If summer 2014 has an official breakout tree, then it has to be Guardians of the Galaxy's Groot. The New York Times called Groot Vin Diesel’s “finest role since The Iron Giant.” Groot is one of a dozen miracles in the film, gushed Grantland writer Wesley Morris, who added, “wood has never sounded more elastic.” And it’s not just the critics: Groot’s internet fame is only growing with tons of animated GIFs and adorable fan art. His action figures and Legos have already landed in the hands of young fans, and there’s even a potted Groot figure on the way.
But where exactly does Groot come from? As we were watching Guardians, we saw shades of multiple cinematic creatures including Edward Scissorhands and his long, piercing fingers, E.T. and his shimmering eyes, and Chewbacca and his garbled roar that only Han Solo seems to understand. We decided to break down all of Groot’s movie ancestors in one handy infographic. Click above to enlarge and immerse yourself in the roots of Groot.
8/19 update: The focus of this feature is the film version of Groot, not the comic-book character (who originally debuted in 1960). We hope this stems any confusion.
Infographic designed by Jayme Perry