While She-Hulk may be the next big Marvel Studios Disney+ series, there’s something else fans can look forward to before that: I Am Groot. While not a full show, this collection of five shorts follows Baby Groot as the mischievous little plant gets up to no good.
For those wondering where the whole thing fits into continuity, well, it seems that it takes place between the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and its post-credits scenes. These little adventures do seem to be completely canon to Earth-616, at least according to a big-time Marvel Studios producer.
But what can audiences expect to see, exactly? The recent San Diego Comic-Con trailer showcased a town of mini aliens, destruction on a spaceship, some new leafage for Groot, and more.
Now, thanks to an official press release, those who want to know exactly what to expect going into the show can do just that.
I Am Groot Episodes Revealed
Disney published an official press release for its upcoming Marvel Studios animated collection of shorts, I Am Groot, that included a plot synopsis for each installment, alongside comments on each from Kristen Lepore, the show’s director.
The first short is titled ‘Groot’s First Steps’, and sees Groot “try [to take] his first steps out of his pot:”
“Baby Groot discovers he’s not the only plant being pampered aboard his spaceship. A happy accident convinces Groot to try taking his first steps out of his pot—only to learn you have to walk before you can run.”
Lepore noted how she thought “it would be really cool to start the whole series having Groot grow out of his pot:”
“I thought it would be really cool to start the whole series having Groot grow out of his pot, sort of like a loose version of a plant-growing time-lapse… that was melded with this idea I had of ‘Groot vs. Tree’— where Groot, a sentient tree, goes up against a non-sentient tree. We really played up the Buster Keaton-esque style of physical comedy in which the inanimate object always wins.”
Episode 2 is titled, ‘The Little Guy’, as “Groot accidentally uncovers a civilization of miniature blue aliens” called the Grunds:
“It’s hard to be the little guy, but when Baby Groot accidentally uncovers a civilization of miniature blue aliens, the tables are turned. At first intimidated by the seemingly enormous tree toddler, the Grunds soon discover he’s the hero they’ve been waiting for.”
The director noted how she wanted to portray that “childlike experience of discovering an anthill,” where one starts becoming really “curious and [starts] poking around and messing things up:”
“More than any other characters in the shorts, the Grunds are the super-duper simple type of character I personally like to design… I enjoy the challenge of pulling out as much expression as you can in the subtlety of just black dots and a mouth… there’s also that childlike experience of discovering an anthill, and you want to be nice and friendly, but you’re also really curious and start poking around and messing things up.”
Third up is ‘Groot’s Pursuit’. This short follows Groot as he “investigates a spooky noise that’s been haunting the Quadrant,” a hunt that culminates in “a dance-off:”
“Baby Groot investigates a spooky noise that’s been haunting the Quadrant, the massive Ravager ship that he calls home. In doing so, he comes face-to-face with Iwua, an intelligent, shapeshifting alien who assumes his form. The best way to resolve who actually is Groot: a dance-off."
With this short, Lepore revealed how “the seed of the idea… came from the childhood game of mimicking:”
“The seed of the idea for this short came from the childhood game of mimicking, when someone starts copying you and you get really ticked off... Groot gets so ticked off to the point that, instead of fighting, they do a dance battle. Basically, let’s see if this guy can keep up.”
She then revealed how this third episode also has a voice cameo by the franchise director James Gunn, who did “the voice of the wrist watch/headlamp:”
“[James Gunn] was the voice of the wrist watch/headlamp, which Groot smacks when it’s malfunctioning… I remember he was in the middle of shooting and on his lunch break, and was ushered into a trailer to record all these lines for us. He’s just a very generous guy.”
Fourth is ‘Groot Takes a Bath’, which showcases Groot’s fancy new bath concoction leading to some “epic leaf growth” across his body:
“Everybody needs some alone time to relax and wash up, but things go quite differently when you’re a Flora Colossi toddler. When Groot’s bath concoction results in epic leaf growth, he takes his haircut into his own hands and gets inventive with styling.”
Lepore elaborated, sharing how Groot “accidentally creates this magic potion that’s like Miracle-Gro for the whole body:"
“From the very beginning, I was very interested in Groot’s physical abilities: the fact that he can sprout leaves and his limbs can grow super long… In this short, he accidentally creates this magic potion that’s like Miracle-Gro for the whole body. It’s like Groot as a Chia Pet, which was a very fun arena to play in.”
Last up is ‘Magnum Opus’, where “Groot sets out to paint a family portrait of himself and the Guardians:”
“Groot sets out to paint a family portrait of himself and the Guardians, and goes to great lengths to collect art supplies and forge his masterpiece. Rocket stumbles upon Groot’s efforts and quickly discovers just how messy—and disastrous—the artistic process can be.”
The director noted how Groot wants to paint this picture, but “doesn’t have an art store to go to, so he’s just going around stealing things from others:”
“Groot’s the lone toddler on the ship, trying to figure out what his art materials are… he doesn’t have an art store to go to, so he’s just going around stealing things from others.”
Bradley Cooper’s Rocket Raccoon also makes a short appearance in this final episode. Lepore mentioned how the character “can be a bit of a scolding parent but also a buddy with a soft heart when it comes to Groot.”
Marvel Studios Producer Brad Winderbaum added that “Rocket is an unlikely parent” who “feels very responsible for [Baby Groot]:”
“Rocket is an unlikely parent. There was a partnership—maybe a big brother-little brother dynamic—with Rocket and Groot from the first film, but Rocket’s relationship with Baby Groot is quite different. He feels very responsible for him. That comes through in Bradley's performance and in his cameo in the last short of this batch.”
Having Fun With Groot
Hopefully, fans kept their expectations in check and didn’t expect something notably important to the MCU with I Am Groot. All of the bits sound like fun little stories with Groot and not much more—which, to be clear, isn’t a bad thing in the slightest.
These first five installments are only the beginning. Another handful of shorts was announced at SDCC, and they’ll be arriving on the service at a later date.
It’s unclear if the next five episodes will be considered a whole new season or if they’ll be classified as a continuation of the first. If Marvel Studios wanted, they could easily keep these shorts going until the end of the MCU. So, just how long will they keep the Groot tree growing?
All five installments of I Am Groot hit Disney+ on August 10.