Garfield (2004)

America's fat cat is back in town

America's favorite fat cat finally makes his big screen debut. Following in the footsteps of other animated characters brought to the big screen like Scooby Doo and George of the Jungle. The story is essentially about how Jon Arbuckle adopts Odie to impress a veterinarian girl, but when Odie runs away, it's up to Garfield to save him. Garfield is brought to life via computer animation while the other animals are real. The animation is fairly decent at best, and the story is bit simplistic for my taste. However, the film did seem pretty funny at times like when Garfield tried to get Odie to fall for his various traps to toy with him, like in the original comic strips. In a lot of ways, this film kind of reminded me of my youth watching the cartoon as a kid. I think this is arguably one of the few movies that I can see both parents and kids enjoying together.

Based on the popular cartoon character, Garfield was essentially a fat cat raised by Jon Arbuckle, where many of his misadventures would range from playing tricks on Odie, swatting spiders, and eating almost all of Jon's food. Of course, his trademark favorite cuisine was always lasagna throughout the series. Over the years, Garfield has become something of an icon in modern pop culture, where you'd be hard pressed to find anyone that's never heard of him by now.

As I stated, the film essentially has Jon adopting Odie in this movie to impress a rather attractive veterinarian. However, Garfield soon becomes jealous of Odie, which results in him getting kidnapped by some evil mad man (don't ask), and it's up to Garfield to save him. The story is pretty cut and dry, as I mentioned earlier. Not only can one tell exactly how this film will end, but you'd have to be an imbecile not to be able to read what's going to happen next just by watching the movie. In fact, one could point out the EXACT time when Garfield feels guilty about Odie getting kidnapped, and we all know that this movie is obligated to have some sort of feel good ending. But then again, what family isn't predictable these days?

However, the story does move at a pretty decent pace, and it's humor is pretty much geared towards kids, so I'm sure most families won't have a problem with this movie. Although, I just wouldn't expect much out of this film.

As for the animation, I have to say that I was rather impressed with how well they were able to make Odie (a real dog) interact with Garfield very convincingly. In fact, I have to tip my hat off to both the CGI and dog trainers for this film on that one. Unfortunately, it does come off as strange, as Garfield is the only CGI surrealistic character in this movie; whereas everyone else is portrayed using real human and animals, while using CGI to make the animals look like they're talking. Granted, it's a bit weird at first when you start watching this movie, but I doubt seriously most audiences will care about this minor detail.

Overall, Parents can enjoy it because they grew up with the character while kids will love it because...its Garfield damn it! "Garfield" may not be a great family film, but it's certainly entertaining.

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