Disney+ Reveals New MCU Timeline Order With I Am Groot

By Savannah Sanders Updated:
Groot show MCU timeline Marvel

Marvel Studios is making up for the lack of Guardians of the Galaxy in a big way! In addition to the ragtag crew appearing in Thor: Love and Thunder, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is set to release later this year, followed by their third (and final?) 2023 film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. But that's not all. Marvel has also recently released I Am Groot on Disney+; and even though Guardians writer and director James Gunn didn't pen the series of shorts, their debut confirms their canonicity within the MCU.

To know where an MCU film or Disney+ series belongs on the MCU Timeline, Disney+ is the source. As each new project is added to the streamer, the chronological timeline changes. 

And now, despite James Gunn initially saying that I Am Groot isn't canon and the fact that the animated shorts were released post-Groot's early years, the sacred Disney+ MCU Timeline suggests otherwise.

Where Does 'I Am Groot' Belong on the MCU Timeline?

I Am Groot's debut on Disney+ has confirmed its placement on the MCU timeline through the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Timeline Order section, but some episodes occur at different points in time than others.

For instance, "Groot's First Steps" takes place between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, while the rest of the episodes belong after Vol. 2.  

This is due to the fact that Groot, within Phase 4 and soon-to-be Phase 5 of the MCU, is no longer a baby. In Avengers: Infinity War and then Endgame, he's confirmed to be a teenager; and according to Gunn, audiences may get a glimpse of him as adult in Vol. 3.

MCU producer Brad Winderbaum recently clarified that I Am Groot "takes place... between the end of Guardians 2 and before the tag scene in Guardians 2." Therefore, it seems that Episodes 2 through 5 of Groot's solo series occur just prior to the final post-credits scene of Vol. 2, explaining why they are technically placed after the film in the official timeline.

The full updated timeline with all 39 projects in the MCU to date can be seen below, with the exception of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Thor: Love and Thunder, the latter of which is still in theaters:

  1. Captain America: The First Avenger
  2. Captain Marvel
  3. Iron Man
  4. Iron Man 2
  5. The Incredible Hulk
  6. Thor
  7. The Avengers
  8. Thor: The Dark World
  9. Iron Man 3
  10. Captain America: The First Avenger
  11. Guardians of the Galaxy
  12. I Am Groot: Groot’s First Steps
  13. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  14. I Am Groot: The Little Guy
  15. I Am Groot: Groot’s Pursuit
  16. I Am Groot: Groot Takes a Bath
  17. I Am Groot: Magnum Opus
  18. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  19. Ant-Man
  20. Captain America: Civil War
  21. Black Widow
  22. Black Panther
  23. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  24. Doctor Strange
  25. Thor: Ragnarok
  26. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  27. Avengers: Infinity War
  28. Avengers: Endgame
  29. Loki
  30. What If...?
  31. WandaVision
  32. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  33. Spider-Man: Far From Home
  34. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
  35. Eternals
  36. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  37. Hawkeye
  38. Moon Knight
  39. Ms. Marvel

For perspective, the graphic below includes all 39 live-action projects along with Phase 1's Marvel One-Shots:

MCU Timeline

Disney+ is Where the MCU Assembles

Releasing projects out of chronological order is nothing new for the MCU. Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Loki, and even Captain America: The First Avenger are proof of this. 

But even though I Am Groot's placement near Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 isn't too difficult to understand, things could get complicated in the near future. 

Since Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that the current saga of the MCU is the Multiverse Saga, it will be interesting to see if that influences future films and Disney+ series and where they fall chronologically, especially with Avengers: The Kang Dynasty looming in Phase 6. 

In the meantime, it appears that Disney+ will remain the definitive reference for when and where projects fall. And, no doubt, Marvel fans will need it in this ever-expanding universe. 

- In This Article: I Am Groot (Season 2)
Release Date
September 06, 2023
- About The Author: Savannah Sanders
Savannah Sanders joined The Direct as a writer in 2020. In addition to writing for The Direct's Star Wars, Marvel, and DC teams, Savannah specializes in the relationship between Disney's blockbuster franchises and the Disney Parks.