Short Review – The Cutest Guardian of the Galaxy Makes a Gift for His Family in “I Am Groot: Magnum Opus”

In just a few weeks, Marvel Studios fans will be getting an all-new series of animated shorts entitled I Am Groot, starring the always-adorable character of Baby Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise. But Groot devotees who live in Southern California have the unique opportunity to check out one of the I Am Groot shorts early this week, thanks to screenings prior to select afternoon showings of director Taika Waititi’s new movie Thor: Love and Thunder at the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. I attended the 4:15 PM showing of Thor: Love and Thunder today to check out I Am Groot: “Magnum Opus” preceding the main attraction (and shown alongside El Capitan’s nifty Thor-themed laser-light show) and I found the short to be a pleasant diversion, sure to amuse Guardians of the Galaxy fanatics, though it is rather short. The story takes place between Vols. 1 and 2 of the action/sci-fi series aboard Star-Lord’s ship the Milano, where Baby Groot (once again voiced by The Fast and the Furious star Vin Diesel) “borrows” items from the other crew members– like a tuft of hair from Rocket Raccon’s (A Star Is Born’s Bradley Cooper) tail, Drax’s soap, and Peter-Quill’s rocket boots– in order to craft a thoughtful gift for his makeshift family. Like the recent Disney+ The Simpsons shorts (one of which skewered the Marvel Cinematic Universe), this episode of I Am Groot only runs for a few minutes, but that time is well spent– presenting a quick, diverting story that’s equal parts funny and touching. There’s not much else to say about “Magnum Opus” except that I was surprised by the near photorealism of the animation style– I had figured the powers that be at Marvel Studios would be going for a more cartoonish look in this series. But director Kristen Lepore (an animator with an assortment of previous shorts in her filmography) and the writing team behind I Am Groot have delivered something that actually fits in pretty well in the Guardians saga, not to mention the MCU as a whole. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out the remaining four installments when they drop on Disney+ in August, as I now see them as a tantalizing appetizer for Vol. 3, due out next year. I Am Groot premieres Wednesday, August 10, exclusively on Disney+. “Magnum Opus” can be seen this week preceding the first showing of Thor: Love and Thunder each day at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. For additional information and to purchase advance tickets, be sure to visit the official El Capitan website.
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Mike Celestino
Mike serves as Laughing Place's lead Southern California reporter, Editorial Director for Star Wars content, and host of the weekly "Who's the Bossk?" Star Wars podcast. He's been fascinated by Disney theme parks and storytelling in general all his life and resides in Burbank, California with his beloved wife and cats.