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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022) - Film review by KadmonThe Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

The The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022) is a futuristic action comedy short film. The movie was reviewed by Kadmon.

Product: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022)

Original title: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special

Series: Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Guardians of the Galaxy

Previous entries in the series: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War 2: Endgame (2019), Thor 4: Love and Thunder(2022)

Setting: contemporary fantasy Earth (Marvel Universe - Marvel Cinematic Universe)

Product type: Film, Genre: futuristic action comedy, Style: sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary fantasy, action, futuristic action, super-human abilities, Christmas

Release: 2022.11.25

Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Preferences: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises to spoilers, prefers establishing elements before referencing them

Watched: very recent (2022.11), first time

Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points)

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This is my review of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, a futuristic action comedy movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe from 2022. It's about a group of people trying to cheer up their friend. The The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film is a fun Christmas movie, I recommend it.

If you'd like to be surprised by the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film, I don't recommend you to watch the trailer beyond 0:37, because it gives away too much of the plot.

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Review (spoiler-free) - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, movie (2022)

I've heard that there will be some MCU TV specials, but considering that I didn't like the MCU TV shows, I didn't think that I'd watch this film. However, when it came out, I had some time to spare, and I thought I'd give this a try without watching the trailer.

The The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special movie is about a group of people trying to cheer up their friend.

The story (by James Gunn) is good, and fits the Christmas theme. The pacing is consistent. There are some very small character arcs. I didn't find major logical problems. It's similar to the previous episodes.

The cinematography is good. The action scenes are fun and easy to follow. The special effects are good.

We don't really get to know the characters beyond the basics. However, I didn't feel that this was missing from the story. The actors were good.

The music (by John Murphy) is fine.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is an interesting futuristic action comedy, I think fans of the genre will enjoy it.

My experience

I was satisfied with The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022). I happen to like stories with fun plots, and The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special delivered just that.

Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points). The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is a well-made film.

Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points). The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is fun, I liked it.

Rewatchability: High. I think if you liked it for the first time, you'll like to experience it more than once.

Chance of watching it again: There's a chance. I liked it enough that I might watch it in the right circumstances.

Chance of watching a sequel: High. I'd sure watch it.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022) - Film review by KadmonThe Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Will you enjoy this?

If you cannot miss any release related to the Marvel Universe, you'll watch this anyway.

If you like futuristic action movies, you might like The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

If you'd prefer a straight Christmas movie, this Holiday Special might disappoint you by being different (albeit fun).

If you like futuristic fantasy movies, you might like The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

If you'd like to get comedic moments in your movies, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has plenty of those.

If you enjoyed the Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) or Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017), you might be interested in this story.

If you prefer visuals over story, this movie looks good enough.

If you hate comedy movies, avoid this film.

If you hate depiction of violence, this movie is probably not for you. There's mild violence in the story, but probably nobody is killed.

Things you are required to know to enjoy this

I think everything is set up properly so you will understand what's happening without any background.

Do you need to see the previous films to enjoy this?

I think there's enough explanation that you'll understand what's going on without seeing the previous films.

Watching for plot points

I'm not sure it's worth watching the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special movie for researching plot points, either for Christmas stories, or for futuristic action stories.

Should you watch this on your own screen at home, or is it worth going to the cinema?

The visuals probably look better if you watch it in a cinema.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022) - Film review by KadmonThe Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

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Review with spoilers - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, movie (2022)

I liked the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special movie.

Cover

The cover of the movie is okay, it doesn't say much, but it doesn't spoil the movie.

The trailer

The trailer starts mostly okay, but then it spoils a major parts of the movie.

If you prefer spoilers, it's a great trailer for the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film. If you prefer to avoid spoilers, it will make the movie less fun for you.

Promise of the first scene

It opens with young Peter trying to celebrate Christmas, but Yondu steps in and prevents it. I assume he will still have his Christmas in the movie somehow.

Execution: I was totally fine with the fulfilment of the promise.

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022) - Film review by KadmonThe Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Plot summary / Synopsis

In a flashback, we see young Peter Quill trying to celebrate Christmas on the Ravager ship. With Kraglin, they've set up a Christmas tree, and prepare presents for everyone. Yondu finds out about this, and tells them that Ravagers take what they want, and don't need handouts. Yondu puts the tree and the presents in the trash.

On Knowhere, Kraglin (Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri) tells this story of how Yondu ruined Christmas for Peter to the other members of the Guardians of the Galaxy - Drax (Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer), Nebula (Karen Gillan as Nebula), and Mantis (Pom Klementieff as Mantis).

While Peter (Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord) is organising the repairs of the space station, an alien rock band (Old 97's as alien rock band) stops him to listen to their Christmas song, but he is too busy to appreciate it.

Mantis and Drax decide to bring a proper Christmas present to Peter, to cheer him up. They decide that Kevin Bacon would be perfect.

They go to the Earth, break into the home of Kevin Bacon (Kevin Bacon as Kevin Bacon), and abduct him, using the mind powers of Mantis.

