Movie Review – Garfield

John, Garfield’s dad (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) and Garfield (voiced by Chris Pratt) in THE GARFIELD MOVIE.

If you were alive and lived in an era where the Sunday Paper had a pull-out section of comics you would already be aware of orange cats love for lasagne and hatred of Monday’s comes from. Garfield by Jim Davis was more than a mere comic strip and was everywhere in the 1980s and 90s. Now with a new voice he is back to make a second run at the cinema 20 years later.

If you are not familiar with Garfield the premise is very simple. He was a lazy, food obsessed orange cat that broke the 4th wall first appearing nearly two decades before Deadpool ever donned red and black. From comic strips to the must have car suction capped decoration Garfield was known across the globe for his 3 panel comic strips that were in newspapers (remember newspapers?). Garfield even got his own movie in 2004 with Bill Murray voicing the famous feline… which came after a Garfield cartoon where the voice of Garfield was played by the same actor who voiced Bill Murray’s character in the Ghostbusters cartoon. Hakuna Matada.

While the 2004 version was that mix of live action and early 2000s computer animation the new edition goes full Sony animated in a style more reminiscent of the original strip but with decidedly Pixar like influences. The basics remain pretty much the same with Garfield and his depressed owner Jon living together with the non-verbal dog Odie who plays Garfield’s dog-servant/sidekick/faithful Kato but the story focuses a little more on where did Garfield come from.

Starting out with the tiny adorbs Garfield aka Star Lord aka Mario being allocated to Jon under the cat distribution system after seemingly being abandoned by his father Nick Fury in an alley behind an Italian restaurant. Discovering a love for lasagne and eating in general the tiny furball heads home with Jon and the rest is seemingly history, until Papa Garfield returns and tangles Garfield (& Odie) in the tangled web of his con jobs with the last involving double crossing the owner of Ted Lasso’s football team if she were a cat.

While your expectations should not be high for a movie based on comic strips that were on average 3 panels long Garfield as a movie is definitely a film that bounces between appealing largely to an audience who were not alive when Garfield was popular, and making the casual references and in-jokes for the parents who are taking them who most certainly were.

While plot wise a pretty simple film with some slapstick like qualities and telegraphed jokes the animation quality and depth should not be undersold with the studio behind the animation is DNEG who are not known for animated films but rather as a VFX studio who have worked on dozens on dozens of major films from the last 2 decades from Batman Begins to Scott Pilgrim vs the World to Dune: Part Two. Given they are not known for fully animated feature films this is an impressive level of quality. You can see more examples of their full animation film work in the nominated Netflix film Nimona and the upcoming Cat in the Hat film.

So should you go see it? Well, honestly this definitely has a target market that you can pretty much narrow down to a heigh requirement. If the poster with the animated orange cat was not obvious enough, this is not Oppenheimer and definitely knows who it is trying to appeal to. With school holidays coming up and if you are looking for an suitable film for the height challenged but still a few entertaining moments for yourself, this is definitely going to be a better pick than the R-Rated Deadpool 3. Now we just need another Garfield cartoon with the animated Star Lord voice actor to play Garfield and the circle will be complete.

Garfield is in cinemas across Australia from today.

Andrew B

Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.

Story and Characters
Visuals and Effects
Enjoyment Factor
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Andrew B
Current Resident of Reality C-137. Possible Robot from Westworld. Does lots of random stuff.
movie-review-garfieldGarfield is a cultural icon for a lot of people but much like the recent Super Mario film this one has no issues with understanding who it's current target market is. Definitely a flick for those with munchkins that is looking for an appropriate film to see in the cinemas, but does attempt to make a few references that will go over their heads unlike a lot of other animated films of late. P.S. There is a little something right at the end of the credits but if your tiktok feed is full of cat videos you probably won't mind sticking around through the credits anyway.