This is a review for Marvel Studios’ The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney Plus – directed by James Gunn. Starring; Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Sean Gunn and Kevin Bacon.
‘On a mission to make Christmas unforgettable for Quill, the Guardians head to Earth in search of the perfect present.’
When I think of great Christmas content, It’s uplifting, humbling, something that’s going to be fun to watch, and hopefully with a decent rewatch ability, in order to want to see it for many Christmases to come.
James Gunn has delivered on all of these aspects, in a short 42 minute presentation. The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special is very heartwarming, full of festive cheer and a splendid celebration for the MCU characters.
Getting more of an insight into Peter Quill’s backstory was delightful. It’s nice to see a focus on Mantis’ character; Pom Klementieff’s performance shines greatly alongside Dave Bautista as Drax. The humour between them both lands well in every scene. All of the actors look like they are actually having a wonderful time!
The addition of Kevin Bacon is also meta and very funny to watch play-out on screen, the jokes connect up well with the movies.
James Gunn including musical performances was a brilliant choice, felt positively welcoming, got me in the mood for a Christmas party. The songs suited the festive presentation as well.
There are set designs on [spoilers], that appeared to be static, like a pantomime or stage decorations. Which reminded me of when Bill Murray is standing in a televised Christmas set in the movie Scrooged! This is one of the other aspects that separates the special from being seen as cinematic like the first two movies, and much more theatrical instead.
Some of the character designs seem to have dropped in quality, Drax does look more like Dave Bautista that’s just had rushed body paint and patterns put on him. When I first saw the new appearance of Groot in the background, I thought this was someone who was randomly a fan, in a foam suit cosplaying him, but it actually turned out to be a CG Groot, just not the best design. Rocket and Mantis still look as awesome as they usually do though!
Loved the colour grading, strong uses of green, red and blue popping out of the screen, cinematography similar to movies such as Home Alone. The fonts overlayed for the title and credits were also playful, presented with that classic italic green and red Christmas font.
Had such a great time watching this! Finally, there’s more Christmas themed projects that are starting to come out from Marvel and hopefully there will be more.
There is one funny post credit scene in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, that releases on November 25.
Looking for more festive content? Check out the 40 Best Christmas movies to watch.