On Knowhere, they set up Christmas music and lights, and give Kevin Bacon to Peter, who is horrified of what they have done. However, Kevin Bacon warms up to them, and sings a Christmas song for them, before going home.

In a flashback, we see that Yondu goes back to the trash, and opens his present, revealing a little Baby Yoda. He gives a pair of blasters to young Peter as a present (probably the ones that he still uses in the series).

In the end we see that Rocket and Cosmo try to dress Groot up as a Christmas tree.

The setting

Contemporary alternate Earth, set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Some of the story plays on other planets.

There is magic, super-heroes, and aliens.

Plot points of interests

The were a couple of changes to the setting and characters.

Setting

Knowhere: The Guardians of the Galaxy bought it from the Collector. It is now getting rebuilt.

New characters

Kevin Bacon: A male human actor, living on Earth. He got abducted from his home by Drax and Mantis as a Christmas present to Peter.

Changes to characters

James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes: In an offscreen event, Nebula jumped him, and tore his cybernetic arm, then left.

Cosmo the Spacedog: She is now a member of the Guardians. She can talk. She has telekinetic powers, that she can't control properly.

Drax: It turns out a GoBot killed his cousin. He despise actors. Drax is immune to firearm bullets, however, they tickle him. She can jump very high, and able to jump down from high distances.

Mantis: She confesses to Peter that Ego was her father, so Peter is her brother. She despise actors. She has the powers of Command, Control personality, and Forced sleep. She is a good fighter, easily defeating trained police officers. She can jump very high, and able to jump down from high distances.

Nebula: She took a trip to Earth offscreen, and tore the cybernetic arm off of Bucky, to give it as a present to Rocket.

Peter Quill / Starlord: Mantis confesses to him that Ego was her father, so Mantis is his sister. Peter got his twin blasters from Yondu as a Christmas present.

Rocket: He gets the vibranium arm of Bucky as a Christmas present, that he wishes for a long time.

The Collector: He is alive, and sold Knowhere to the Guardians.

Powers

Command: The user can suggest things that the target does. Mantis has this power.

Control personality: The user can change the personality of the target. Mantis has this power.

Forced sleep: The user can put the target to sleep. Mantis has this power.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022) - Film review by KadmonThe Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Analysis of the story - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, movie (2022)

I liked the story, I didn't find problems that would have prevented me from enjoying The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

The message of the story

Not every actor is disgusting. There are some who are fine.

The structure of the story

The scenes of the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film are mostly played in sequence, following the same storyline. The story  begins and ends with animated flashback scenes.

There's no single viewpoint character.

It has the usual arc of the dramatic structure - introduction, action, resolution.

Fan-service

Scenes and elements from previous works:

Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)

  • Some parts of the story are animated instead of live action.
  • Characters watch TV shows during the story.
  • Real musicians sing a song. Jefferson Spaceship in Star Wars, the Old 97's in Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • One of the protagonists sings in the end. It's Leia is Star Wars, and Kevin Bacon in Guardians.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964)

  • A lit-up reindeer is mentioned.
  • A Santa's elf is mentioned, who wants to be a dentist.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

  • Aliens abduct a person from Earth, to get their own people have some fun. In the end, they send him back to Earth.
  • One of the aliens forget to turn on the cloaking device, frightening humans.
  • The aliens are confused by the identity of humans wearing costumes.
  • Watched by Kevin Bacon in his home.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

  • Peter's dance to save the world is mentioned.
  • Peter called Kevin Bacon the greatest hero on Earth.

Movie characters shown as cosplayers

  • Zorro
  • The Mummy
  • GoBots: Cy-Kill
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Captain Jack Sparrow
  • God of War: Drax is mistaken for Kratos
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Ant-Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Captain Marvel

Movies with Kevin Bacon

  • Footlose (1984): Mentioned that he saved the town by dancing. It is paralleled by Starlord saving the universe with dancing.
  • Friday the 13th (1980): Mentioned that he beat up Jason, although he admits that it was him who died, with an arrow in his throat.

Things I liked

  • It had a touching story.

Problematic elements

Jumping Mantis: First, Mantis asks Drax to throw her over the gate. Yet, in later scenes we see that Mantis is easily able to jump over fences as high as that gate was.

Unanswered questions

  • Did Nebula give the real arm of Bucky to Rocket? If she did, how did she get it? (Update: According to the creator, Nebula took a trip to Earth, and ripped the arm from Bucky, as the spirit of Christmas took over her.)

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Possibilities of improvement

 

How it could have been better?

 

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How does it compare to the other works of the creators?

I haven seen some works of the writer / director (James Gunn). Dawn of the Dead (2004), Slither (2006), Super (2010), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017), The Suicide Squad (2021) were all good. This movie continues this trend.

How does it compare to the other films in the series?

It's a fun movie, like the previous ones were in the Guardians of the Galaxy series. It fits into those fine.

The MCU Phase Four was a varied mix of stories without a focus and an overarching storyline, so it could be also in a good place for those. It doesn't connect to any other stories in this Phase, the Holiday Special is similar to Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) and Thor 4: Love and Thunder (2022) in being a fun, self-contained movie.

