Starring Bill Murray, Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowsky
Written By: Joel Cohen, Alec Sokolow
Directed By: Peter Hewitt
Studio: Fox Home Entertainment
Buy on Amazon.com
Millions of Americans wake up each Sunday morning and enjoy their weekly dose of the fat, sarcastic, orange hair ball – Bryan. Ha ha! No really. It’s Garfield. Personally I stopped reading the comics when Calvin & Hobbes ceased to exist. If any of those readers rent or even worse, buy this DVD, the newspapers can probably expect a decrease in subscriptions. Was that harsh? Eh, maybe but if you have kids Garfield’s worth a week night rental.
The story here isn’t anything to compelling but then again I don’t think it was meant to be. 20th Century Fox did a pretty good job of bringing John Arbuckle (played by Breckin Meyer) and the rest of the characters to life. All the regulars were included – Pookie, Nermal Arlene, and of course Odie. Who was the genius who decided to use a real life dog anyway? You animated the cat – why not the dog? Isn’t Odie the perfect opportunity to go nuts with drool and tongue and still be rated PG? Cat poo on you.
The story is pretty mundane. Even my 7 year old wasn’t to thrilled with it but he did want to watch it again. John and Garfield have a decent life and enjoy lasagna, telling stupid jokes and living in a house that from the outside looks like cardboard. John’s got a crush on his high-school sweetheart who happens to be the local veterinarian played by Jennifer Love Hewitt. John uses Garfield as an excuse to see her as often as possible and eventually gets screwed into adopting Odie. Relationships grow, cat tricks dog and he runs away only to be claimed by a loser, psychotic animal show host and Garfield and friends rescue him. John gets the girl and all is good. Pass the popcorn.
I’d have to say the CGI was pretty well done with one exception – the DVD menu screen. It looks as though they skimped a bit in that department. The interaction with real world characters and objects wasn’t all that bad. Bill Murray provides the voice of Garfield. I can’t think of anyone better to do it but while I was watching, I couldn’t get Lorenzo Music’s voice out of my head and kept expecting Garfield to sound like him. He did provide the voice for all the other Garfield animated cartoons and specials. But alas he’s dead. Adding Bill Murray to the cast could only help so give that casting director a treat. There are some other big names you wouldn’t even know provided voice talent (I say that loosely) unless you read the credits – Debra Messing (she’s Arlene), Luca the dog played by Brad Garrett and Spanky played by Jimmy Kimmel.
The movie runs a long 80 minutes and crams as much as possible of what we’ve enjoyed in the original comic in. It even goes as far as imitating the ever so popular suction cup footed Garfields that were plastered on every car in the late 80’s. No real extras on the DVD to speak of other than the preview of an upcoming John David flick – Robots. Both wide screen and full screen versions are on the DVD since they had plenty of room.
Inside look including a preview of Robots, Because of Winn-Dixie. Both are upcoming Fox projects. Also “Holla!” the video by the Baha Man which features scenes from the movie.
ENGLISH: 5.1 Dolby Surround Stereo
SPANISH: Dolby Surround Stereo
FRENCH: Dolby Surround Stereo
Full and Widescreen
Favorite Scenes: My two year old loves any scene with Odie. He is a good looking dog. She’s not a cat person.
Running Time: 80 minutes