Streaming Review: “I Am Groot” Season 2 is Pure Joy

Animation fans have had a lot to celebrate on Disney+ recently. In addition to the fantastic restoration of some classic Disney shorts, the new 4K version of Cinderella has received rave reviews. There have also been new episodes of the enjoyable Chip ‘n’ Dale Park Life. But the high quality animation extends beyond the Disney brand with the gem that is a second batch of I Am Groot episodes.

This time, Groot gets to experience a variety of new adventures. From the fun and responsibility of having a pet to the quest of finding some cash for the intergalactic ice cream truck, he experiences situations that you might not imagine, but after witnessing them, won’t remember how you lived without them. While it is hard to pick a favorite, the installment where Groot gets a nose is particularly memorable.

Much like season 1, the series seamlessly meshes the photorealistic world of the MCU with time-proven cartoon devices. The combination is something fresh yet familiar. Director Kirsten Lepore walks the line between a world we have seen in live-action while allowing Groot to participate in zany antics. On paper, those two styles may seem anachronistic, but Lepore and her team find a way to execute on the concept that is nothing short of masterful.

Many times franchises create animated series because they have stories to tell, but there are logistical or financial limitations that guide them away from live-action. I Am Groot is not that. The series wisely leans into its own animated character which reminds me of why I fell in love with animation to begin with. While not as wacky as a Tex Avery short, there are several moments that would make Chuck Jones proud. Quite frankly, in my head canon, the ice cream truck featured in one installment is run by an intergalactic branch of Acme. By embracing its identity as a cartoon, we get something that erases any thoughts of “superhero fatigue”

In animation, particularly when there is limited dialogue, the score plays a big role. Luckily,  Daniele Luppi is up to the task. His work on the series combines the Marvel sound while providing it with a greater emphasis that befits a cartoon. Perhaps it is the recently restored “Silly Symphonies” that are on Disney+ renewed my appreciation on what an excellent score can contribute to an animated short, but Luppi’s work stands up amongst the great short scores.

I Am Groot is pure joy. If you are either a Marvel fan or an animation fan, don’t miss out by focusing on the larger scope projects. The animated artistry of these shorts should be savored and enjoyed. The five new episodes of I Am Groot will debut on Disney+ September 6.

I give the second season of I Am Groot  5 out of 5 flora colossi.

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