Garfield: The Movie

 

Promotional poster
Directed by Peter Hewitt
Produced by John Davis
John Kilkenny
Michele Imperato
Neil A. Machlis
Brian Manis
Written by Screenplay:
Joel Cohen
Alec Sokolow
Characters:
Jim Davis
Starring Breckin Meyer
Mac Davis
Anne Murray
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Stephen Tobolowsky
and the voice of
Bill Murray
Music by Christophe Beck
Tim Boland
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Editing by Michael A. Stevenson
Studio Davis Entertainment
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) June 11, 2004 (2004-06-11)
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million
Gross revenue $198,964,901

Garfield: The Movie, also known as Garfield, is a 2004 American live-action film based on the Jim Davis comic strip Garfield. In the film, Garfield the cat was created with computer-generated imagery, though all other animals were real. The film was originally to be produced in 2D by 20th Century Fox Animation, but duties were transferred to Davis Entertainment and 20th Century Fox.

The film was directed by Peter Hewitt, produced by Davis Entertainment for 20th Century Fox, and stars Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle, Jennifer Love Hewitt as Dr. Liz Wilson, and features Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield.

The film was released in the United States on June 11, 2004. Reviews of the movie were generally very negative, although Murray’s voice work received some positive notices. Murray has claimed that he only took part because he was under the misguided impression the screenplay, actually written by Joel Cohen, was the work of Joel Coen.[1]

Contents

Plot

The movie begins by introducing Garfield as a fat, lazy cat (voiced by Bill Murray) who lives with Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer). He wakes up from a good night’s sleep and awaits a tasty breakfast. When Jon doesn’t wake up after trying to cuddle him he breaks Jon’s grip on him saying he’s “trying to avoid his duties”. He cannonballs off a shelf. After switching his liver flavored cat food with Jon’s corned beef hash and after flushing the toilet while he is in the shower (tormenting Jon as usual), Garfield spots a pie outside on the neighbor’s window. He tricks the Doberman Pinscher Luca (voiced by Brad Garrett) in order to get it and tangling his leash around many bushes and ceramic ducks. He also tricks his dimwitted neighbor cat Nermal (voiced by David Eigenberg) to tip over a milk bottle through a series of things you find around the house e.g. pots, a bucket in which Nermal has to get in so Garfield’s trick works for him every morning (he calls it a game called “Astronaut”).

After walking the cul-de-sac, Jon spots a mouse and counts on Garfield to get it. He refuses and tells Jon to catch it who runs after the rodent. He then trips on one of Garfield’s toys and says “What good is it to have a cat, if it can’t catch a mouse”. Garfield then runs outside and catches up to it. It turns out to be Garfield’s best friend Louis (voiced by Nick Cannon) and he was warned by him that he should not run around the house when Jon is home. Jon walks out after Garfield and sees Louis in his mouth. Jon is proud of him and when he leaves Garfield spits him out and spares his life. He only did it so Jon wouldn’t hurt him.

At the telegraph tower, Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky), the selfish star of a Saturday morning show, is sick of cats because of his allergies and wishes for a dog to star along with him, and to outdo his more successful twin brother Walter, a news anchor. After his show, Jon comes home with some food he bought at the store. Garfield pigs out of the lasagna trays and Jon is terribly disappointed. He is brought to the vet (he previously thought he was going to Chuck E Cheese’s, Wendy’s, Taco Kitty, and Olive Garden), with Jon and is checked out by Dr. Liz Wilson (Jennifer Love Hewitt), a nice and attractive veterinarian and Jon’s high school crush. Jon tries to ask her out when a dog is brought in. His name is Odie and Liz asks Jon to take care of him or he will not survive on his own. Garfield comes out of the vet’s office and sees Odie in the car, and Liz ends up asking Jon out.

