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Overall Rating

Awesome: 6.32%
Worth A Look: 7.37%
Average: 18.95%
Pretty Bad: 8.42%
Total Crap58.95%

5 reviews, 65 user ratings

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Garfield: The Movie
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by Stephen Groenewegen

"This cat has guts"
3 stars

Garfield is a kids’ movie based on the popular comic strip about the orange cat with the droopy eyes. Garfield is rendered entirely by computer animation - the rest of the film is mostly live action.

Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray) is fat and lazy and proud of it. He has a comfortable existence in a big house in a quiet suburban cul-de-sac. Work-at-home owner, Jon (Breckin Meyer), spoils Garfield rotten, even serving him lasagna for lunch. Garfield keeps up a stream of witty repartee and dry commentary, aimed mostly at Jon and the world in general, but sometimes at us. He also bullies the local animal population into doing whatever he wants, like stealing the neighbour’s milk for him.

In the two-legged world, the boyish Jon still carries a high school crush on the local vet, Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt). So when she asks him to take care of an unclaimed dog, Jon is more than happy to accept. Odie is a dachshund/cairn terrier mix, and so stupid that he cannot talk cute (a blessed relief for the audience) and is also impervious to all of Garfield’s attempts to teach him who’s boss. But everything changes when Odie goes missing...

The Garfield strip is the work of Jim Davis from Indiana, and it debuted in American newspapers back in 1978. Now, Garfield apparently appears in 2,600 newspapers worldwide and is read by 263 million people. Not surprisingly, Guinness World Records have named it the “Most Widely Syndicated Comic Strip in the World”.

John Davis produced the movie and, according to the production notes, his “many hits include the all-audience pictures Doctor Dolittle and Daddy Day Care”. “All-audience pictures”. Whatever that means, it doesn’t sound like much of a recommendation. Still, despite its irritatingly generic kids’ movie villain (Stephen Tobolowsky) and mechanical plot, Garfield is more fun than you probably expect.

For one thing, Bill Murray is less the iconic ironic of Lost in Translation, and sounds like he’s having great fun voicing this grouchy character. The visual effects teams have done a terrific job animating Garfield, and giving him believable feline mannerisms. Peter Hewitt has directed his share of movies aimed at kids (The Borrowers, Thunderpants) but he doesn’t seem bored by the material. Thankfully, the screenplay of Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow (Toy Story, Cheaper by the Dozen) doesn’t try to sweeten Garfield or spoon a sugary message down our throat. In an age of terrorist-inspired fear, it’s quite a sight to see Garfield blissfully causing chaos on the New York train network, oblivious to everything but getting what he wants.

Occasionally this is an obnoxious movie. It takes too long to get going, and has scenes that spin out of control, such as an overdone sequence for the under-5s of Garfield and Odie dancing. Real animals with animated mouths are used to portray Garfield’s talking friends and the effect is clumsy and nasty and cheap looking. But the silliest things - Garfield hiding from a pack of dogs by leaping up a woman’s dress - got me laughing. And I felt unaccountably grateful to the filmmakers for celebrating Garfield’s gleeful irresponsibility and irredeemable laziness.

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originally posted: 09/14/04 13:04:32
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User Comments

