Cooper, and Vin Diesel after tumultuous years. We also get reintroduced to Cosmo the Space Dog, who is now being voiced by Borat Subsequent Movie Film star Maria Balalova, and it's one of the more interesting parts of the Holiday Special. But one of the more interesting performances had to be from the director's favorite MCU character– Kevin Bacon. Bacon plays himself in the movie, and while he has some of the best moments throughout the journey, it's only when he meets Peter Quill that he starts to shine. He even gets to do a pretty great musical number that shows the Guardians and Ravagers what Christmas is all about. Even though the Special Presentation isn't a feature-length film, the performances delivered were some of the best in the MCU.

If you've been waiting for quite some time to see a solo Guardians of the Galaxy project, then I can safely say that this will hold you over until we get Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special gives Marvel Studios a Christmas hit and fans should be very excited for it to hit Disney+ later this week. With some very good performances from Klementieff, Bautista, and Bacon, this is sure to be a gift you want under your tree. If you were looking for something new to add to your Christmas movie lineup, then this is the project to add. The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is a good watch for the holidays.

Rating: 4 out of 5

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will begin exclusively streaming on Disney+ on November 25th.