VIDEO: Disney Shares a Look at Free-Roaming Groot Audio-Animatronic Playtest at Disneyland Resort

Spencer Lloyd

VIDEO: Disney Shares a Look at Free-Roaming Groot Audio-Animatronic Playtest at Disneyland Resort

Recently, we shared a story that certain guests are being invited to help playtest a free-roaming Audio-Animatronic figure of Groot from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” film series. Now Disney has released some official footage showing the animatronic playing with guests.

Groot Audio-Animatronic Playtest

The video comes courtesy of Disney Parks’ YouTube channel, where we see Imagineers talking about the latest developments in Audio-Animatronic technology including with Groot.

“We want to bring these characters to life in the most authentic way possible,” says Imagineer Joel Peavy. “For us, that means a walking robotic actor that has a tightly integrated design in a compact platform that can not only move and gesture, but really emote in style.”

The playtest involves Groot and Star-Lord having a dance-off with the audience, similar to the permanent “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” show in front of their respective Disney California Adventure attraction.

Imagineers in the video noted that guests are particularly engaged more so than they expected. Disney Live Entertainment’s Michael Serna said “They’re seeing this wonderfully lovable character they’ve known for years in the film, but now they get to experience them up close, and they’re going to see him do things he’s never done in front of us, dance, you move around and groove and walk around near us. I see that sort of excitement in everybody’s eyes that they just feel like ‘am I really seeing this or is this some kind of CGI?'”

Despite these being semi-public tests, Disney stated “There are no immediate plans for use [of these figures] in Disney theme parks; however, a prototype in the form of Groot is being used to test unique traits, gaits and capabilities.”

Would you want to have a dance-off with Groot? Let us know down below in the comments!

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