Garfield is not very happy, needless to say, now that a dog is running amuck in the house, sitting in his chair, getting the paper, and sleeping beside Jon when he is not allowed to. To make matters worse, Liz shows up and Jon, with Odie, leaves to go to the town dog show, and Garfield chases after them. At the show, where Liz is a judge and where Jon is in the audience with Odie, Garfield unwittingly walks right into there, and is spotted by the dogs competing in the show and runs away with them in hot pursuit. The music goes on and Odie leaps out of Jon’s arms and attempts to dance (just as when Garfield was dancing back at the house). The judges are impressed as well as the audience. Garfield succeeds in escaping and Odie is rewarded by Happy, who is also a judge. He says Odie may have a future in television, but Jon turns it down. When a picture for the newspaper is taken with Happy, Jon, Liz, and Odie, you can see Happy looking enviously at Odie.

Garfield hangs on under Liz’s truck on the way back, and she and Jon plan to have dinner together on Sunday. Garfield is very angry because Odie got all the attention and fame. He smacks a ball which causes everything in Jon’s office to move out of place or break and resulting in the house in shambles. He gets kicked out by Jon and watches in the windows how much Jon loves Odie. He sleeps on the porch that night and Odie comes out to comfort him. He is touched, but then hops inside and locks the doggy door, and locks Odie out. He tries to get back in to no avail, so instead he runs away after chasing a truck and ends up being found by a sweet old lady.

Jon finds out that Odie has gone and he feels terrible. Garfield finds that he has lots of consequences for his actions towards Odie; His friends refuse to play with him, when they reveal that they are aware of what Garfield did to Odie, Jon is more focused on finding Odie, and Garfield spends less time with him. After he puts up posters around town, Liz arrives for dinner. Jon cancels and tells her about Odie. They then work together to find him. Meanwhile, Happy finds a found poster by the old lady and knows it is Odie. He says that “his” dog, Odie, is found. He refers as a family name, he takes Odie with him and he performs on his show. Garfield realizes his selfishness when he sees Odie on the television and hears Happy announce that he and Odie are going to New York by train for a big performance. He attempts to show Jon, but the show goes to a Wendy’s commercial leading him to think Garfield was asking to go to Wendy’s, and he is not understanding that Garfield is trying to help him find Odie. He then sets out on a mission to rescue him.

In the city, Garfield meets Louis again and the mouse guides him to the Telegraph Tower. Garfield can’t go in through the doors, so he climbs the vents and finds Odie in Happy’s room. Happy comes in and puts on an inhumane shock collar on him that with a press of a button, gives him gets a small shock and he performs a back flip. Happy then heads to the train station and Garfield follows behind. The Animal Control officer catches him in a net before he can rescue Odie, and he watches hopelessly as Happy and his brother drive off to the station with Odie ready to go to New York. Jon sees Liz at a clothing store and tells her that Garfield has run away too. They go and investigate. Finding the found poster of Odie, the old lady says he is Happy’s dog (which is not true) and she refuses to help them, but gives them information about Happy using her autograph photo of Happy (which she had demanded as repayment by Happy) to their surprise. They drive to Telegraph Tower assuming that Happy also stole Garfield as well.

At the pound, Garfield meets Persnikitty (voiced by Alan Cumming), Happy’s last show cat that he threw inside there as his real name is Sir Roland. A family arrives to take a cat home for a pet. Sir Roland, Garfield, and three other cats are taken and lined up behind a wall. The little girl picks Sir Roland. He tells Garfield that he will press the red button (which opens all the cages) in order to escape. He succeeds and all the caged animals, including Garfield, run like mad cows out in the city.

At the train station, while the P.A. said Dallas and San Antonio, Texas from the Texas Eagle Happy places Odie in a cage, puts him in the luggage cart, and sits down for lunch. Garfield just misses the train knowing that he is not good at running after one. Jon and Liz arrive there after being told that Happy was going to leave. Garfield then remembers that his train set at home is slightly similar to the station, so he sneaks into the control room and attempts to stop Odie’s train. The tracks get rearranged that all the trains are on the same ones. Just when they are about to collide, he stops all of them with the press of an emergency stop button. He climbs in the luggage cart after the train returns. He reunites with Odie.

