If you are a Marvel fan, then you might be familiar with Baby Groot.
As popular as he is from the Marvel movie “Guardians of the Galaxy” and now in the Disney+ shorts “I Am Groot,” not a lot of people know that a Filipino-American visual designer was behind Baby Groot’s design.
Speaking in one of the recent episodes of the Mexipino podcast, Anthony Francisco, who is a senior visual artist at Marvel Studios, shared his inspiration in creating Baby Groot.
He said his design actually has a connection to his son and it also relates to the Filipino culture.
“Watching Baby Groot on screen feels like I captured my son. Baby Groot is pretty much like a Filipino kid. I just copied his body type when he was four years old,” he said.
“And I was like, how else could I add more of my Filipino culture in here? Even though he’s already a tree plant, I wanted to use a specific type of tree called the balete tree in the Philippines. There’s a story about the balete tree is where the white lady resides,” he added.
Francisco said he used some of the textures from the balete tree in depicting the Marvel character.
“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, it just looks like my son,” he said.
Aside from Baby Groot, Francisco’s designs can also be seen in other Marvel movies such as “Ant-Man," “Thor 3,” “Doctor Strange," "Black Panther" and more.