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Garfield: The Movie

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Garfield: The Movie
Garfield 2004.jpg
This is a movie worse than any Monday.
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Peter Hewitt
Written By: Joel Cohen
Alec Sokolow
Starring: Bill Murray
Breckin Meyer
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Stephen Tobolowsky
Photography: Color
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: June 11, 2004
Runtime: 80 minutes
Country: United States
Sequel: Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (canonically)

"Garfield Gets Real (Direct to DVD trilogy)"

"Garfield (2024) (animated reboot)"

Garfield: The Movie (sometimes known as Garfield onscreen) is a 2004 American live action/computer-animated comedy film directed by Peter Hewitt based on Jim Davis' comic strip of the same name and the 1988 animated series Garfield and Friends. It stars Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle, Jennifer Love Hewitt as Dr. Liz Wilson and features Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield, who was created with computer animation, though all other animals were real. The film was produced by Davis Entertainment Company and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was released in the United States on June 11, 2004 and received a sequel in 2006 entitled Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties.

Following this, a trilogy of direct to DVD fully animated films, titled Garfield Gets Real, Garfield's Fun Fest, and Garfield's Pet Force (film adaptation), were released in 2007, 2008, and 2009 respectively.

Along with those, a wide release theatrical animated reboot simply named Garfield, starring Chris Pratt, is in the works at Sony Pictures and Alcon Entertainment, slated for a release on February 16, 2024.


Jon Arbuckle buys a second pet, a dog named Odie. However, Odie is then abducted and it is up to Jon's cat, Garfield, to find and rescue the canine... Garfield, in an out of character move, goes to search for and rescue Odie with the help of a variety of animal friends along the way.

Bad Qualities

  1. Poor acting from much of the cast with the exception of Bill Murray (see GQ #1).
  2. Many poor attempts at humor throughout the entire film, particularly when Garfield gets chased by dogs at the dog show, he runs by a lady and yells, "Ma'am, I'm hitching a ride in your moo-moo!" which also became an infamous 'joke'.
  3. The storyline is tiresome, especially when you compare it to the original TV show and comic books that inspired it.
  4. Blatant amount of product placement.
  5. Lackluster and dated CGI, especially on the titular character himself, and in a few scenes where he's obviously floating or edited in.
  6. They made all the characters (except for Pooky the Teddy Bear) in the movie look nothing like their own original designs (except Odie to a certain extent, and that's really pushing it), which is especially the case with both Jon and Liz, who also don't behave like their comic book and cartoon counterparts.
    • It should also be noted that Odie is portrayed by a real dog rather than a CGI character (the same can be said for Nermal and Arlene), resulting in a character that obviously lacks the quirky physical appearance and personality of the comic book's character.
    • Speaking of characters, most of the characters are incredibly forgettable.
  7. The main antagonist of the movie, Happy Chapman, is so bland and forgettable that his motivation makes no sense.
  8. Mediocre grasp of the source material.
  9. The writing and the ending itself certainly feel very rushed. Speaking of which, at the scene right before the credits roll, Garfield starts singing without context.
  10. Contains needless pop culture references, including a moment when Garfield watches The Simpsons (despite that The Simpsons is owned by Fox, the film's distributor).
  11. Plot hole: Happy Chapman is allergic to cats, but never sneezes or shows any signs of his allergy on the two occasions he is in a room with Garfield.
  12. When Garfield gets kicked out of the house, the first scene we see him is during the day but the very next scene is at night.
  13. The movie shows that Odie was given by Liz, so one question stands: What ever happened to Lyman?

Good Qualities

  1. Bill Murray did a pretty good job voicing Garfield.
  2. Despite the lackluster CGI, Garfield's design does remain faithful to the original comics and cartoons and there are few scenes where they do the CGI quite well like the reflections and the shadows and Lighting.
  3. Passable soundtrack composed by Christophe Beck.
    • Speaking of which, Baha Men's "Holla!", which was made specifically for this movie, is incredibly catchy.
    • There are a selection of other good songs too, like "Honky Cat" by Elton John, "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown, and "Happy Together" by The Turtles.
  4. Garfield is tolerable, and he does retain part of his character despite being a bit flanderized at times.
  5. There are a few references to the comics, such as Garfield still hating Mondays and eating lasagna.
  6. Garfield falling into the lasagna truck is a bit funny despite Garfield obviously not being strong enough to break through the metal roof of the truck.
  7. Unlike many other animated properties that features anthropomorphize characters adapted to live-action, Garfield himself remains to be the main focus of his own movie, and isn't sideline in favor for say Jon Arbuckle or any generic human character strictly created for the film.


Garfield: The Movie received generally negative reviews from critics and audiences alike, and currently holds a 15% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a general consensus that states: "When the CGI novelty of Garfield wears off, what's left is a simplistic kiddie movie." On Metacritic, the film has weighted a score of 27 out of 100, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews," while IMDb has a score of 5/10.

Animated Reboot

On May 24, 2016, it was announced that Alcon Entertainment would develop a new CG animated Garfield film, with John Cohen and Steven P. Wegner producing, and Mark Dindal directing. In August 2019, Viacom acquired the rights to Garfield, leaving the status of the movie for the time uncertain. However, in December 2020, Dindal confirming that the film was still in production. On November 1, 2021, Chris Pratt was announced as the voice of Garfield, with animation being provided by DNEG, a production company of the film. Sony Pictures Releasing will maintain global distribution rights for the film, except for China. It is slated for a February 2024 release.



  • Bill Murray took up the lead role because he thought the script was being written by Joel Coen of the Coen Brothers, but he shortly found out that it was actually Joel Cohen, the writer of Toy Story, Cheaper by the Dozen, Money Talks and Daddy Day Camp.
  • In 2009's Zombieland, Bill Murray (in a cameo) claimed he regretted starring in Garfield.
  • Jack Nicholson and Dan Aykroyd were both considered to voice Garfield in the film.
  • Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, and Adam Sandler were all considered for the role of Jon, but were too expensive.
  • Jennifer Garner, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Janeane Garofalo were all considered for the role of Liz.
  • Chris Pratt's role as the titular character in the Garfield animated reboot, along with his role as the titular character in the 2023 Mario movie, were so controversial (especially the former) that it caused people to make memes where he would voice every cartoon character in existence (many examples of which include Microsoft's Clippy the paperclip, Peter Griffin, Steven from Steven Universe, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Homer Simpson, Shadow the Hedgehog, Jolyne Cujoh, Arataki Itto, Link, Winnie the Pooh, and so much more).
  • On that note, the CGI animated reboot will release in 2024, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of this movie.

External links


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