Okay, so I had this crazy idea one night a few months ago about the possibility of getting degrees in direction and animation in order to help fulfill a budding fantasy of a new half-hour, 2D animated Garfield special.
Now, the plot is that one morning in February, Garfield has to go to the vet, and Jon asks Liz to accompany him on a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant. Expecting Liz to reject this offer, and maybe file a restraining order against him, Garfield is shocked when Liz happily agrees to the date. Immediately, Garfield starts making plans to stowaway in Jon’s trunk, only for Jon and Liz to get into a hilariously petty argument over I don’t know, which pasta shape is better or something else stupid, culminating in the date being cancelled and Jon storming out of the building with his cat. Garfield is apathetic until he realizes that no date means his plans to secretly tag along are ruined.
Jon soon feels sorry for his actions at the veterinarian’s office and starts trying to win back Liz’s heart. After his attempts fail, he starts trying to hook up with other women, until one lady named I dunno yet falls for him. Jon goes to her house for dinner so they can get to know each other. Garfield hates I dunno yet and decides he has to get Liz to like Jon again.
However, he soon finds himself juggling this and being the romantic mentor of Odie, who has started a relationship with another dog who is only known as “Woof”, the obvious joke being that neither dog can talk. Odie is infatuated with her, and even spends a sentimental evening with her chowing down at the dump.
On top of all that, Garfield decides he should give Arlene something special and attempts to find something to give her in an extremely minor subsubplot.
Now, the main thing about this hypothetical special is that it would be aimed more at adults. I don’t mean Garfield is going to be running around shooting people or anything—that’s totally out of character. What I mean by this is that the special is going to be made with teenagers and adults in mind, mainly those who believe the franchise is twenty years past its prime or was never funny to begin with, and also the people who grew up on the original Garfield specials.
Also, there’s going to be no modern technology. The special takes place in the early 1980s, and it shows. Vertical hold knobs, cassettes, rotary phones, you name it. The BGM is dominated by Fender Rhodes and other forgotten instruments.
To top it all off, EVERYONE LOOKS LIKE THIS. Garfield walks on all fours for the most part, except for when it’s funnier for him to walk on two legs. He reverts to “thought-speech”, as well as his original personality, and acts considerably more like a real cat would, just like in the early years of the strip. The animation, looking mostly like the old specials but now drawn entirely on a computer, is mostly on twos and in some places looks slightly rushed, further adding to the nostalgic vibe.
I have emailed Mark Evanier a couple of times, showing him rough script fragments as well as some storyboards I drew myself, but have yet to receive a response. Hopefully, once I finish college, I’ll be able to drive to Paws, Inc. headquarters and display my portfolio of sketches and script drafts and ideas.
I hope they like it.
In case any of you are interested, here’s a finished scene that I’ve written: