Long before Baby Yoda captured the hearts of many in and out of the Star Wars franchise, one little fellow has been making fans swoon all over the "galaxy" thanks to their cuteness. Of course, we're talking about Guardians of the Galaxy's Baby Groot and while the adorable little fellow was only featured in the 2017 sequel of the James Gunn-directed blockbuster, his popularity was more than enough to warrant him his own spinoff series on Disney+.
Now, most of you are probably intrigued with the beloved creature's design and it turns out that there's a pretty interesting story behind his creation. Appearing on Mexipino Podcast the podcast, former Marvel Studios visual artist Anthony Francisco revealed the inspiration behind Baby Groot's design and it turns out that the sentient creature was actually based on his son and a Filipino tree that is often featured in horror flicks.
Recalling the first time he saw Baby Groot on screen, Francisco, who was born and raised in the Philippines shared: "Yeah, watching Baby Groot on screen for the first time feels like I captured, now, my son, and pretty much that Baby Groot is a little Filipino kid… I totally just copied his body type."
He later explained that he wanted to mimic the Balete tree for Baby Groot's design and now that we think about it, he does share the same aesthetic as the mystical-looking tree. "When he was four years old, I was like, ‘How else can I add more of my Filipino culture in here?’ Even though he’s already a tree plant, but I wanted to use a specific type of tree called the Balete tree in the Philippines and there’s stories about that… the Balete tree where the White Lady resides."
Francisco continued: "I just used some of the textures from that, and the way the roots kinda hang down, and the limbs and the internal parts of Baby Groot. Even the face, the cuteness of it, the wide eyes, this just looks like my son."
Also Read: Why Groot Only Says "I Am Groot" Explained
The MCU already has legions of fans over at the Philippines but the surprising connection between Baby Groot and Pinoy culture is definitely something that will draw more Filipino fans into the franchise.
Meanwhile, Marvel Studios' I Am Groot is streaming on Disney+.