Happy spots Garfield and Odie walking out of the train and is shocked. He runs out and chases after them around the station. Garfield and Odie try to hide in the luggage halls, but he corners and traps them, and threatens Odie with the shock collar. When he grabs him into his arms Garfield jumps to the rescue and Happy (not very so) throws him on some luggage. He gets up and is greeted by the pound animals and rats he met earlier; they’ve come to help. They corner Happy, and Garfield gives orders to attack as cats scratch, dogs bite (“but don’t chew”), and the rats place the shock collar on Happy’s neck. They swarm over and attack Happy and Odie escapes from his clutches. They leave after realizing the pound may come looking for them, and Garfield and Odie finish Happy off with two shocks of the collar. Jon and Liz arrive to reclaim them and find Happy injured from the attack. Jon furiously punches him for stealing Odie, knocking him out. He promises them to never leave out of his sight again and gives both of them love. Happy, in the television news, gets sent away with the police after he is believed to be the one that messed with the train tracks and almost crashed all trains (it was actually Garfield), and his butler, was arrested for not preventing him from stealing Odie from Jon, and for working with him on kidnapping Odie. Garfield is now known as a hero and it was explained on the TV the cats were watching.

Back home, Liz kisses Jon romantically, starting their relationship. Garfield learns friendship, love, and not to envy other people’s things, and they live as a big happy family. But all that changes when he intentionally pushes Odie off his chair over and over again playfully and politely.

The film closes with Garfield singing and dancing to James Brown‘s “I Got You (I Feel Good)“. He does a split and can’t get it up without help.

Cast

Live Action Actors

Garfield creator Jim Davis appeared as an uncredited drunken conventioner.

Voice Actors

Differences from comic

  • In the film, Liz is portrayed as Jon’s love interest, which is significantly different from her comic portrayal, in which she repels his advances and insisting on keeping the relationship professional. Up until recently his entire romantic life in the comics has been a series of canceled or failed dates, but on July 26, 2006, a series of strips showed Liz finally succumbing to him and they started dating.
  • In the comic strip and animated series, Garfield is portrayed as an extremely lazy cat, seen mostly sleeping or eating. In the movie, he can be seen dancing, running, jumping, and making a lot of other movement. This was also evident in Garfield and Friends.
  • Jon got Odie, a Dachshund, from Liz in the movie. In the strip, his friend Lyman showed up with Odie, a yellow beagle, in tow.
  • Odie in the comics is dim-witted. In the movie he is smart enough to understand Garfield and dance in a dog show.
  • In the comics Nermal is Garfield’s nephew. In the movie he is just a neighbor friend.
  • In the movie, Garfield and Nermal play a game they created called “Astronaut” where Nermal gets into a pail and Garfield lifts him in the pail high enough to see the whole neighborhood, and Garfield would drink milk that would pour onto the ground. In the comics Garfield hates Nermal and refuses to play games with Nermal normally or would send Nermal on snipe hunts to get rid of him for the moment.
  • Arlene’s fur was dark gray instead of pink. In the film she appears to be more of Garfield’s friend whereas in the comic, she is his love interest (however, a deleted scene shows him flirting with her before being distracted by a pie).
  • In the comics Nermal was a gray tabby and always referred himself as “the world’s cutest kitten.”, whereas in the film he is a adult Siamese cat, and is a lot more dimwitted.
  • In the film, its sequel, and The Garfield Show, Garfield’s mouth moves when he’s talking. In the comic strip and all the cartoons prior to the film, he solely verbalizes his thoughts via thought balloons and voice-over, respectively. Despite his oral dictation, no humans in the film can understand what he, or any other animal, is saying.
  • In the comics, Garfield frequently kicks Odie off the table. In the film, he shoves him off the chair instead.

Music

Baha Men performed the song “Holla!” for the film and its soundtrack. The music video premiered in early summer 2004 and featured clips from the film and gags showing obvious references to the Garfield franchise (such as lasagna jokes).

Reception

Critical reception

Garfield: The Movie was released to overwhelmingly negative reviews from critics. The movie received a “rotten” 14% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, 4 points shy of being placed on the website’s “100 Worst Movies of All Time” list.[2] Rotten Tomatoes’s consensus was that “when the novelty of the CGI Garfield wears off, what’s left is a simplistic kiddie movie.” Yahoo! Movies critics’ gave it a C-,[3] Internet Movie Database gave it a 4.8 out of 10. A few positive critics were Roger Ebert who gave the film a “Thumbs Up” stating that he felt that the movie “is funny and charming;” while The Washington Post and People said it’s “fun” and “clever.”

Box office

First Weekend Gross US$ 21,727,611
Domestic US$ 75,369,589
Non-Domestic US$ 123,595,312
World-Wide US$ 198,964,901

Murray’s regrets

Murray said in an interview with GQ that he was fooled into playing the voice of Garfield for the film.[4]

I thought it would be kind of fun, because doing a voice is challenging, and I’d never done that. Plus, I looked at the script, and it said, “So-and-so and Joel Coen.” And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They’re funny. So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I’d like to do that…So they went off and shot the movie, and I forgot all about it. Finally, I went out to L.A. to record my lines. And usually when you’re looping a movie, if it takes two days, that’s a lot. I don’t know if I should even tell this story, because it’s kind of mean. [beat] What the hell? It’s interesting. So I worked all day and kept going, “That’s the line? Well, I can’t say that.” And you sit there and go, What can I say that will make this funny? And make it make sense? And I worked. I was exhausted, soaked with sweat, and the lines got worse and worse. And I said, “Okay, you better show me the whole rest of the movie, so we can see what we’re dealing with.” So I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, “Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the fuck was Coen thinking?” And then they explained it to me: It wasn’t written by that Joel Coen.

In Zombieland, when Bill Murray is shot he is asked if he had any regrets. He responds by saying “Garfield, maybe.”

Sequel

A sequel, entitled Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, was released on June 16, 2006 in North America.

References

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Garfield: The Movie
[show]v · d · eGarfield by Jim Davis

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

 

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tim Hill
Produced by John Davis
Michele Imperato
Brian Manis
Written by Screenplay:
Joel Cohen
Alec Sokolow
Characters:
Jim Davis
Starring Breckin Meyer
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Billy Connolly
and the voices of
Bill Murray
Tim Curry
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Peter Lyons Collister
Editing by Peter S. Elliot
Studio Davis Entertainment
Dune Entertainment
Ingenious Film Partners
Major Studio Partners
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) June 16, 2006
Running time 82 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $60,000,000
Gross revenue $160,401,979

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (also known as Garfield 2: The Prince and the Paw-per in the United Kingdom, Garfield: The Movie 2 or its working title Garfield 2) is the 2006 sequel to 2004’s live-action feature film Garfield: The Movie. This film was directed by Tim Hill, written by Joel Cohen & Alec Sokolow, produced by Davis Entertainment for 20th Century Fox, and was released in U.S. cinemas on June 16, 2006 (July 21, 2006 in UK).

The film borrows its storyline from Mark Twain‘s The Prince and the Pauper. The title alludes to Charles Dickens‘ novel A Tale of Two Cities.

