“Oh Christmas Groot, how I love your branches.”
By Lacie Strouse
Marvel’s goofiest protectors of the galaxy set out to Earth after discovering the holiday, “Christmas,” with hopes of cheering up Star-Lord, played by Chris Pratt.
“The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” is filled with festive holiday cheer and classic Guardian humor. Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff, is given a special spotlight in the holiday special along with Kraglin, played by Sean Gunn, who we should see more of in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.” Sean Gunn nails the strange goofy personality of Kraglin similarly to his role in “Gilmore Girls” as Kirk. We’re also introduced to a sad Peter Quill and a buff teenage Groot.
The special begins and ends with a flashback in animation. Young Peter Quill and Kraglin yearn to celebrate Christmas but are forced not to by father figure Yondu. The film then shifts to the present where it’s now Christmas time on planet Earth and the holiday spirit is spreading through planet Knowhere, the skull of a celestial being in space. In an attempt to cheer up Quill, Mantis, and Drax, played by Dave Bautista head to Earth to find the greatest Christmas present of all time, Kevin Bacon. Kevin Bacon, also known as Ren McCormack from “Footloose,” stars as himself in the holiday special. Bacon is Peter’s favorite actor, which justifies his kidnapping of Mantis and Drax. The holiday special comes to a close with friendship and family bonding along with a wonderful Christmas extravaganza.
The film is filled with humor and references from previous movies, however, without seeing the other movies, you can still enjoy this comedic Christmas special. It serves as a family-friendly stand-alone and hypes fans up for the next movie. This makes sense knowing the holiday special was filmed during the same time as “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3.” It also gave James Gunn a ton of freedom in creating the Holiday Special. With this being said, I am very excited to see our fierce fighting Mantis and humorous Kraglin in the next movie. I think Kraglin is going to surprise us by playing an important and key role, but only time can tell.
There are a few things to be mindful of when picking this Christmas special to watch with your family. The film includes mild cussing and mild violence. These are both rather tame in the Holiday Special compared to the previous two movies but they are still present. It also contains a scene where Mantis and Drax enter an LGBTQ nightclub and drink alcoholic beverages. The film is also filled with dumb humor capturing the personality of the Guardians.
In my opinion, I thought this movie was great if you’re looking for comedy. “The Guardians of the Galaxy” series never leaves me bored. I found myself laughing throughout the whole film and wanting more. The humor was the perfect balance with the emotional and serious aspects. “The Guardians of the Galaxy” series always had a theme of teamwork, friendship, and family. Although kidnapping isn’t the best thing to do, these themes are once more presented throughout the film. We see new relationships forming between the Guardians. Mantis and Drax’s relationship strengthens as they do what they do best, travel through the galaxy. Sadly, one of the Guardians is no longer with the rest of the team. Despite Gamora’s absence, the family bond is still stronger than ever.
It is the perfect theme to bring about Christmas cheer. The heart-warming film is accompanied by a festive feeling everywhere you look. Even Groot serves as a Christmas tree. After watching the film I was ready to decorate my house with Christmas decor. What’s a better way to ring in the season than with a Christmas Groot?
“The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special” is now available on Disney+
Laci Strouse is a freshman Professional Writing and Information Design major as well as a reporter for the Cedars. She enjoys reading Christian Fiction, embroidering, running and golfing with her brothers.
Images courtesy of Marvel Studios.