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Behind the scenes

Kevin Bacon played the character of Sebastian Shaw in X: First Class (2011), that's probably also part of the MCU Multiverse now.

Thoughts about the reviews of others

 

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The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022) - Film review by KadmonThe Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, short movie for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (2022)
image © Marvel (Disney)

Uses for the film - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, movie (2022)

Plot

  • Set in a contemporary fantasy setting, and on a fantasy world (space station).
  • A group of people decide to get the perfect gift for their friend.
    • The gift happens to be a self-aware creature (a human).

Scenes

  • The shots of Knowhere could be used to depict a space station with multiple humanoid aliens.

Designs

 

Scenarios - Role-playing game

Escape: A group of drunken people jumps on one of the characters, who have decided to abduct the character as a present. Their friend or boss probably has some beef with the character, or, on the contrary, admires their abilities. Either way, the character has to get away from these people, until their alcohol induced determination goes away.

Grab and run: The team wants to acquire something that is implanted into a person - it could be a cybernetic or magical booster, an arrowhead wedged into an old wound, or a wooden peg leg. They have to find the person, and talk him into giving it to them, or beat him until he is out of other options.

Gory version: It's not an implant, but one of the body parts of the person, that is said to contain a good charm / magic. For example, he once touched a magical object, that makes his hand magical. They have to remove that body part.

Scenarios - Wargame

Get the objective: One of the forces wants to get something from one of the leaders of the enemy force, that is grown to the character, and can't be taken away without brute force. It can be an implanted item - cybernetic or magical booster, an arrowhead wedged into an old wound, or a wooden peg leg. It can be also one of the body parts of the person, that is said to contain a good charm / magic. One of the enemy leaders has to be chosen before the game. If there is an enemy model that specifically has something resembling that, that model has to be chosen. Once the target leader is captured or incapacitated, one of the models has to take an action to retrieve the objective. If this is their only objective in the scenario, they win if the model carrying the objective leaves the playing area, and more than half of their units is still alive.

Specialist unit (harder for the stealing force): Only some specialist models are able to remove the objective from the target character.

Uncertain removal (harder for the stealing force): When the model spends an action to remove the objective, at the end of the turn, roll a d6. On 1-3, it is removed.

Uncertain non-specialists (easier for the stealing force): If you use both the Specialist unit and Uncertain removal options, you can decide that a specialist doesn't need to roll, but any non-specialist has to roll.

Uncertain specialists (less easier for the stealing force): If you use both the Specialist unit and Uncertain removal options, you can decide that a specialist has to roll 1-3 for removal, but you can still allow a non-specialist to roll a d6, and on a 1, they could succeed.

Uncertain target (harder for the stealing force): They only know that one of the enemy leaders has that objective, but they are not sure which one. They have to decide on a priority order for the enemy leaders. Once they incapacitate or capture the enemy leader model, one model has to spend an action to search their target. At the end of the turn, roll a d6. On 1-3, they were right, and they can start the removal process in the next turn. Otherwise, they have to get to the next enemy leader on their priority list.

Miniatures - 1/50-1/60 (28-32mm scale)

Civilians: Human-sized (S3) modern (advanced) human female / male civilian.

Aliens: Human-sized (S3) modern / futuristic (advanced) humanoid alien (humanoid) female / male civilian.

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Similar stories - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, movie (2022)

Movies

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964): In a the contemporary setting, aliens (Martians) abduct a mythical person (Santa Claus) from Earth, to get their own people have some fun. In the end, they send him back to Earth.

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Frequently asked questions - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, movie (2022)

Is the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film based on a book or comics?

No, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is not based on either books or comics, although the characters are based on the Guardians of the Galaxy graphic novels.

Is the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film a remake or reboot?

No, the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film is neither a remake nor a reboot.

Is there a post credit scene in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special? Does The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special have end credit scenes? Does The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special have a post credit scene?

Yes, there's a post credit scene in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.

Where can I see ? What is The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special playing on? What streaming service is The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on? Where can I watch The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special online? Is The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special available on Netflix? Is The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Amazon?

As of 2022.12.19, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is only available on Disney+.

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Resources - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, movie (2022)

Official

Marvel: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special: Official article.

Information

IMDB: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022): Database article.

WikiPedia: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special: Database article.

Letterboxd: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special 2022: Database article.

Rotten Tomatoes: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special 2022: Database article.

TVTropes: Film / The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special: Database article.

Creation

: Concept art article / video.¤

Reviews with no spoilers - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film (2022)

: Review article / video about the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film with no spoilers.¤

Reviews with spoilers - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special film (2022)

: Review article / video of the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special movie, with spoilers. Includes a very detailed plot summary.¤

Analysis - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special movie (2022)

: Analysis article / video, explaining the finale of The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.¤

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Buying the product - The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special, movie (2022)

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Have you seen the The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special short film for the Marvel Cinematic Universe? How do you like the movie? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!

 

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