Garfield and Friends

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Garfield and Friends
GandF.gif
The cast of Garfield and Friends. Clockwise from bottom left: Sheldon, Wade, Orson, Odie, Garfield, Roy, and Booker.
Genre Comedy
Created by Jim Davis
Written by Mark Evanier[1]
Sharman DiVono
Directed by Jeff Hall
Tom Ray
Dave Brain
Vincent Davis
Ron Myrick
others
Voices of Lorenzo Music
Gregg Berger
Thom Huge
Desiree Goyette
Howie Morris
Frank Welker
Julie Payne
Pat Buttram
Narrated by Gary Owens
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 121 (whole)
363 (segments)
Garfield: 242
U.S. Acres: 121 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Jim Davis
Lee Mendelson
Phil Roman
Producer(s) George Singer (1-21)
Mitch Schauer (22-38)
Bob Curtis (22-55)
Bob Nesler (40-72)
Vincent Davis (70-121)
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) Film Roman
Paws, Inc.
Distributor TV syndication:
The Program Exchange (1993–2006)
20th Television (2004–present)
20th Century Fox Television (2005–present)
Broadcast
Original channel CBS
Picture format 480i SDTV
Audio format Mono (1988-1990)
CBS Stereosound (1990-1994)
Original run September 17, 1988 (1988-09-17) – December 10, 1994 (1994-12-10)
Chronology
Followed by The Garfield Show

Garfield and Friends is an American animated television series based on the comic strip Garfield by Jim Davis. The show was produced by Film Roman, in association with United Feature Syndicate and Paws, Inc., and ran on CBS Saturday mornings from September 17, 1988 to December 10, 1994, with reruns airing until October 7, 1995.[2][3] Seven seasons of the series were produced.

Regular segments feature both Garfield and U.S. Acres, a lesser-known comic strip also created by Davis. The latter was retitled Orson's Farm for foreign syndication, as that was the name of the comic strip outside of the United States.

A total of 121 episodes were made, each consisting of two Garfield segments and one U.S. Acres segment, totaling 242 Garfield segments and 121 U.S. Acres segments. All episodes have been released in the U.S. on five DVD sets by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The first season aired in a half-hour format. However, in the second season, it switched to an hour-length format, showing two episodes each week. In the last season, the series was still an hour, but the second half-hour of the show featured either an episode from the previous season or one of the Garfield TV specials.

Characters[edit]

Garfield[edit]

Regular characters[edit]

