Making the Grades
What more could Garfield the cat (voiced by Bill Murray) want than to be treated like royalty? The egotistical domestic pet already thinks the world revolves around him, so living in palatial glory ought to be the cat's meow.
He gets the chance to live the high life while traveling in London with his owner Jon (Breckin Meyer) and his sidekick Odie the dog. Mistaken for a famous cat that has just inherited the Castle Carlyle, Garfield is picked up by the butler (Ian Abercrombie) and whisked back to the expansive estate where he is treated to luxury linens, succulent meals and an entire staff of servants devoted entirely to his happiness.
But he soon discovers his position as "prince" is under attack by the nephew of his recently deceased benefactor. As the next in line, Lord Dargis (Bill Connolly) plans to rid the castle of the regal kitty and take over the land and assets. Fortunately, the other barnyard animals realize they too are in jeopardy and take on the task of protecting the self-centered feline.
Meanwhile the real Prince (voiced by Tim Curry) pulls himself out of a stinky London sewer after being maliciously tossed in the river by Dargis. Falsely identified as Garfield, the imperial feline is treated like a common house cat until he makes his escape and starts heading back to his royal litter box in the country.
Taking a comic strip aimed at adults and stretching it into a full-length film for a broader audience is challenging at best, and keeping young viewers engaged proves to be difficult. Garfield's satirical attitude and snide remarks are definitely adult oriented, as is his spiteful intention to interfere with Jon's wedding proposal to his veterinarian girlfriend Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt). As well the film has some minor language infractions, drunken animals, flatulence gags, burping jokes and dog piddling problems.
However the biggest concern with the script are the dastardly deeds of Lord Dargis as he attempts to annihilate the four-legged heir of the castle. Using a skeet shooter and later a crossbow, he threatens the lives of animals and solicitors alike. He also sets loose the palace's guard dog to tear up the tubby kitty. In turn, the other animals respond by inflicting their own form of justice on the nasty nephew. The comic actions include a man being hit, kicked and repeatedly attacked in the groin and buttocks by animals.
Fortunately, this film has improved upon its predecessor Garfield: The Movie in its ability to merge computer generated images and real life actors. Using a change in filming procedures, the interactions between the characters are now more realistic. Still Garfield's A Tale of Two Kitties is barely worth purring over.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.
Why is Garfield so unhappy about Jon’s relationship with Liz? What does he hope to gain by sabotaging it?
While pretending to be royalty, what perks does Garfield experience? What things does he miss about his life as a common house cat?