The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special | Review, 5 things I liked and disliked about it

GOTG Holiday Special


In the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, the Guardians, who are on a mission to make Christmas unforgettable for Quill, head to Earth in search of the perfect present.

IMDB: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%


The special presentation starts with a 2D animation story-telling, where it shows us that Kraglin (Sean Gunn) in narrating the story to Mantis (Pom Klementiff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) about how Yondu (Michael Rooker) destroyed Star-Lord/Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) Christmas when he was a kid. And everyone assume that since that day, Peter has not celebrated Christmas like people on Earth do.
So Drax and Mantis head out on a journey to the Earth to get Kevin Bacon, the famous actor as a Christmas present for Peter. It becomes an adventure hunt for them to find Kevin. So now the duo is set on a mission to get Kevin Bacon as a present for Peter Quill, back at where they are currently staying, ‘Knowhere’. the planet made from the head of a Celestial which the Guardians bought from the Collector (Benecio Del Toro).

Groot Christmas Present

“I hate stories where everybody lives.”


Marvel has not had a good luck with their stories for the Disney Plus shows, but the Marvel Presentations have delivered much better than anyone could have expected. First ‘Werewolf by Night‘ and now ‘The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’. Although The Holiday Special is not as good as ‘Werewolf by Night’ but it surely delivers much better than any MCU show till now.

Jolly Old 97's

“I don’t know what Christmas is, but Christmas time is here.”

James Gunn brings a beautiful Marvel Christmas movie. Not the best of the Phase 4, but for sure is enjoyable for a Christmas Eve night. The music remains really good, their are easter eggs and various surprises popping around, cinematography is brilliant, the comic dialogues were well written, and seeing Mantis in action for the first time in Marvel Cinematic Universe was a real surprise and one of the most enjoying element in the special presentation.

Drax and Mantis at Kevin Bacon's house

“Be Kevin Bacon, but like if you didn’t suck.”

5 things I liked about The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special:

Well, the special presentation was not really long. The entire presentation was of 42 minutes including the introduction and credits. Here are my picks about what I liked about The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

  1. The pacing of the special presentation was really well done. It never gets boring or slows down, maybe also because it is not long but the movie keeps on going. Whether it is Marvel, DC, or other solo projects of James Gunn, he never lets his viewers down.
  2. The music selected by James Gunn remains the most suiting to the story yet again. No matter what the story is going on, the creators of the movie find the perfect song and music that suits the scene perfectly. Not just in this movie but this has been going on in all the Guardians of the Galaxy movie series.
  3. Introducing Kevin Bacon mainly as an actor was something different. Kevin Bacon has played the role of Sebastian Shaw/Black King in Fox’s Marvel movie, X-Men: First Class. Although there was no one who mentioned his role as the villain in X-Men, but it looks like he will not be playing any other role in MCU rather than himself. It would have been wild to see him in Avengers: Secret Wars in the Battleworld.
  4. Cinematography remains consistent in all the movies made by James Gunn. The color optimization never disappoints the viewers and the overall movie experience remains vibrant.
    His influence has even made its way through the DC Universe where the color grading of Black Adam was much better as well, compared to what we have watched till now in that Cinematic Universe. And of course, let’s not forget about James Gunn’s successful attempt with the much better version of ‘The Suicide Squad‘ and later ‘Peacemaker‘.
  5. There is hardly any action sequence in the movie. But seeing Mantis chasing Kevin Bacon to abduct him, jumping and hopping from one wall to another really looked like the insect Mantis itself. And as discussed above, this is the first time we saw Mantis in action, it was really well attempted to give us the point of view Kevin Bacon is having while being chased by the two aliens.
    Also, at the end when we see Mantis explaining and confessing to Peter Quill that she is his sister/step-sister of him, as they both are the children of Ego (Kurt Russell) was a really wholesome and heart-warming moment.

“We got Quill the worst gift ever. A disgusting actor.”

5 things I disliked about The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special:

The movie hardly had anything to be disliked about it. But here are the things I picked that could have been better.

  1. The animation part where the movie begins from could have had a better animation style. Yes, I do get that the director connected that time period with the 80’s and had the movie’s animation in 6 frames per second, but it felt a bit odd to watch.
  2. The whole movie experience felt like it was made on a low and restricted budget. Marvel needs to allot a good share of the budget for everything they bring to their viewers on the Disney Plus platform. It’s not the first time any superhero show is being released for any internet subscription model. There have been various shows for online consumption till now that have had even bigger budgets than many famous movies. There is another superhero show that has been really doing well on the online platform, Amazon Prime Video’s ‘The Boys‘, and Marvel can really take some notes from them.
    And we all know that it is not like Marvel and Disney are not earning enough, they are the biggest franchise in the world which has recently even seen their decline. They need to make more effort for their content if they want to get the audience back.
  3. The director and creators don’t show where the movie lands in the current timeline of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They should have cleared us a bit as there are lots of characters being introduced in the Universe and there is Multiverse collapsing with incursions occurring in various other timelines.
  4. We are not sure how the holiday special will connect with The Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3. There is no specific post-credit scene hinting toward to future of the Guardians. And there is no other character around the Guardians who could hint about their future. Although we did see the High Evolutionary (will be played by Chukwudi Iwuji) in Comic-Con 2023, there is no specific detail about him yet.
  5. I would have loved to see a teaser for The Guardians of The Galaxy: Volume 3 in the post-credit scene of the Holiday Special. It would have motivated and excited many other viewers as well for the next venture of the Guardians.
Peter Quill Christmas Lighting

“You saved a town with dancing. And once, Pete saved a whole galaxy with dancing.”