  • Garfield (Voiced by Lorenzo Music): A fat, lazy orange tabby, who wants nothing more out of life than to eat and sleep. He has a penchant for consuming lasagna, enjoys tormenting Odie, and likes trying to mail Nermal to Abu Dhabi. He made a small handful of appearances on U.S. Acres (once wearing nothing but a black mask over his eyes as his "disguise"), but was more often seen in the form of various pieces of Garfield merchandise the characters appeared to own. Deep down, Garfield loves Jon and Odie. Garfield does not speak, but rather the audience hears his thoughts.
  • Jon Arbuckle (Voiced by Thom Huge): Garfield's owner, a bachelor cartoonist who has poor luck with women and a somewhat nerdy demeanor. He is often annoyed by some of Garfield's antics, and also has an unrequited love for Dr. Liz. Whenever Garfield gets in trouble, Jon will punish him by taking him to the vet. Jon also has a mission set before him: get Garfield to do the right thing. Jon occasionally forces Garfield to hunt and catch mice, which is always unsuccessful due to Garfield not wanting to eat mice and his friendship with Floyd.
  • Odie (Voiced by Gregg Berger): A beagle who is Garfield's best friend. He used to belong to Jon's former roommate Lyman (who never appeared on the show, but was a character who appeared in the earliest comic strips). Is often kicked off the kitchen table by Garfield. Looks incredibly stupid and gullible, but is actually much more cunning and smart than he lets on. Odie is the only animal character who doesn't communicate with any form of dialogue, solely communicating with body language and his enthusiastic barking and other dog sound effects, although Garfield is able to understand what he says.
  • Nermal (Voiced by Desirée Goyette): A cute grey tabby kitten who's the self-proclaimed "World's Cutest Kitty Cat". Nermal seems kind and playful, but likes to annoy Garfield and brag about how much cuter he is. Garfield often attempts (usually unsuccessfully) to mail him to Abu Dhabi as a result. Though officially considered a male, Nermal's feminine preoccupation with being cute, and the fact that a woman provides a childlike voice of ambiguous gender for Nermal, allowed the character to be mistaken for a female cat, to the point that in the first two seasons of the show, the Spanish version featured Nermal as a female kitten named "Thelma".
  • Pooky: Garfield's teddy bear and sleeping companion of whom Jon is jealous. Found in a drawer, he is Garfield's only toy. Garfield adopted his alter ego "The Caped Avenger" after temporarily losing Pooky.
  • Binky the Clown (Voiced by Thom Huge): A loud, obnoxious clown who appeared a few times in the strip before becoming a regular on the show. Within the series, Binky has his own TV show that Garfield and Odie try to avoid watching. Binky once had his own segment on the series called "Screaming with Binky" that was the length of a Quickie and ran at the midway point of an hour episode—Most of these segments were removed in syndication. "Screaming with Binky" segments were only aired in seasons 2 and 3 (1989–1991) of the show, and some were re-aired for a month after eight weeks of season 4 and 5 episodes (Nov. 1991-Sep. 1993). His catchphrase is, "Heeeeeey, kiiiiiiids!", but to Garfield he yells "Heeeeeeeeeeeey, cat!". Binky the Clown was a reoccurring character for the first three seasons, but was removed beginning with season four. He made a brief cameo appearance in a season 7 episode "The Feline Philosopher", where Binky then threw pies and discusses how he used to be part of an act to Odie.
  • Herman Post: (Voiced by Gregg Berger): A mailman who loves delivering the mail. He is constantly the victim of booby traps set by Garfield. As with Binky, he rarely appeared after season three.
  • Dr. Liz Wilson (Voiced by Julie Payne): Garfield's sarcastic veterinarian and Jon's main love interest. She occasionally dates him, but these outings always become disasters often due to Garfield's actions. She just appeared for the show's first two seasons, although she also made an appearance in the season four episode Frankenstein Feline.

Minor characters[edit]