1/29/10 Dane Youssef Sorry, just didn't work. All wrong. Garfield wasn't made 4 live-action. This isn't Garfield 1 stars
5/17/09 Buck Terrible, I've never seen a hot vet running around in a short skirt the whole movie. 1 stars
1/06/09 the dork knight who are you kidding? watch the damn cartoon instead 1 stars
12/04/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 1 stars
9/07/08 Blargh TERRIBLE, NOTHING LIKE THE COMIC, since when was nermal a siamese?! 1 stars
3/23/08 Carly Great, enjoyable movie. Not a fan of the cartoon but a great movie. Good animation too. 4 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White just watch the belly jiggle and you have to smile 4 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK As if the cartoon wasnt bad enough, they had to make a feature lenghth. well, thanks a lot. 1 stars
12/22/06 David Pollastrini not horrible 3 stars
12/20/06 David Cohen Bill Murray hasn't been in a good movie since Ghostbusters, Viva Lorenzo Music! 2 stars
12/08/06 Stanley Thai A good, enjoyable film. VERY UNDERRATED! 3 stars
9/08/06 drydock54321 good conversion to live action 4 stars
6/09/06 CTT I like the comic strip, and still loathed most of this 2 stars
1/06/06 JM Synth Depends whether or not you like the comic 4 stars
10/31/05 mad mumma pretty good, as is the comic strip 3 stars
10/28/05 jess i was pretty cool u guys just wanna sound like stuck up critics 4 stars
8/19/05 ES Odie should have been animated! = dumbasses 2 stars
8/08/05 Del Not completely terrible 2 stars
7/21/05 Lydie Great film, great animation, I loved the dialogues 5 stars
6/20/05 darick Not true to the comic...predictable as plot, miscasts, inconsistent CGI, laughlessness, etc 1 stars
6/07/05 Neville Schoof Saw the preview.. that was lame enough 1 stars
4/16/05 Carol Conway Boy was this bad! 1 stars
4/03/05 Cindy As a cat lover, I loved the movie. It was very cute. 5 stars
3/31/05 hannaho What kind of debt did Murray have, that he had to make this? 1 stars
3/23/05 Suzanne Butler why does Hollywood think we need remakes of EVERYTHING?? 2 stars
3/16/05 Judith Musick OK FOR KIDS 3 stars
3/13/05 Jack Scallops Could've been better. Read the strip and watch the show instead. 2 stars
3/04/05 Chris Stephens the kids liked it 3 stars
3/02/05 David Tsung murray was in it for the money 1 stars
3/02/05 Maggie Dressler Even grownups - especially grownups - likes this one 5 stars
2/28/05 Diane Stedner not what you would expect 3 stars
2/26/05 Alice Colwell It's a kids movie 4 stars
2/26/05 Darlene Wright Good Kid Movie 4 stars
2/26/05 Joy Venters I THOUGHT IT WAS PRETTY FUNNY 3 stars
1/28/05 Jack Scallops So-so, the show is better than both this movie and the comic nowadays 3 stars
12/30/04 Doremimi It's just too bad that "1 Star - Total Crap" is the lowest rating available. 1 stars
12/25/04 Freddy SUCKED and the dog is real and nothing like cartoon Odie. Don't waste time watching this! 1 stars
11/08/04 Brody Kenny no laughs and no charms 1 stars
10/15/04 eugene biggest load of fucking crap 1 stars
9/17/04 Helen Bradley Bill Murray as always great 5 stars
9/17/04 Kyle Wellcome Its a fun movie, no intelligence needed. 3 stars
9/15/04 Naka Total ass, plain and simple. 1 stars
9/14/04 Neo Garfield rox, this movie sux 1 stars
8/18/04 qemm very boring, even for cats and garfield fans 2 stars
8/04/04 8=====D this puts the cartoon to shame...SHAME I SAY!! :( 1 stars
8/03/04 alice Oh my god !!! WHY ?? I love Garfield! WHY ???? 1 stars
7/26/04 Alex Disgusting 1 stars
7/22/04 Whitney Bullard This is one of the worst animated movies ever!! 1 stars
7/21/04 April Gupton I COUD NOT wait for this to be over 1 stars
7/17/04 legend Bad cat! Bad cat! Awful film! Awful film! 1 stars
7/15/04 mdailey The 25+ product placements say it all. This movie sucks! 1 stars
7/09/04 Nathan Fuller Possibly the worst film I've ever seen 1 stars
7/07/04 Saigo Utter trash. 1 stars
7/06/04 Spiderfan720 I hate Garfield period but this was over the top!!! 1 stars
6/28/04 Ray CRAP 1 stars
6/28/04 KENT Horrible . . . just horrible. 2 stars
6/24/04 John Okay movie. Garfields nature is done great but the origin is just a mess. 3 stars
6/24/04 Gray Harmless fun 5 stars
6/22/04 Marc Basque Stupid, unrealistic yet harmless and funny 3 stars
6/19/04 Hilarium What a waste of Bill Murray. 1 stars
6/14/04 Chris Taylor I always thought "Howard the Duck" was the worst movie ever made. Until I saw this film. 1 stars
6/12/04 Brian At least we didnt get "Family Circus - The Movie." 1 stars
6/12/04 dave not fit to print 1 stars
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  11-Jun-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 06-Jun-2006



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