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Garfield: The Movie

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Garfield: The Movie, also known as Garfield, is a 2004 live-action movie based on the Jim Davis comic strip Garfield. In this movie, 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 movie 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 movie was released in the United States on June 11, 2004. Reviews of the movie were generally negative, although Murray's voice work received some positive notices.

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).

Plot

It begins when Garfield, a fat lazy cat (voiced by Bill Murray) who lives with Jon Arbuckle, wakes up from a good night's sleep and awaits a tasty breakfast. Jon is woken by the fat cat with a dogpile. After switching his liver flavored cat food with Jon's corned beef hash, Garfield spots a pie outside on the neighbor's window. He tricks the Doberman Pinscher Luca (voiced by Brad Garrett) in order to get the pie 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 connected 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.

After walking the cul-de-sac, Jon spots a mouse and counts on Garfield to get it. Garfield refuses and Jon 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 the mouse. The mouse turns out to be Garfield's best friend and his name is Louis (voiced by Nick Cannon) and he was warned by Garfield 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 the tabby cat 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 (the main villain played by Stephen Tobolowsky) the star of a Saturday morning show is sick of cats (because of his allergies) and wishes for a dog 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 on the lasagna trays and Jon is terribly disappointed. Garfield is brought to the vet (Garfield previously thought he was going to Chuck E Cheese's, Wendy's, Taco Kitty or Olive Garden), with Jon and is checked out at the vet by Liz (a vet played by Jennifer Love Hewitt), a nice and attractive veterinarian who is also Jon's high school crush. She operates Garfield. Jon tries to ask her out when a dog is brought in. His name is Odie and Liz asks Jon to take care of Odie or he will not survive on his own. Garfield comes out of the vet and sees Odie in the car, and Liz ends up asking Jon out.

Garfield is (needless to say) not very happy now that a dog is running amuck in the house, sitting in his chair, getting the paper, and sleeping beside Jon when Garfield is not allowed to. To make things worse, Liz shows up and Jon, with Odie, leave to go to the town dog show, and Garfield chases after them. At the dog show (where Liz is a judge) and where Jon is in the audience with Odie, Garfield unwittingly walks right into the show, is spotted by the dogs competing in the show and runs away with the dogs in hot pursuit. The music goes on and Odie leaps out of Jon's hands 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 Chapman (also a judge) He says Odie may have a future in television, but Jon turns it down. When a picture for the news paper is taken, you can see Happy looking greedily at Odie.

Garfield hangs on under Liz's truck on the way back, and Jon and Liz plan a dinner on Sunday. Garfield is very angry because Odie got all the attention. He smacks a ball which starts an unusual Rube Goldberg machine which causes the square shelves above the computer to fall down, leaving the house in shambles. Garfield gets kicked out and he watches in the windows how much Jon loves Odie. He sleeps on the porch that night and Odie comes out to comfort him. Garfield is touched, but then hops inside and locks the doggy door, and locks Odie out. Odie runs away and ends up found by a sweet old lady, Garfield is rejected from his friends because of this, Arlene quotes to Nermal Garfield is a pig because he let Odie run away.

Jon finds out Odie has gone and he feels terrible. After putting up posters around town, Liz arrives for the dinner, Jon cancels the dinner and tells Liz about Odie. Jon and Liz then work to together to find Odie. Meanwhile Happy Chapman finds a found poster by the old lady and knows it is Odie & says Odie's name was his old family name. He takes back Odie (which is a crime, because it is not his dog) and the dog performs on the Happy Chapman show. Garfield sees him and Happy announces that he and Odie are going to New York by train for a big performance. Garfield attempts to show Jon, but the show goes to a Wendy's commercial. Garfield then sets out on a mission to rescue the pup.

In the city, Garfield meets Louis again and the mouse guides the fat cat to the Telegraph Tower. Garfield can't go in by the doors, so he climbs the vents and finds Odie in Happy's room. Happy comes in and puts on an inhumane mind-control electro-shock collar that with a press of a button, Odie gets a small shock and performs a backflip. Happy then heads to the Train Station and Garfield follows behind. The tabby is caught by Animal Control and is thrown in the pound. Jon sees Liz at a clothing store and tells Liz that Garfield has run away too. The couple goes and investigates. Finding a found poster of Odie, the old lady says Odie is Happy Chapman's dog (which is not true!) and the two drive to telegraph tower.

Garfield, at the pound, meets Persnikitty (voiced by Alan Cumming), Happy's last show cat that he threw inside the pound. A family arrives to take a cat home for a pet. Persnikitty, Garfield, and 3 other cats are taken and lined up behind a wall. The little girl picks Persnikitty. The old show cat tells Garfield that he will press the red button (which opens all the cages) in order to escape. All the caged up animals run like mad cows out in the city.

At the Train Station, Happy places Odie in the luggage cart and sits down for lunch. Garfield just misses the train by seconds. Jon and Liz arrive at the Train Station after being told that Happy was going to leave. Garfield sneaks into the control room, and messes with the commands. The tracks get rearranged that all the trains are on the same tracks. Just when the trains are about to collide, Garfield stops all the trains with the press of a certain button. Garfield climbs in the luggage cart after the train returns to the station. He reunites with Odie.