  • Cactus Jake (Voiced by Pat Buttram): The foreman of the Polecat Flats dude ranch; behaves in the manner of an old-fashioned cowboy, and often refuses to have anything to do with modern technology. His appearances include "Polecat Flats", "Cactus Jake Rides Again", "Cactus Makes Perfect", "How the West Was Lost", "Urban Arbuckle", "The Cactus Saga" and "The Legend of Cactus Jupiter".
  • Al G. Swindler (Voiced by Carl Ballantine): A car salesman with a huge nose. As his name suggests, he is a businessman and con artist who constantly swindles the perennially gullible Jon, but is eventually outwitted by Garfield. In the episode Lemon Aid his name was given as Al J. Swindler. He also always says Jon's last name wrong; for example, "Mr. Arborday" or "Mr. Arbarnacle". His other episodes were "Skyway Robbery", "Wonderful World", and "Home Sweet Swindler".
  • The Buddy Bears: Their names are Billy, Bobby and Bertie (In "The Garfield Opera", they introduced themselves by their formal names William, Robert and Bertram). They are three talking bears who spew conformist propaganda in the form of song and dance ("Oh, we're the Buddy Bears we always get along... if you ever disagree, it means that you are wrong"; etc.) Their television show once replaced Binky's, and Roy Rooster of U.S. Acres has twice been stuck as the fall guy of their routines. The Buddy Bears are a satire of The Get Along Gang, The Care Bears and other 1980s cartoons focused on "caring", emotions, pleasant human interactions, harmony, and a general lack of plot or conflict. However, it is Garfield who tends to get the last laugh, at one point bringing an argument between the three bears over pizza toppings. Later in the series there is a 4th female Buddy Bear, their sister Betty.[4]
  • Penelope (Voiced by Victoria Jackson): Known as Lola in "Beach Blanket Bonzo" (Voice of Desiree Goyette) and Gwendelin in "The Idol of ID" (Voice of June Foray)(They both are identical). Penelope is Garfield's girlfriend who takes the place of his love interest Arlene from the comics. Mark Evanier recently explained that the reason Arlene only appeared once in the series was that Jim Davis had a very specific idea of how the Arlene character should be and told the writers that if they couldn't be faithful to it, they shouldn't use her.[citation needed]
  • Brick: Brick (or Bonzo from "Beach Blanket Bonzo") is the ex-boyfriend to most of Garfield's love interests. They usually dump him because of Garfield. He usually is sensitive about his girlfriends so he usually pounds Garfield, but still does not win their hearts. He was first seen in Beach Blanket Bonzo as Lola's boyfriend (He appeared in a different color). He later appeared in The Idol of Id trying to convince Gwendelin to dump Garfield and go back to him. In "The Perils of Penelope", he appeared as Bonzo for the first time, as dating Penelope and after he chase Garfield to a truck he was last seen in the back of a truck to Mexico. He made cameos in The Garfield Rap playing the guitar in one scene, and "Cutie and the beast" who was then unnamed.
  • The Singing Ants (Voiced by Ed Bogas): Ants who sing while stealing food, appeared first as the stars of the musical episode "The Picnic Panic", where they steal all of Garfield's picnic lunch. They first appeared in "A Vacation From His Senses", where they are seemingly delusions of Jon, who thinks that he has gone crazy. Their final appearance is in "Another Ant Episode," where they have another starring role, this time taking over Garfield's house.
  • Ludlow (Voiced by Don Messick): A crow who appeared in two episodes. His father always beats up Garfield when he thinks he has eaten his son. The episodes in which he appeared are "Sweet Tweet Treat" and "Catch As Cats Can't."
  • Irving Burnside (Voiced by Gregg Berger): A next door neighbor to Jon in which Garfield invades (generally stealing his barbecue). Whenever this happens, he threatens to beat up Jon. He appeared on six episodes which are "Frankenstein Feline," "Bad Neighbor Policy," "Next Door Nuisance," "How to Drive Humans Crazy," and "A Matter of Conscience," and "Fair Exchange."
  • Rudy (Voiced by Gregg Berger): A dog who beats up Garfield every time he hosts a television program and says something bad about dogs. His name was first revealed in "Dogmother 2".
  • Mice: The Mice appeared in two episodes. The episodes were "Good Mousekeeping" and "The pie-eyed piper." The mice don't include Floyd.
  • Moe the Cat Burglar (Voiced by Gregg Berger): Moe the Cat Burglar appeared in three episodes: "Mistakes Will Happen," "Safe At Home," and "Top Ten". He made two attempts to steal from Jon's home.
  • Madman Murray (Voiced by Gregg Berger): A second-hand junk salesman (proclaimed to be insane). Similar to Mr. Swindler, He tries to get Jon to buy some cheap junk. He appeared in "Guaranteed Trouble, "Rolling Romance," and "Madman Meets His Match." He makes a cameo in "Jumping Jon".
  • J.D. (a.k.a. Jim Davis, voiced by himself): The director of the cartoons who had six "appearances": "Mystic Manor" (as himself wearing a Garfield suit drawing a comic strip), "Flat Tired," "The Garfield Workout," "Star Struck," "Fill In Feline," and the U.S. Acres (Orson's Farm) episode "What's It All About Wade?"
  • Dr. Garbanzo Bean (Voiced by Frank Welker): A mad scientist from "Robodie" and "Robodie II".
  • The Feline Philosopher (Voiced by Eddie Lawrence): A feline philosopher that talked Garfield into stealing pie. This character was a parody of Eddie Lawrence's "Old Philosopher" routine. His appearances are The Feline Philosopher and The Farmyard Feline Philosopher; he made a cameo appearance in The Man Who Hated Cats.

U.S. Acres (a.k.a. Orson's Farm)[edit]

Regular characters[edit]

