Making the Grades
Let me be up front. I'm not a cat person. Despite the fact I often feel frustrated with the slobbering, shedding mutt at our house, I know where I stand with him. A dog after all, is what he is. Cats on the other hand are sneaky and, quite frankly, make me worry that my life is being subtlety sabotaged.
If Garfield: The Movie did anything for me, it was only to confirm my feelings about felines. Surely, if any cat were to be crowned the King of Connivery, it would have to be Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray). Fat, furry and full of lasagna, he is the master of manipulation.
Secure in his kingdom, Garfield tolerates his owner's repeat visits to the local vet. Supremely astute, he knows Jon (Breckin Meyer) just wants a chance to check out Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt), the veterinarian he's had a crush on since high school. Unfortunately, Jon doesn't have the nerve to ask her out.
Then Liz gives him the perfect reason to see her more often. Suggesting that he adopt a little dog from the clinic, she offers to accompany them both on outings and romps in the park.
Jon may be smitten with Odie, but Garfield couldn't be more annoyed with the shaggy intruder who gets a warm spot on the bed while he is relinquished to a mattress on the floor. Suddenly, he, the kingpin of pets, is playing second fiddle to a pooch.
However, things begin to look up for Garfield when a celebrity judge notices Odie at a dog show. Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky) is a disgruntled pet food spokesman who peddles kitty kibble. When he sees the dancing Odie perform at center stage, dollar signs start to float before his eyes. Surely this is his ticket to fame. Dognapping the dancing pup, he packs his bags and heads for the big city.
Now the hefty kitty has to choose between rescuing Odie and relishing the chance to sleep solo on the couch.
While the original Garfield comic was aimed at adult cat lovers, this film is pure Saturday morning cartoon fare. Padded with ample credits, cartoon violence and a couple of musical interludes (including a clip that features a scantily clad dancer gyrating on stage), this film's script labors to fill a mere 80 minutes. The predictable plot and run-of-the-mill bad guy also won't inspire parents to fork out the cash to see these capers.
Although Garfield doesn't cough up any major hairballs, he probably won't leave your kids purring for more by the end of this film either.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Garfield: The Movie.
Happy Chapman uses animals in his television segments to sell pet food. When is it okay to use real animals in TV or movies, and when is it animal cruelty?
Garfield discovers that treating others with kindness pays off. How do Lewis and Garfield help one another? Who else helps Garfield?