‘I Am Groot’: Do the Marvel Shorts Tie Into the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Movies?

TL;DR:

  • Marvel’s I Am Groot shorts have made their debut on Disney+.
  • The series builds on the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, focusing on Baby Groot.
  • It’s likely not necessary to watch I Am Groot before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Baby Groot in Marvel's 'I Am Groot' shorts, which don't share a story with the 'Guardians of the Galaxy' movies. In the image, Baby Groot is towering over small blue aliens.
Baby Groot in ‘I Am Groot’ | Marvel Studios

RELATED: ‘Ms. Marvel’ and the Highest-Rated Marvel Shows on Disney+

I Am Groot just made its debut on Disney+, and the series of Marvel shorts takes fans on adventures with one of the franchise’s cutest characters: Baby Groot. Those who have seen the Guardians of the Galaxy movies will recognize him. But will fans need to watch I Am Groot ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3? Here’s how the series is connected to James Gunn’s Marvel films.

‘I Am Groot’ takes place during ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ movies

I Am Groot takes place during the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but its tales are separate from the stories told in the films. You’ll have to have some knowledge of the franchise to understand what’s happening in the anthology series. After all, without Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, viewers wouldn’t know who Groot is or why he’s a baby in the shorts.

But apart from knowing the character and his circumstances, the new Disney+ shorts don’t directly tie into the plots of the first two movies. Even still, producer Brad Winderbaum confirmed that the episodes are canon to the Marvel Cinematic Universe during an interview with ComicBook.com.

“It takes place between the end of Guardians 2 and before the tag scene in Guardians 2,” Winderbaum explained. “So it’s in this narrow window where Groot is in that kind of post-toddler stage of development.

Knowing that Groot’s tales are canon, fans may be wondering if they need to watch them before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Although they’re worth a watch, it doesn’t seem like they’ll factor into the next movie in any major way.

Do you need to watch the ‘I Am Groot’ shorts before ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Vol. 3?

For those wondering if they’ll need to watch I Am Groot before Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 comes out, the answer appears to be no. The shorts focus primarily on the title character’s adventures as a baby, and they don’t offer any developments likely to impact the main films. For the most part, Baby Groot’s adventures are there for comedic purposes. They’re certainly worth watching, but they don’t extend beyond the character and his personal experiences.

As such, these episodes probably won’t come into play during Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. However, another Disney+ release will be required viewing for the final chapter.

The ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’ will be necessary to watch

Although I Am Groot isn’t a must-watch before the final Guardians of the Galaxy movie, the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special will be necessary to understanding Vol. 3.

James Gunn confirmed as much during an interview with Collider back in 2021. He revealed that the holiday special will contain important context for the trilogy’s conclusion.

“It’s in-canon, it’s about the Guardians, you’re gonna learn stuff that you need to learn before Vol. 3, and it’s great,” Gunn told the outlet.

So, even if you skip Marvel’s latest release on Disney+, make sure you keep up with the next addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. And if you have 30 minutes to spare, the new shorts are definitely worth the watch as well — even if they don’t contain any groundbreaking developments.

All five I Am Groot shorts are now streaming on Disney+.

RELATED: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’: Chris Pratt ‘Loved Every Minute’ Working With Chris Hemsworth