Gunn Says Goodbye to Marvel: Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special Movie Review

The desire of Disney management to fill its streaming service with Disney+ content periodically leads to paradoxical results. On the one hand, subscribers can get an excellent anime anthology in the spirit of the Star Wars: Visions project. On the other hand, a three-minute short film about baby Grog, which Studio Ghibli made at lunchtime, can be thrown onto the platform at the weekend.


Marvel Studios is no exception. So, an experiment with special issues started this fall. The first attempt in the form of ” Night Werewolf ” ( Werewolf by Night ) came out lumpy because its creators tried to force a full-fledged horror into 40 minutes. 

However, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special does not repeat this mistake. The fact is that director James Gunn clearly understood all the advantages and disadvantages of this format. As a result, his work proved to be an optional bonus for fans. That is … a special issue. No more and no less. 

The plot of the story is as follows. Wanting to please the gloomy Peter Quill ( Chris Pratt ), Mantis ( Pom Klementieff ) decides to organize a full Christmas celebration. However, for this, you need to find a gift for the leader of the Guardians, which will be … actor Kevin Bacon (only it’s strange that it’s not David Hasselhoff ). 

” Guardians of the Galaxy: Holiday Special ” is banter over the two formats. The first is the classic Christmas specials that many cartoons still get. They didn’t even forget about the songs, although animated inserts can scare away budget graphics. 


The second format is a story about how heroes from other worlds get to Los Angeles and get into stupid situations caused by differences in customs and habits. Usually, this was done because of creative impotence or cheaper production. ” Beastmaster 2 ” and ” Masters of the Universe ” are textbook examples. 

Much of the time is devoted to the adventures of the incredible duo of Mantis and Drax ( Dave Bautista ), who roam the Avenue of Stars, get drunk in a bar, and then start chasing after a panicked Kevin Bacon. There was even a reference to the current place of work Gunn, who quietly promotes the stars of the DC Universe John Cena and Margot Robbie

Gunn’s work will please not only fans of films, but also comics. Let’s say the Soviet telepathic dog Cosmo appears here. Well, you will have to be moved when Groot appears, who from the stage of a troubled teenager has transformed into a young jock. 

At the same time, the special issue turned out to be very melancholic, which may be due to the state of the director himself. Recall that Disney destroyed the fourth phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with its own hands and strengthened its competitor in the face of Warner Bros., trying in 2018 to “cancel” James Gunn for old social media jokes. 

Yes, under pressure from the public, the House of Mickey Mouse returned Gunn, only the latter lost all desire to work on the development of future Marvel projects, agreeing only to complete ” Guardians of the Galaxy. Part 3 ” ( Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ). Moreover, now the director holds the post of co-head of DC Films

In this situation, the holiday special looks like a preparation for the director to say goodbye to the characters that he loved so much. Regardless, fans received a lovely Christmas present that turned out to be Marvel’s best project of the year. No more and no less. 


Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is available to watch on the Disney+ streaming service.


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