There’s a lot about the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise that audiences love. From the lovable Peter Quill to the catchy music and even the talking raccoon—the group is an all-time favorite for many. But there’s another small part of the franchise that some fans really fell in love with: Baby Groot.
So it makes sense that Marvel Studios is capitalizing on the small walking tree with I Am Groot. The collection of five shorts will see Vin Diesel’s mischievous plant up to no good. But when exactly do these antics take place?
Well, according to Guardians director James Gunn himself, he doesn’t see them as part of Earth-616. The director noted how he believes “they’re canon to themselves” and that “they’re…. not necessarily part of the Guardians saga.”
Now, a big-time Marvel Studios producer potentially directly contradicted Gunn’s claims by saying that the little shorts are, in fact, part of the MCU’s main canon.
MCU I Am Groot Continuity Clarified
I Am Groot producer Brad Winderbaum revealed in a conversation with Comicbook.com that, despite recent comments from James Gunn, the upcoming set of animated short is canon to the MCU’s Earth-616.
He confirmed that “it takes place… between the end of Guardians 2 and before the tag scene:”
“It’s a narrow window, right? It takes place actually between the end of Guardians 2 and before the tag scene in Guardians 2. So, it’s in this narrow window where Groot in that kind of post toddler stage of development… and it was something that really excited, James [Gunn] and also, James also knew Kirsten’s work and was excited about working with her as well.”
The show’s director, Kristen Lepore, revealed how she “studied [Guardians 2] front to back,” as she tried to “do [Groot] Justice and keep his heart and soul throughout [the] series:”
“Yeah, I mean Guardians 2, I studied front to back as research for this character obviously… We really carefully made sure we went through all those moments and also had conversations with James Gunn about the character, just to make sure that we could really do him justice and keep his heart and soul throughout our series. But yeah, I mean that opening sequence when he’s dancing and they’re all fighting and everything, incredible. Very inspirational for this series.”
Seeing as the character first originated in one of Gunn’s films, Lepore shared how she “had great meetings with [him]” throughout the process and that one of his pieces of advice was to treat Baby Groot “as an emoji guy:”
“I had great meetings with James at several points in the process... The most pivotal one being like our initial kickoff meeting, where we basically just discussed this amazing character that he created, just, you know, just to make sure we could do Baby Groot the way we’re supposed to. 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 like repeating that in meetings. I was like, we gotta make sure that we’re just nailing these poses and facial expressions because all he has is two eyes in a mouth. He doesn’t even have a nose, it’s a very limited face. So it’s like just like an emoji, nails and emotion and expression. We had to do that with Groot, as well.”
I Am Continuity?
One has to wonder when these individuals say the show is canon, are they simply referring to the Multiverse? Or does the show literally take place in the movie timeline?
It only matters if something directly contradicts something in the established story. With how short and limited the shorts are, audiences probably don’t have much to worry about.
After all, the time between the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and its post-credits scene is a lengthy amount of time—seeing as Groot grew up to be his teenage self. So there’s plenty of time for the upcoming animated series to goof off in.
All five shorts of I Am Groot hit Disney+ on Wednesday, August 10.