Disney Plus’ Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special yielded many surprises for Marvel fans and one came in the form of one Guardian’s surprising physical transformation. We explain why Groot is buff in the special and reveal when Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s release date is.

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has officially concluded and 2023 will see Phase 5 kick off with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17, 2023.

The upcoming Christmas special presentation is brought to you by writer and director James Gunn, the man behind the MCU’s Guardians trilogy, and focuses on the titular heroes celebrating the holiday season on Earth in order to lift Peter Quill’s spirits. The feature will see Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn, Michael Rooker, and Zoe Saldaña reprise their roles.

Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special | Official Trailer

Marvel Studios’ Special Presentation: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special | Official Trailer

Why is Groot Buff in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special?

While answering a series of questions on Twitter, relating to the holiday special, director James Gunn addressed “YA Groot” or “Swoll Groot.”

The director explained how Groot had entered into the young adult stage of his life, which, in the real world, is a period of time when physical appearance becomes more important.

Groot is getting bigger “outward as well as upward”, sporting a bulkier physical appearance and Gunn also stated that Groot now has a more “outgoing personality” than his father.

James Gunn Confirms Groot is “100%” CGI

While answering another question on Twitter, Gunn also confirmed that Swoll Groot is “100% computer generated.”

The director credited Framestore and Weta Digital for the computer work done on Groot, but many fans were surprised by how realistic Groot looked.

One fan also touched on the controversy surrounding Marvel’s hired VFX artists and said “That’s what happens when you give a VFX company enough time to actually finish their job.”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Release Date

The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 release date is May 5, 2023, as part of Marvel’s Phase 5 lineup.

Chris Pratt as Star-Lord, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Vin Diesel as Groot, and Pom Klementieff as Mantis return for the third endeavor, including Zoe Saldaña as Gamora.

Will Poulter will also debut as Adam Warlock and the third installment is designed to serve as the conclusion to Gunn’s trilogy.

The trilogy conclusion will be sandwiched between Disney Plus’ Secret Invasion and the Echo series.

Chris Pratt as Peter Quill/Star-Lord and Dave Bautista as Drax in a Christmas jumper in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
Photo by Jessica Miglio. © 2022 MARVEL.

By Jo Craig – [email protected]

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special is now streaming on Disney Plus.

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