Take the parental negligence of Dora the Explorer and put it in a world of wonder created by the people at Marvel, and you’ve got I Am Groot, an all CGI series of five shorts. Each one comes in at about four minutes a piece where the adorable Baby Groot is left to his own devices… sometimes explosive.
The shorts feature Groot, largely on his own, as he explores his surroundings, sometimes a new planet filled with creatures we’ve never seen before, but sometimes familiar locations like that of the Guardians of the Galaxy’s ships. We see what Groot gets up to in his spare time, trying to relax, getting creative and sometimes getting into trouble. There is little in the way of dialogue beyond the typical three words from our titular character with a couple of brief exceptions and there is also little in the way of familiar faces (again, with some exceptions).
So it’s really just you, as the viewer, and Groot going along on these adventures. The stories are keyed towards kid enjoyment and don’t have anything that will connect to or forward any MCU storylines, but an adult should still feel entertained in the few minutes that they sit down to watch this with little ones.
In terms of look, I can say that the “TV” version of Groot does not feel like a cheap out from the big screen version which, for most adaptations, is the stage for a large quality decline. The Groot you know and love still looks as good as ever in this adaptation. The only noticeable difference is the absence of real-life environments and live characters, which gives you a different feel than you are used to when seeing Groot on screen.
I Am Groot features the original voice talents from the movies, most obviously notable, Vin Diesel returning as Groot. I can’t tell you with any certainty that he came in to record new “I AM GROOT” lines for the shorts, nor could I admit that I’d notice. Bradley Cooper also returns, and you may just catch the voice of James Gunn if you’re paying attention.
I Am Groot feels like it could be moments that could have been taken from Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2; a cute transition between real storyline. What the shorts may be missing is more substance, but I suppose that depends on what you expect to get out of them. They run like an old Looney Tunescartoon. They are small, contained and easy to digest, which is great.
I think being fed a menu of Disney shorts in recent years with more heart and a more complete story than “Groot gets into it with (insert thing here)” perhaps spoils a bit of the childish joy that is intended. My best advice to any potential viewers is to go into I Am Groot with the same glee that Baby Groot goes into battling a monster (as long as there is music), and you’ll come out fine on the other end.
I Am Groot is available today on Disney +.