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Garfield (U)



Review by: Louisa Biswas | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Garfield Inside Look. Two Games: Find Odie Maze Game / Mixing Moments; Audio commentary by Peter Hewitt and John Davis. Deleted scenes reel; Featurette: Garfield The Cat To Life; Multi-angle content: Grab A Number 2 Pencil (2 angles); Gone Nutty.

EVERYONE’S favourite feline claws its way from the comic strip and comes to life on the big screen this Summer.

The long-running, popular cartoon, about the fat and lazy cat named Garfield, has been rewritten for 90 minutes of cat calamity.

Based on characters created by Jim Davis, the film tells the story of this supremely spoiled pet, who wants the affection of everyone around him, but only on his own terms.

Garfield has a luxurious life - a comfortable chair in the front of the television, his own bed and all the food he desires… until the new arrival of a cuddly dog, called Odie.

His owner, Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer), agrees to look after the young dog to impress veterinarian Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt), who he has fancied since school.

Jealous at the attention Odie is receiving from Jon and others, Garfield cruelly locks the dog out of the house in the middle of the night.

After following a passing van, the ‘dumb dog’ is lost and ends up falling into the hands of the local television personality, Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky), who plots to use an electrocuting collar to force Odie to perform acrobatic tricks, which would help him break into national television.

Feeling guilty for Odie’s disappearance, Garfield tries to rescue Odie from the evil Chapman, but to do this, the obese cat must stock up on food before he starts his difficult mission.

Garfield: The Movie is a nostalgic return to the past for older viewers, who grew up reading the comic strips since 1978, or watching the cartoon in the 80s, and an engaging introduction for youngster audiences, who are meeting the fat feline for the first time.

The movie attempts to infuse a computer-generated Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray) with live-actors, but, unfortunately, this idea must have been hatched on a Monday, Garfield’s least-favourite day of the week, as the makers have failed to match the same chemistry as Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Readers of the comic strip will notice that there are no similarities with Jon’s house (which has turned into a cul-de-sac), Louis (who was called Squeak) and Odie, Arlene and Nermal (who fail to look like their drawn counterparts).

But the biggest disappointment for adults will be when the wit and humour, best known in the comic strips, fails to materialise in the movie.

Instead, the film’s comedy is not innuendo-laced, or clever, like the Summer box office hit, Shrek 2, but rather straight-forward and easily caught by younger children, aged between three and 12.

Although Murray is an ideal choice to provide the loveable voice of Garfield, replacing the monotone voice of television’s late Lorenzo Music, he cannot salvage the poor screenplay and dialogue in the film.

Despite the predominantly poor humour for adults, Odie and Garfield’s dance sequence is the only amusing part of the film, while cat lovers will enjoy Garfield’s cunning capers, to always triumph in obtaining food and outsmarting dogs.

Garfield: The Movie is a good film to take the children to see, as they will undoubtedly find the movie like catnip - a purrfect delight.

But adults will find it a real injustice to the comic strips; or, in other words, a real cat-astrophe!

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