  • Orson (Voiced by Gregg Berger): A pig who, while sometimes needing improvement in the friendship department, is still the leader for a reason. His favorite pastime is reading books and imagining himself into many scenarios, à la Walter Mitty. Orson also has two missions set before him: get Roy to do the right thing and get Wade to be brave. A running gag is that Orson is a neat freak and constantly showers and keeps clean, one time making Wade comment, "Cleanest pig in the world." He's a good friend of Roy, Wade, Bo, and Lanolin and a father figure to Booker and Sheldon. Orson's afraid of his brothers. Orson has a superhero identity well, named Power Pig.
  • Roy (Voiced by Thom Huge): A loud and sometimes self-centered rooster who prides himself on his practical jokes. He's constantly into a scheme which more often than not Orson or another character has to bail him out of. Despite his selfishness, he is a good person when he wants to be. Despite some of his and Wade's differences and that they argue sometimes, they became closer friends later on in the seasons. It was even implied that Roy and Wade knew each other for fourteen years or so.
  • Wade (Voiced by Howie Morris): A cowardly duck who wears a rubber flotation tube, and has a bunch of phobias no matter how trivial. As a gag, the head on his flotation tube (which is identical to & smaller than Wade's head) copies nearly every movement and appearance change Wade's real head does. When he gets scared (which is almost all the time), he'll blabber with no one understanding what he's saying. Though seemingly afraid of everything, Wade's greatest fear is the Weasel. Despite some of his and Roy's differences and that they argue sometimes, they became closer friends later on in the seasons. It was even implied that Roy and Wade knew each other for fourteen years or so.
  • Bo (Voiced by Frank Welker): An affable sheep with a positive, laid-back attitude, whose mannerisms and vernacular are like a California beach bum. He's almost impossible to get mad and acts as a guide for Orson when dealing with his three older brothers.
  • Lanolin (Voiced by Julie Payne): A loud-mouthed sheep who spends most of her time arguing with her twin brother Bo. The arguments are often triggered by her being disagreeable seemingly for its own sake. Out of all the main characters in this segment, she seems to be the nicest to Orson.
  • Booker (Voiced by Frank Welker): A small, cute, but very assertive chick who is constantly in pursuit of unnamed worms. Got his name from Orson's love of books.
  • Sheldon (Voiced by Frank Welker): Booker's twin brother, who, despite having hatched, still lives in his egg with his feet popped out of the shell so he can walk. He seems to have "all kinds of things" in his shell, including a pinball machine and a stove. In one episode it was revealed that Sheldon actually did hatch but that under his shell was nothing more than another shell. Nobody knows what happened to Booker and Sheldon's parents.

Minor characters[edit]

  • Mort (Voiced by Frank Welker), Gort (Voiced by Thom Huge), and Wart (Voiced by Howie Morris): Orson's mean older triplet brothers (unnamed until "Hogcules") who usually appear either to bully Orson or trying to steal the fruit and vegetable crops from the farm. They seldom refer to Orson by his name, calling him "the runt." Despite being apparent triplets, they are different in size. Mort is the shortest and the ringleader (although Gort is sometimes the leader instead of Mort) who grunts in his dialogue, Gort is the smartest and has yellow eyes (although Mort sometimes has yellow eyes instead of Gort), and Wart is the tallest with buck teeth.
  • Fred Duck (Voiced by Frank Welker): Wade's highly annoying cousin who wears a parachute when flying because he's secretly afraid of heights. He appeared on six episodes including "Shy Fly Guy", "The Impractical Joker", "Mystery Guest", "Orson in Wonderland", "Orson at the Bat", and "The Ugly Duckling". Fred disappeared after the fourth season.
  • Worms (voiced by Howie Morris): Booker often chases them, but with no success. They were unnamed on the show, but there was a worm named "Filbert" in the comic strip.
  • The Weasel (Voiced by Gregg Berger): Unnamed, the weasel is constantly seen sneaking around trying to kidnap the chickens. Usually Roy (or on rare occasions Wade or Sheldon) is the one to thwart him. He first appeared on "Flop Goes The Weasel" and last appeared on "Deja Vu".
  • The Fox (Voiced by Howie Morris): Also an unnamed character who has more of a goofy personality than the weasel. He tries to kidnap Sheldon, despite saying he "doesn't look ripe." He appeared on "Shell Shocked Sheldon" and appeared on "Little Red Riding Egg" and made a cameo appearance on "Hare Force".
  • The Wolf (Voiced by Gregg Berger): An unnamed wolf who appeared in the fifth season who tried to steal chickens like the Weasel. His first appearance was "The Wolf Who Cried Boy", made appearances on "Sooner or Later" and "Gross Encounters" and disappeared after "A Mildly Mental Mix-Up".
  • Chloe: Roy's niece and a bookish chick. Roy likes her more than he'll admit. She was first introduced in "Uncle Roy to the Rescue", and then was seen again in "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarfs, pts. 1-2".
  • Edward R. Furrow (Voiced by Frank Welker): The farm's local psychiatrist badger who's named after Edward R. Murrow. His appearances include "A Mildly Mental Mix-Up" and "Daydream Doctor". He made a cameo in "Newsworthy Wade".
  • Aloysius (Voiced by Kevin Meaney): A pig who appears in the seventh season of U.S. Acres. He works not only as a studio accountant but also as a television executive. He gives problems to Orson and his friends concerning their show (such as the "unwholesomeness" of nursery rhymes in "Kiddie Korner" and budget of the animators of the cartoon in "The Discount of Monte Cristo"). He has a dart board, which he uses to plan each season of TV. However, Orson and his gang find a way to pay him back near the end of each episode. He often says, "That's not right!"
  • Plato (Voiced by Frank Welker): A sophisticated rooster who came to the farm to do Roy's job. Roy got really jealous of him, although when Plato proved too cowardly to save the chickens from the weasel, he was thrown out of the farm. Plato first appeared in the third season and had another appearance in Season 4.

