Garfield the Movie Review

Growing up I was a big fan of the Garfield comic strip and cartoons that would show on the television. I remember friends thinking Garfield was weak because all he would do was eat and pick on Odie. Many people I know were fans of Heathcliff because he was tougher but I still liked Garfield. Now in 2024, after countless comic strips, cartoons, television specials and a movie starring Bill Murray we have a new version on film. 

Courtesy of Sony Pictures

I will say that I was a bit skeptical when I saw the announcement that Chris Pratt was going to voice Garfield. I mean, the man just did Mario and now he is going to voice another iconic character? As much as I was not a fan of this choice, as the movie progressed I started getting used to the voice. I will say that Pratt is no Scott Beach but his voice will draw in the kids and that is what the studio wants. 

The Garfield Movie is really 3 movies in one. It feels like it did not know which direction it wanted to go and they just combined three ideas to make one movie. The movie starts off as an origin story. We get to see how a young Garfield met Jon and ended up becoming his pet. We briefly meet Garfield’s father Vic in the beginning and that becomes movie number two: The reunion between father and son. It is not until the second half of the movie where we learn the reason that Vic disappeared and by then it feels like it is just squeezed in. 

Jinx in GARFIELD. Courtesy of Sony Pictures

The last movie is a heist movie. Garfield, Vic, and Odie are forced to steal milk from a farm in order to pay off a debt that Vic has accrued due to his shady past. The heist takes up the final act of the movie and their mission changes when they are tasked to steal an additional item along with the milk. This entire scene of them breaking into the farm is entertaining and reminiscent of the droid factory scene in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones right down to the big knives chopping the area around them. 

Overall, The Garfield Movie was entertaining and a cute entry for new viewers. Even Though there were some issues with the storyline the movie is targeted to kids and they will not nitpick the things that some adults might find fault with. The product placement was a bit heavy handed at times for an animated movie. I will say that It is a no-brainer to have Olive Garden in the movie when you have a cat that likes to eat lasagna. There is a lot of eating in the movie and you might leave the theater hungry for pizza or pasta. 

Final Thoughts: The Garfield Movie feels like three movies: an origin story, a love story, and a family drama. While it does stray away from the original comics the movie does take a few minutes to find its groove. The father and son story could have been more impactful if we spent more time with Garfield and Vic before they separated. At times the extra stories felt forced and took away from the reunion between Garfield and Vic. Overall, the movie will be entertaining for younger kids and might lead to more sequels in the future. Make sure to stay after the credit for a fun comic strip. 

Kid-Friendly: The Garfield Movie does have some good messages for younger viewers. It shows them the importance of family and friends, and getting outside your comfort zone. With many children spending a lot of time on screens it is nice to show them the importance of going outside and learning about the world around them.  

Violence: There is animated violence in the movie. The characters of Roland and Nolan do some scrupulous stuff but nothing too much for the PG rating.

Garfield (voiced by Chris Pratt), the world-famous, Monday-hating, lasagna-loving indoor cat, is about to have a wild outdoor adventure! After an unexpected reunion with his long-lost father – scruffy street cat Vic (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) – Garfield and his canine friend Odie are forced from their perfectly pampered life into joining Vic in a hilarious, high-stakes heist.

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