Groot! He’s arguably everyone’s favorite talking tree, even if he doesn’t seem to say much. He’s a comic hero, a movie star, a guest columnist to this very blog, and now he even has his own series of shorts on Disney+!
Okay, okay, technically the show is about baby Groot, who is more of an off-shoot (ha, get it?) of the larger and more focused tree being we met in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. And technically, it’s not that all he says is “I am Groot,” it’s that the translation devices that all the other aliens use to communicate aren’t able to properly translate all the nuanced statements and questions Groot says. So, while the audience and most characters hear “I am Groot” only Groot, Rocket, and the people behind the scenes know what Groot REALLY is saying. There’s even special scripts that only James Gunn and Vin Diesel saw, with whatever Groot meant for that line. This is why every utterance of “I am Groot” is distinct.
Much like many beloved Marvel heroes, Groot’s history goes way back, in this case to 1960. However, while Thor and Tony Stark were pretty much the same characters with slightly different looks, Groot was originally “The Monster from Planet X” who wrecked havoc in Tales to Astonish #13. He DID say the famous catchline, but also said many other things.
Nah, this character won’t be dancing to Jackson Five any time soon.
Rather than having a redemption arc which tied into a character design, Groot was basically forgotten in the Marvel Universe after he was eaten by termites. (No, really.) He re-appeared in 2007 with more charm and less vocabulary, more or less as the being we fell in love with in the MCU. That said, since Baby Groot is sort of a child/clone/resurrection of bigger Groot*, for all we know, good Groot is a descendant or sprouting of evil Groot. Maybe evil Groot just had better translation technology. Hey! New fan theory! Groot could probably explain exactly what happened, but it would just sound like “I am Groot.”
In any case, the almost 50-year hiatus featured Groot in Annihilation: Conquest, who joins familiar faces of the Guardians of the Galaxy such as Star-Lord and Rocket, but also Ultron and other characters familiar to Marvel Cinematic Universe movie watches. Some look a bit different in comic book form, but here Groot is clearly recognizable as Groot.
To celebrate Groot at his more adorable, we have officially licensed items such this “Chibi” Groot pendant, dancing Groot pendant, and adorable Groot face pendant! The latter is the same image we have on this set of Groot stud earrings, and is also found in “full color” (well, Groot color) in this keychain, and an even more colorful bracelet. If you’d prefer a more subtle reference to your favorite Guardian of the Galaxy, we have an “I am Groot” keychain with his GotG2 video game. Finally, if you want the Groot without the cute, we have this lapel pin featuring a crossover of Groot hosting Venom!
You can watch the new I am Groot shorts on Disney+. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can see the official trailer, itself a cute short story, here on Youtube.
*GotG Groot perhaps is not BIGGEST Groot as a Groot can be, as some suggest that the Groot we first met was not fully grown!