Oreo, the model raccoon used to animate Rocket Raccoon in Guardians of the Galaxy, has sadly passed away.
News of Oreo’s passing came via a Facebook post via the Guardians of the Galaxy and Quinta Layla social media accounts. He died at 10 years old.
The Quinta Layla Facebook page was abounded with sadness, praise and a positive reflection on the Guardians of the Galaxy model’s life.
We have only the saddest news today. Our hearts are broken as we have lost our best friend, our Guardian of our Galaxy…
The post mentions how the Guardians of the Galaxy model “passed away in the early hours of this morning after a very short illness” while thanking the vets for caring for him. The post praised Oreo for being “an amazing ambassador for raccoons everywhere”. This marvelous mammal was never “phased by anything”, whether it be a trip to the hospice to visit a sick child or even going down the red carpet for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn famously had Oreo on his shoulder at the European premiere of the film. And while no comment has been made by the social media-absent Gunn, his Facebook avatar remains a picture of him and Oreo during the said premiere.
Rocket Raccoon was created by writer Bill Mantlo and artist Keith Giffin. The character made his debut in Marvel Preview #7 but wouldn’t be part of the Guardians of the Galaxy until much later. It was only until the superhero team was rebooted in 2008 that Rocket became a main member of the modern Guardians of the Galaxy.
2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy realized the first portrayal of the character in a live-action film. Director James Gunn was determined not to make Rocket “Bugs Bunny in the middle of the Avengers, it’s a real, little, somewhat mangled beast that’s alone. There’s no one else in the universe quite like him, he’s been created by these guys to be a mean-ass fighting machine”. It was this sentiment to led to Oreo being used to model a more realistic-looking Rocket in the movies.
James Gunn was kicked off the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise last year for controversial tweets made on Twitter. Currently, Disney is awaiting a new A-List filmmaker to take charge of production, with the franchise being put on hold until 2021.