baby dancing groot

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If someone who’s never seen the movies / read the comics asks you what Guardians of the Galaxy is, just show them these GIFs without any explanation

Everything that I love/broke me about GOTG2 SPOILER WARNING

Please add more to this. I would love to hear what y'all love/broke you.

Drax
Mantis innocence
Baby groot is either mad or dancing
The sound track
Drax nipples

That scene where Ego is using peter and Brandy starts playing and then he crushed the Walkman while peter is crying a tear, that scene is so well done and sad

Nebula still eats it ripe
Southern nights hummed by rocket
Rocket love for peter music shows more

Yondu telling rocket he’s the same as him from the og guardians and don’t be like him and love your friends

Rocket saying I’m not losing one more friend today

Father and son playing after yondu death, and then baby groot comes by peter and wants to listen

Yondu telling peter he may been your dad but he wasn’t your daddy

When peter finds everything he loves in his heart to control his new powers and that one seen where yondu teaches peter how to shoot

Every line that drax says
Baby groot dancing to blue sky while everyone is trying to destroy the monster

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 reaction!

baby groot dancing to ‘mr. blue sky’ while everyone else fights the tentacle monster

the guardians meet the sovereign

me: “so where’s adam warlock?”

Originally posted by hiddles-me-pls

rocket steals the batteries from the sovereign

the gang meets star-lord’s dad

gamora: “if he’s evil, when can kill him”

me: ‘…that’s not foreshadowing, is it?’

ego and peter catching up. ego showing peter how to use his powers! EGO AND PETER PLAYING CATCH WITH THE ENERGY BALL!

mantis being adorable

nebula and gamora reconciling

yondu and rocket becoming friends

stan lee’s cameo where he’s talking to the watchers!

when it becomes clear that ego’s hiding something

finding out ego’s been sleeping around the galaxy just to uSE HIS KIDS AS A BATTERY AND THEN KILL THEM!!!

ego: “it broke my heart when i had to give her that brain tumor”

peter using his powers against ego!

yondu sacrificing himself to save peter

the ravagers’ funeral for yondu!


THE MID-CREDITS SCENE WHERE THEY SET UP ADAM WARLOCK!!!

The “Kawaii” Principle

As I eagerly await the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, one thing has been bothering me since the first teasers were unleashed: the character design of Baby Groot.

It looks like they tried to apply the “kawaii” or “chibi” trend, but did not understand the fundamentals of HOW that works.

This seems to be the case with a lot of Western animation/character design aiming for “cuteness” that don’t quite hit the mark. I believe some part of it has to do with a cultural background of the media needing people/characters/objects to be “sexy” rather than being “adorable” or “infantile” as it is in Asia. (The term “kawaii (可愛い)” directly translated means “possible to love”, and is used towards ‘adorable’ things that stimulate a maternal/paternal instinct)
I personally feel there is this subconscious need in Western character design to retain realistic facial feature size and distance ratios of mature adults compared to Japanese character design that exaggerates the facial features ratios of infants.

Did you feel a sense of affection and a need to nurture after seeing these pictures? It’s because we’re programmed to.

We, as human beings, have been programmed to recognize a cluster of juvenile features in infants, other animals, and sometimes inanimate (or animated) objects as something that needs to be protected.

So what is this cluster of juvenile features?
After looking at many pictures of human babies, animal babies, and animated characters that evoke a nurturing response, you will start to see a pattern: larger head-to-body ratio, bulging cranium, large eyes set wider apart, dilated pupils, shorter snout, ears being farther back and set lower on the skull than in adulthood, smaller jaw, and smaller, pudgier legs and feet. This is what the “kawaii” and “chibi” styles are rooted in.
Not ALL criteria have to be present in the cluster to elicit feelings of affection.

BABY GROOT IN GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

The placement and sizes of facial features for Baby Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (“GotG2 Groot”) resemble something closer to an adult than a baby, compared to how he was at the end of the first film.

Dancing Baby Groot from the first film (Dancing Groot) has more infantile features that stimulates our subconscious maternal/paternal instinct programming: larger head, bulging cranium, large eyes set wider apart, larger mouth which visually translates to meaning a smaller jaw, and facial features all placed lower in the face than the design of GotG2 Groot:

GotG2 Groot was given a look of more constricted pupils, eyes closer together, longer distance between the eyes and mouth, and a much smaller mouth. Even with his body, although they gave GotG2 Groot a larger head compared the length of his body than Dancing Groot, GotG2 Groot has wider shoulders and enlarged hands/feet which point to later stages of human development:

If they purposely did this to show that time had passed between the upcoming film and the last film, I can kind of buy that, but this design still doesn’t strike me as “adorable”.
If they were aiming to be a hit with kids from just character design and not the whole character as I suspect they were (because c'mon, Groot was precious even when he was as tall as a tree), they went a little too realistic for “kawaii” and ended up borderline “creepy”.

Rough sketch of GotG2 Groot with a few more of the juvenile features thrown in.
Despite everything I said so far, I LOVE Groot and I am very excited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2.

Now, let’s apply this “Kawaii Principle” to humans.
Ever wonder why you think a 42-year-old man aka Misha Collins is “adorable”?
See how many traits mentioned in my list of “juvenile features” you can spot, especially when he’s lined up against Jared and Jensen:

Misha has more juvenile features which up the “adorable” factor compared to J2, who have more “adult” features.

See how Misha’s bone structure is a bit rounder than Jared and Jensen’s?
Misha also has large eyes that are set wider apart, a shorter distance between his eyes and mouth, and ears set a little lower than J2.  Misha’s eyebrows also start a little farther from the bridge of his nose, accentuating the distance between his eyes.


Think I cheated by using a picture where Misha is making a cute face?
Do you know WHY you feel he’s making a “cute” face? As in, what it is about this facial expression or “body language cues” that make you interpret it that way?
Misha, consciously or not, is using a cluster of body language cues like the Eyebrow Flash, Eye Widening, and ‘Looking Up’ Cluster that all translates to “I acknowledge you, and I am non-threatening”.
Misha’s unique understanding and use of body language, especially for Castiel, was what made the character seem unsettling and otherworldly… but that is a whole different post about body language waiting to be written.


I hope this post was comprehensive enough to help you understand WHY you find things adorable, and that knowing this will help you when you are making your own “kawaii” designs. 

You unconsciously recognize the similarities of the distinguishing traits of human babies in clusters and apply them to other things you see because it is hardwired in our brains to protect and nurture our babies.