Baby Yoda GIFs from The Mandalorian were recently being removed from Giphy, but it turns out it wasn't Disney's fault. The adorable creature known as Baby Yoda has taken the internet by storm since its debut in the first episode of Disney+'s new Star Wars TV Series. However, various reports recently revealed that Giphy, the popular GIF-hosting site, had removed Baby Yoda GIFs from its database, citing copyright infringement. Disney, which owns the property, was assumed to be the reason why.
Naturally, given how protective Disney has been with the Star Wars brand and the fact that they are a mega-corporation that has issued plenty of copyright takedowns before, it wasn't surprising to see the Baby Yoda GIFs removed. But considering that The Mandalorian may be benefiting hugely from exposure on social media because of Baby Yoda, removing the GIFs, after it had already been some time since the series debuted, didn't make sense. Now new reports suggest that the mass GIF erasure was nothing more than an error. Giphy has released a statement (via BBC News) explaining that Disney was not responsible for the action:
Giphy's stated that there was "some confusion around certain content uploaded to Giphy", and in response, they temporarily removed the GIFs until they could review the situation. But given how everything unfolded, there are bound to be continued rumors regarding the true nature of Giphy's initial actions; perhaps the moment will be retroactively deemed "Baby Yoda Gate". More likely than not, everyone will be too distracted by the impending onslaught of Baby Yoda GIFs to care, possibly some from a new episode of The Mandalorian.
Baby Yoda is an undeniably charming addition to the Star Wars universe. Jon Favreau posted concept art for the character on social media, and the post almost immediately went viral. The character's appeal is due in large part to its lifelike, infantile design. Werner Herzog was brought to tears at the sight of the little green puppet, which has spent most of the series so far riding in a floating orb cradle. "The Child," as the titular character Mando refers to him, is 50 years old, but its appearance and mannerisms suggests the creature is still a juvenile of its species.
The Mandalorian is following the tradition of great action adventure stories like The Lone Wolf and Cub series, which pair a stoic male lead with a lovable child companion. Like the child from the Lone Wolf series, Daigorō, Baby Yoda spends most of his screen time riding in his cart. Also like Daigorō, Baby Yoda is not as vulnerable as he initially seems, as he demonstrated an impressive command of the Force in "Chapter 2: the Child." With several more episodes still to come, there will certainly be many more exciting and/or heartwarming Baby Yoda scenes – and countless Baby Yoda GIFs.