Additional actors[edit]

Additional voices were also provided by Gary Owens and Neil Ross.

There have been several celebrity guest stars who did voice acting on Garfield & Friends for both Garfield & US Acres portions, including Imogene Coca, Stan Freberg, George Foreman, Chick Hearn, James Earl Jones, Marvin Kaplan, Robin Leach, John Moschitta, Jr., Jack Riley, Rod Roddy, Will Ryan, Pat Buttram, Dick Beals, Paul Winchell, Don Knotts, Michael Bell, Arnold Stang and Greg Burson.

Humor[edit]

The chief guiding force behind the show was comedy writer Mark Evanier, also known as a co-creator of Groo the Wanderer, who wrote "virtually all" of the shorts by his admission (with the exception of several shorts that were written by Sharman DiVono during the first four seasons). Because of this, the show (particularly in later seasons) had a markedly different style of humor than the previous specials or strips. Whereas the specials and strips tended to focus on more character-based humor, Garfield and Friends frequently tended to be much wackier and admittedly more sophisticated, in the vein of later cartoons such as Animaniacs or Pinky and the Brain.

Episodes were filled with puns and non sequiturs, and often lapsed into complete absurdity (such as the U.S. Acres short "Over the Rainbow", in which Roy's quest to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow leads him instead to a Let's Make a Deal-style game show complete with Rod Roddy announcing). Running gags were frequent, throughout either single shorts (such as in the Garfield short "The Creature That Lived in the Refrigerator, Behind the Mayonnaise, Next to the Ketchup and to the Left of the Cole Slaw!", in which the name of said creature is spoken repeatedly), or entire seasons (the Klopman Diamond is mentioned in many, many episodes). U.S. Acres characters would frequently make unexplained cameo appearances in Garfield shorts, and vice-versa. For example, the "Giant Radioactive Mutant Guppies" that Garfield and Nermal flushed down the sewer resurfaced in the U.S. Acres quickie that immediately followed, and then one asks the others if they could maybe get on the Muppet Babies, which at that time preceded Garfield and Friends on the CBS Saturday Morning lineup. In another example, the Garfield short "Mistakes Will Happen" featured a walk-on cameo for three U.S. Acres characters while the US Acres short "Mystery Guest" featured Garfield as the mystery guest and Jon as a phone caller trying to guess the guest. There was even some mild satire, particularly in the form of the "Buddy Bears", which spoofed such saccharine cartoons as The Get Along Gang and The Smurfs.

Many episodes tended to break the fourth wall. Garfield would frequently address the audience directly, openly acknowledging that he is, in fact, in a cartoon, or he would read through the script to find out what would happen in the short. Another example is a scene where Garfield is trying to prevent a plane from crashing and asking the audience to check the TV listings to make sure it's not the last episode. The characters would even fight with unnamed network executives over the direction of the show, and in at least one instance, the show was "cancelled". Entire shorts would even be built around this conceit, such as "Mistakes Will Happen", a short that featured Garfield disputing a claim that the show was featuring various mistakes — and then proceeding to run a short that was filled with dozens of animation, sound and writing errors, though Garfield claims that there were only three errors, usually related to him eating. In another short, "Flat Tired", Garfield refused to do a cartoon, stating to the cameramen "Go away. I'm not in this episode." Odie takes over the short (complete with a title card with Odie's name/logo) as "A Witch in Time", wherein he is kidnapped by a witch, and rescued (reluctantly) by Garfield.

