A holiday special done right



     Finding the perfect Christmas gift is a difficult task  during the holiday season, and it is no different for the  renowned intergalactic superheroes in “Guardians of  the Galaxy: Holiday Special.” 

      “Guardians of the Galaxy:  Holiday Special” was released on Nov. 25 on Disney  Plus. For the first time in the  history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU),  there was a holiday special short film released with  everyone’s favorite Guardians, who displayed familial  bonds among friends. 

     Before venturing off to  Earth, the Guardians are seen rebuilding Knowhere, where Drax, played by Dave Bautista, and Mantis, played by Pom Klementieff, see Star-Lord, played by Chris  Pratt loathing the Christmas cheer.  

     Additionally, Star-Lord is grief-stricken by the death of the “original” Gamora. Seeing their leader in this condition is heartbreaking  for the rest of the Guardians, so they decide to find  him the perfect Christmas present: his favorite Earth actor Kevin Bacon.  

     Drax and Mantis’ adventure throughout the film is  full of amusing comedy and the chemistry between the actors is just as good in the  first film. The performances, while shorter, from Pratt,  Bradley Cooper, Karen Gillan and Gunn were also a  great addition to the film. 

     As Mantis and Drax land  on Earth, they locate Kevin Bacon’s house in Beverly  Hills. Bacon is terrified of Mantis and Drax’s sudden appearance and calls the police, but Mantis resolves this complication by putting both Kevin Bacon and the police in the trance as they take Bacon to Knowhere.  

     After returning to Knowhere, the Guardians throw  Quill a surprise Christmas  party, where Quill is horrified to find out that Kevin  Bacon has been kidnapped  against his will and demands that he be returned.  

     Before going back to  Earth, Kraglin reveals to Bacon how he inspired Quill’s  desire to be a hero, and  agrees to return and celebrate Christmas with the  Guardians. 

     The film has themes of friendship, family and the Christmas spirit. We found the plot was wholesome as Quill’s friends helped him regain the Christmas spirit that he lost long ago. 

     Ever since “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1” came out, I’ve loved these characters because of their chaotic and  comical relationship, so seeing them act as a big family  in a much less serious space was fun. 

     Drax and Mantis are one of the most humorous duos  in the entire MCU so seeing them have more central  roles was a nice twist after having Peter Quill as the main character for the past two movies. Each of them got to show how they are some of the most beloved characters in the entire MCU . 

     Arfa Hassan(‘25) said, “They’ve [the Guardians] all made an impact on my watching experience ever since the first Guardians movie.”  

     The film’s cinematography was commendable, especially in the scene that  showed the build up to the  big reveal of Knowhere covered in Christmas lights,  and seeing Star-Lord’s reaction to it all. Additionally, the scenes in which the  Guardians travel through space were well-edited. The  appearance of Groot’s character without CGI throughout the movie was a nice  touch and provides a nice preview for the upcoming movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”.

     The characters were portrayed very well in the short  film, and the actors played their roles in a way that the characters seemed more like  family than just extraterrestrial co-workers to new  viewers and long-time Marvel fans. We appreciated that  the Guardians put their best efforts to help Quill re-learn the meaning of Christmas,  despite their limited knowledge of Christmas traditions.  

     This short film was a new opportunity for the Marvel franchise to branch  out into themes often overlooked. While they usually  present action-filled plots and nail-biting scenes, they delivered a short film with  family themes and a Christmas movie to remember.