Though Rocket may have survived the Great Dusting, the raccoon inspiration for the Guardians of the Galaxy hero has passed away. Oreo, the real-life animal animators used as a reference for the Marvel Cinematic Universe character, has died at the age of 10, his family confirmed on Facebook.
In the two GotG films and Avengers: Infinity War, Rocket is voiced by Bradley Cooper with motion-capture work done by Sean Gunn. However, it was Oreo that the CGI specialist at Marvel Studio originally used as their model for accurate movements and coloring of the character. Oreo even accompanied director James Gunn to the red carpet premiere of the original GotG.
Oreo suffered from a short illness prior to his death, and his family thanked the “wonderful vets for their compassion and care.” “You loved all people of all ages and other animals too and were never phased by anything be it a walk down the red carpet as Rocket Raccoon, a trip to a hospice to visit a sick child or anything else that came your way,” they continued. “You just enjoyed everything and it showed.”
“Have fun up there over the Rainbow Bridge my darling. I hope, no I know they will all love you as much as we do. We will miss you so, so much,” the family’s post concluded. “Fly high Oreo, our super hero, love you lots like jelly tots.”
Find the family’s note, as well as a number of images and videos of Oreo, below. Rocket will return in Avengers: Endgame on April 26th.