Happy sees Garfield and Odie walk out and is shocked. He runs out and chases them into the station's luggage halls, traps the two animals and threatens Odie with the shock collar. Garfield jumps to the rescue and Happy throws the tabby on some luggage. Garfield gets up and is greeted by the pound animals. They've come to help. The animals corner Happy, and Garfield gives orders to attack and place the shock collar on Happy's neck. The pound animals leave and Garfield and Odie finish off Happy with 2 shocks of the collar. Jon and Liz arrive, and Jon furiously punches Chapman for stealing Garfield and Odie. Jon promises the cat and dog to never leave them out of his sight. Chapman gets arrested and Garfield's now known as a hero.

Back home, Liz and Jon began a relationship, along with a passionate kiss. Garfield learns friendship and love, and they live as a big happy family.... But all that changes when he intentionally pushes Odie off his chair over and over again.

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 up & then as the credits roll over the pics from the movie, Garfield is heard in the background asking Odie for ice.

Reception

The movie was released with huge backlash from many critics. The movie received a 24% rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

Yahoo! Movies critics' gave it a B-.

Roger Ebert gave Garfield The Movie a "Thumbs Up" stating that he felt that the movie "is funny and charming," while The Washington Post said it is "Fun" and People thought it "Clever."

Box office

First Week Gross US$ 31,787,681
Domestic US$ 135,789,689
Non-Domestic US$ 123,995,712
World-Wide US$ 200,965,971

Differences from comic

  • In the film, Jon drives a green Volvo S60 as opposed to his red sedan in the comics, cartoons, and other media. This also changed in Garfield 2, because in that, Jon drives a blue Volvo V50.
  • In the movie, Liz is portrayed as Jon's love interest, which is significantly different from her comic portrayal, in which she repels Jon's advances and insists on keeping the relationship professional. Up until recently Jon's entire romantic life in the comics had been a series of cancelled or failed dates. On July 26, 2006 and December 19,1981 Liz did finally succumb to Jon's "charms" in the comic strip and has at last started dating him. However, in the movie, Liz is very interested, openly flirts with Jon, and she asks him out on a date.
  • Nermal is portrayed as an adult siamese Cat who is a playmate of Garfield. In the comic strip, he is a vain gray tabby kitten that often visits Garfield to remind him of his old age, usually on or near his birthday, Nermal in the movie also seems to be slightly dim-witted, whereas his comic strip counterpart is not. In the TV show Nermal sounds more feminine or like a typical cartoon version of a young boy, despite being male. In the movie, he sounds like a male teenager.
  • In the comic strip and animated series, Garfield is portrayed as an extremely lazy cat, seen mostly sleeping or eating. In the movie, Garfield can be seen dancing, running, jumping, and making a lot of other movement. This was also noted in Garfield and Friends.
  • Jon got Odie from Liz in the movie. In the strip, Lyman showed up with Odie in tow.
  • Odie in the film is a Dachshund. In the comic strip, Odie is a beagle with a black spot on his side.
  • Arlene's fur was dark gray instead of pink.
  • Arlene in the film appears to be more of Garfield's friend whereas in the comic, she is his love interest (although a deleted scene shows him flirting with Arlene before being distracted by a pie).
  • In the comics and TV series, Jon is portrayed as a clumsy nerd with very little success in love. In the movie, he is no longer portrayed as a loser, simply a shy guy who has a good relationship with Liz and even knocks out Happy Chapman in one punch.
  • In the film, it's sequel and The Garfield Show, as well as the CGI animated films, Garfield's mouth moves when he's talking. Whilst the 2-D verson of Garfield only talks through thought balloons and voice-over. Despite this, no humans can understand what he or any animal is saying.

Cast

Voice Cast

Animals

  • Other Animals from Worldwide Movie Animals
  • Odie and Animals trained by American Humane Association

Trivia

  • Odie is a dachshund in the movie series, as opposed to a beagle, like in other versions of Garfield.
  • In addition to Garfield, both Bill Murray and Lorenzo Music have portrayed Peter Venkman from the Ghostbusters franchise.
  • The plot of the film shares similarities with that of Toy Story (which has the same writers).
  • Both Bill Murray and Stephen Tobolowsky starred in the 1993 movie Groundhog Day.

Soundtrack

Further information: Garfield: The Movie (soundtrack)

Songs in Musical

  1. I Hate mondays (Garfield & Chorus)
  2. Cacus race (Luca, Nermal & Garfield)
  3. Be Prepared (Happy & Chorus)
  4. A Chase (Score)
  5. Liz's Theme (Score)
  6. Odie's Intro (Liz & Jon)
  7. Garfield's Fight (Score)
  8. Hey Mama (Chorus)
  9. New Dog state of Mind (Garfield)
  10. TELEGRAPH (Garfield & Louis)
  11. Hey Mama (reprise) (Garfield)

Appearances

Sequel

Main Article: Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

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

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