The Disney+ streaming service has allowed Marvel Studios ample opportunity to explore the lives and adventures of superheroes who otherwise haven’t nearly enough screen time. In The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special, Mantis (Pom Klementieff) and Drax (Dave Bautista) get their own little side mission as they visit Earth to find Peter the perfect Christmas gift.
What does one buy for an orphaned Celestial-Human hybrid raised by Ravagers to be a legendary outlaw, captain of the M-Ships Milano and Benetar, and leader of a ragtag team of criminals? Well, if you’ve been paying attention, the answer is pretty clear: Kevin Bacon.
On Earth, Mantis and Drax inevitably stir up some trouble while trying to kidnap a famous movie star.
- Enjoy an incredible Disney meta moment as Drax and Mantis are mistaken for costumed characters on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard and get bombarded by tourists and have an altercation with a Go-bot.
- Learn what it takes to get a couple of aliens drunk as they visit a bar and enthusiastically do shots.
- Act surprised when the LAPD proves to be alarmingly trigger-happy.
- Wonder how a candy cane can be mistaken for a man.
And then our two heroes will zip back to Knowhere on their newest ship, The Bowie, with a cargo hold full of decorations and ugly Christmas sweaters to make Peter’s holiday all merry and bright. Mantis has a big reveal, Chris Pratt has a terrible wig, and the soundtrack features every offbeat Christmas song James Gunn could scrape up, plus one he helped write himself.
It’s nice to see the Guardians settling and thriving on Knowhere, apparently respected members of the community. The special is bookended by animated flashbacks to Peter’s first Christmas with Yondu, so even Michael Rooker rejoins the gang, along with Rocket (Bradley Cooper), Groot (Vin Diesel), Nebula (Karen Gillan), Kraglin (Sean Gunn), and even Cosmo the Spacedog (Maria Bakalova).
Set between Thor: Love and Thunder and and Guardians Vol. 3 (which comes out in May 2023), the holiday special is in fact canon to the MCU and has a few dishy winks to fans, including what Groot and Rocket might have on their own Christmas wish lists.