Contents

Plot

In London, a cat named Prince (voiced by Tim Curry), is living a luxurious life and is king of his castle, known as Carlyle Castle. On the other side of the world, Garfield the cat (voiced by Bill Murray) is living in his owner Jon’s house a year after the first movie and is thinking that he’s the king of the home. That night, it is revealed that Jon is planning to propose to his girlfriend, Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt). Garfield finds a turkey at the dinner table and eats all of it, while Jon is about to propose but was unable to find the ring (because Garfield took it so that he cannot propose as Liz is a vet and he hates going to the vet). Liz tells him that she’s been asked to travel to London and is flying tonight. After she leaves, he decides to go there.

The next day, Garfield and Odie are sent to a kennel where they are to stay while Jon is in London, but Garfield damages his and Odie’s cage door while throwing a tantrum, and escapes into Jon’s car. They hide in his bag and head to London without his knowledge. Meanwhile, Prince has just been named the new owner of the castle (as it said on the will of the past owner of the castle), but a man named Lord Dargis (Billy Connolly) puts him in a picnic basket and throws him in the river which leads to London in order to get rid of him and have himself named as the owner of the castle. Jon arrives at his hotel and is about to propose to Liz when Garfield and Odie come out of his bag.

Meanwhile, Dargis is feeling happy now that Prince is gone and is having the place to himself. The animals who are kept in a barn in the palace find out about Prince’s disappearance and also find out that Dargis is planning to kill them in order to spare more land and serve them to the guests. Jon and Liz leave the hotel to see the sights but Garfield and Odie are left behind. They escape when a housekeeper manager enters the room. During their travels, the butler, Smithee (who was going to pick up Dargis’ new suit), finds Garfield and mistakes him for Prince, sending him to the castle and leaving Odie alone. Prince manages to get out of a gutter in front of Odie, to his confusion. Jon finds the two and, mistaking Prince for Garfield, takes them back to his hotel room.

At the castle, the animals realize that Garfield is not Prince, due to his voice, but are not concerned as he just needs to look like him. Dargis mistakes Garfield for Prince, and unsuccessfully attempts to have him killed. At the hotel, Prince decides to return to his real home and leaves Jon and Odie.

Outside, Odie finds a newspaper containing Prince’s picture and shows Jon who now understands everything. They then go out to find Garfield. He meets up with Smithee and after explaining the story, he decides to come with them. Meanwhile, Garfield is thrown into a cell in the basement but is rescued. He then comes face to face with Prince in a classic “fake mirror” scene, finding the truth after exhaling, causing his “reflection” to slightly faint due to Garfield’s breath. Prince is found by the other animals, and Garfield decides to stay for a while in order to protect the animals from Dargis. They manage to keep him off for a while by setting traps around the palace but he gets a crossbow and aims it at the people who made Prince the owner. Odie suddenly stops him by biting Dargis’ bottom before Garfield and Prince appear. He attempts to kill both cats, but is stopped when one of the animals climbs into his pants, knocking him out before the police arrive to take him away. Liz then arrives and sees Garfield and Prince – Garfield kicks Odie in order to prove who is who. With help from him, Jon proposes to Liz and she accepts.

The film ends when the animals come and they, Garfield, and Prince party.

Cast

Reception

Box office

The film grossed $28,426,747 in the U.S. box office (the first film made this in its first six days).[1] According to 20th Century Fox, the studio was aware that the film would not make as much as the first, and only made it based on the worldwide success of the first film.[2]

It became a huge success overseas, earning $113,011,707, or 79.9% of its worldwide gross.

Critical reception

The film received overwhelmingly negative reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it an 11% critical approval rating, with the concenses that the film is “strictly for (very) little kids, A Tale of Two Kitties features skilled voice actors but a plot that holds little interest.” The film was also nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards in 2006: “Worst Prequel or Sequel” and “Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment”.

Home media

  • The DVD was released on October 10, 2006. The DVD includes a “Drawing with Jim Davis” featurette and two games: Garfield’s Maze, and Odie’s Photo Album. It also includes a music video, trailers, and footage not seen in theaters.
  • An extended version (86 minutes) was released with the first Garfield film on a double-sided DVD.

References

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties