Film & TV

Film Review: The Garfield Movie

Everyone’s favourite lasagna-loving cat is back in this animated feature.

Feline family fun!

Are you not feline good?  Lacking purr-pose? Not finding the world a-meow-sing?  Need to just paws for some fun?  Probably time for a cat movie!

Ms8, Mr12 and Ms15 were all keen to see this, so I was auntie of the year taking them to see it.  It’s always good to be able to take all 3 kids, across age groups, to see a film they all want to see.

Everybody knows Garfield, the lazy, lasagne-loving, larger than life orange cat, with his loving but clueless owner Jon and not-so-bright dog offsider, Odie.  Garfield was introduced to the world through comic strips in the 1970s, and spawned a huge cat empire of movies, cartoons, toys, you name it. 

The latest animated offering is The Garfield Movie, with Chris Pratt as the voice of Garfield, Nicholas Hoult as the voice of Jon, and Harvey Guillen as the voice of Odie.  There’s also Samuel L. Jackson (no swearing, either) as the voice of Garfield’s father, Vic, and a great cameo from Snoop Dogg as Maurice the cat.

The Garfield Movie is a bit of an origin movie and a bit of a resolving family issues adventure movie.  We see Garfield as a kitten, and his dad leaves him, saying he’ll be back.  Eventually, Garfield is cold and hungry, smells food in a nearby Italian restaurant, and Jon, who is a customer, lets him in the window and shares his lasagne.  Anyone who has ever adopted a rescue pet knows how this goes – sure enough, Jon takes him home and Garfield is now the boss of the house, eating whatever he wants, with his own chair, hogging the TV and lording it over Odie.  (Incidentally, I have a ginger cat, called Queenie, who I took in and is exactly the same!)

One night while raiding the fridge for a midnight snack, Garfield and Odie end up kidnapped by two dogs, Roland and Nolan.  Roland is a large Sharpei, who seems to be based on a Vinnie Jones character, and Nolan is a nutty whippet, and both are henchmen for the evil Jinx the cat.  Jinx seems based on Ursula from The Little Mermaid, and I found myself singing that Garfield was a poor unfortunate soul…

It turns out that Jinx was badly let down by Garfield’s father, Vic, and has taken her revenge by kidnapping Garfield and Odie.  Jinx will only forgive Vic if he breaks in to Lactose Farms to steal a truckload of milk.

At the same time, Garfield is not quite sure of Vic, having been abandoned as a kitten, but they all need to work together to work through this heist and escape from Jinx.  Along the way, the meet some great characters, including Otto the bull, who is missing his girlfriend Ethel, and Maurice the cat.

All three kids agreed that Maurice, voiced by Snoop, should have had more time in the movie as he is a great character, and are hopeful for either another Garfield movie with him in it or a Maurice movie.  Their eagle eyes also noted the product placement for some well-known brands, and weren’t impressed by it – which is why they deducted one paw from the review.

Note there may be some challenging scenes for some, with Garfield being abandoned by his father, and cold, wet and lonely before being adopted by Jon.

While this might not appeal to the original Garfield fans, as the characters are a bit different from the original, with Garfield being friends with Odie, it is definitely an entertaining way to spend some time with kids and have a laugh.

Reviewed by Michelle Baylis and our fabulous Kids Critics Team.

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