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Groot. The Character We Need But Don’t Deserve.


 

giphy-2

The release of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 was more anticipated than its predecessor. The 2014 movie required you to talk people into seeing GOTG, Sr. Now we are living in a post-baby Groot world and his herb-y little face is all that people can talk about.  You can even scroll down to read Brad Morris’ review of the film. If you haven’t seen the sequel yet, just imagine if Ally McBeal’s dancing baby and an big-eyed koala had a plant child.

Now imagine that it’s more cute than that description.

Groot went from a towering side kick with a limited vocabulary to a marketable character in this iteration of the films.  The opening sequence is a playful dance between a toddler-like plant and a battle set in the sky. The fight is exposition for the story but it doesn’t matter. What matters is how adorable dancing shrubbery can be.  Ten minutes in, the price of admission is justified. (This would be a good time to add that I am easily entertained.) While many will argue that Groot is a cheap attempt to win over an audience, I’d argue that Groot is the character we need but don’t deserve.  He’s literally too good for this galaxy.

No Vocab Necessary 

A characters with a limited vocabulary isn’t anything new.  You can look to the Minions, Hodor, Beaker, Tinker Bell or any Ewok you find in the forrest to tell you that an extensive vocabulary isn’t necessary to be a lovable character. Once an audience is aware that a character is good natured, innocent and a little dimwitted they are yours forever. The limitations of only having a three word lexicon makes inflection and timing even more important.  While there are times that “I am Groot” approaches being over used, it never quite reaches the threshold of overuse.

Marketability 

One way to tell if a character is well loved is to see what kind of chintzy crap people will buy just because it reminds them of the character they love.  I’d like to coin the phrase “the happy meal toy factor.” The moment the idea of Groot was conceived, he was meant to be nestled beside a flat cheeseburger with soggy fries.  He has that happy meal toy “It” factor. People love Groot paraphenalia. Here’s some of the best items money can buy:

Baby Groot

Groot costume for your baby Groot

Actual Retail Value: $95.00 …yikes

Description: Not actual tree bark *hat not included

Link: Here 

 

 

rag doll groot

 

Groot Rag Doll 

Actual Retail Price: $15.00

Description: For those who like to explain what Groot actual looks like

Link: Here 

 

 

 

 

groot pen coozy

Crochet Pen Cozy Groot Head Pen Cover 

Actual Retail Price: $13.00

Description: “Fits most disposable pens!”

Link: Here

 

groot cosplay

Groot Cosplay Costume 

Actual Retail Price: $2,000

Description: Made to order.

*Which means some 5′ 2″ person could dress up as a slightly shorter than average Groot.

Link: Here 

 

 

 

 

He’s impossible to hate

Sort-of.  In this article, Vulture argued that Groot is “too perfect.” McHenry argues that Groot is used as a crutch.  He goes even further to say that Marvel movies have a tendency to bend “toward the unicorn-flavored lowest common denominator.”

Nice.

McHenry got a  two-for-one Starbucks/Groot diss.  It’s easy to read Groot as a cheap joke for easy targets (like me!) but the alternative is horrifying. The cuteness keeps the movie light.  There are plenty of superhero movies that are depressingly dark. I distinctly remember watching Superman destroy an entire city during one fight.  That scene needed something cute and fluffy.  Movies that don’t take themselves too seriously are needed. We don’t deserve Groot, but we do need his precious face to keep storylines from slipping to the dark side.

Article written by Megan Suttles

I can't decide if I want to use this space to be witty or insightful. I guess it will be neither.

One response to “Groot. The Character We Need But Don’t Deserve.”

  1. BiasedBigfoot

    Liked Groot OK. Didn’t like movie that much. All the serious/sentimental moments seemed forced.