'Guardians of the Galaxy': Raccoon are the New Cat

Disney and Marvel attempted to sneak one by us/throw writers working on New Year's Eve a bone by unveiling the first promotional image from Guardians of the Galaxy, its all-but-guaranteed blockbuster-to-be. And after reading the synopsis and doing a bit of research, we're ready to make a pretty audacious speculative announcement: raccoons are totally the new cats. Sorry, Chris Pratt: this movie just isn't about you at all. Aside from being the central figure in the line-up image above, the raccoon also plays a major role in the film. Rocket is his name because of course, and intergalactic crime-fighting is his game.

From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team — the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits — Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand — with the galaxy’s fate in the blanace. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is presented by Marvel Studios. The film releases August 1, 2014, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Anthropomorphized animals are all the rage — and when you throw a gun in its hands and a few hilarious quips in his mouth, it's not hard to see how everything becomes all about Rocket. Not only does he tote guns (and who doesn't love a well-balanced toting?), he's a bit of a military tactician, and allegedly sounds a heck of a lot like Bradley Cooper (but that's probably because Rocket's voiced by him in the film). So it's really no surprise that raccoons will be taking over in 2013 (and that's not just because I nearly mistook two of them for a couple of Pomeranians that needed petting on my walk home last night). But how? And why?

Sorry, cats: looks like raccoons will be stealing more than just your food: they might just steal your spotlight.

Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney Pictures