Episodes[edit]

Production[edit]

When the show was originally broadcast on CBS, the episodes usually had three Quickies (30- to 45-second gags which were based on original Garfield and U.S. Acres strips, rather than original made-for-TV stories), with usually two "Garfield Quickies" (the first one being played before the intro theme) and one "U.S. Acres Quickie," the latter of which was never shown in syndication (except occasionally, mainly whenever a Quickie had something to do with the regular full episode it followed; e.g. the 'U.S. Acres Quickie' that follows the episode "Moo Cow Mutt").[5] Midway through the second season, "Screaming with Binky" quickie-style segments were added. These "Screaming with Binky" segments were typically used at the halfway point of hour long blocks of Garfield and Friends (as Garfield ended each one with "We'll be right back.") to let the viewers know that unlike most Saturday morning cartoons at the time, it was not over in the usual half-hour. The DVD sets and Boomerang reruns restore the original rotation. After the third season, only one "Garfield Quickie" was shown per episode.

During the first season, most U.S. Acres segments were made to teach a social lesson, which is ironically the type of thing the show was against in its later seasons.

In syndication, Garfield and Friends aired in a thirty-minute format. Each episode consisted of a Garfield cartoon, a U.S. Acres cartoon, another Garfield cartoon, and a Garfield Quickie in that order. The theme for the rerun package was the same one that was in use on the regular television series at the time (having been introduced in season three), but none of the music from the earlier episodes was edited for syndication.

Episode segments[edit]

Each episode featured most of the following segments:

  • Garfield Quickie: This was a segment of the show that featured Garfield Sunday strips from the mid-to-late 1980s. Very rarely would a weekday strip be shown.
  • Theme Song: This usually started with a formal styled Garfield on the fence turning on a record player and an announcer introducing the show. See the theme song section below for more information.
  • First Garfield Cartoon: This is a general Garfield episode taking on a more domestic nature mostly involving Jon and Odie.
  • U.S. Acres/Orson's Farm Quickie: This Quickie usually aired before the main story and featured strips from the newspaper run for that series.
  • U.S. Acres Cartoon: This episode featured the U.S. Acres/Orson's Farm gang in various situations. From Season 1 to Season Three there was a song segment that was built on the episode's theme.
  • Screaming With Binky: Segment that was the length of a Quickie and ran at the midway point of an hour episode. These segments featured narration by Garfield where we would usually find ourselves in someplace where quiet is a must or a person is in a delicate situation such as a golfer making a crucial putt. This would be followed by a Binky appearing and yelling, for example, "Heeeeeeeeeeeey fisherman!," most often causing a mistake of some sort. Most of these segments were removed in syndication. On the DVDs, Screaming With Binky usually follows the U.S. Acres episode.
  • Second Garfield Quickie: Just like the first quickie except it would be on before or after the second Garfield episode.
  • Second Garfield Cartoon: Another cartoon starring Garfield. Though stories may have a domestic nature, the viewers might see a parody teaching segment that featured a Garfield lecture of some sort or learning situation.
  • End Credits

A Quickie is a short joke that is used between segments. There is at least one Garfield or U.S. Acres Quickie per episode. Most of the Quickies are based on a Sunday comic strip, and some on a daily comic strip. There are also a couple of Quickies called Screaming with Binky. According to one U.S. Acres Quickie, they last 45 seconds [6] and most of these were cut out in syndication.

Cancellation[edit]

The seventh season (1994–1995) was the last one because CBS wanted to cut the budget (and in fact, CBS's Saturday morning cartoon lineup would be mostly replaced by CBS News Saturday Morning two years later, which eventually evolved into the Saturday edition of The Early Show). The production company nixed this proposal, so they mutually agreed to cease production, even though Garfield and Friends had still been doing very well in the ratings.

Theme song[edit]

The first theme song was a song-and-dance style number about friendship ("Friends are there to help you get started / To give you a push on your way") and was used during the first two seasons (and was also occasionally hummed or sung by the characters within the show).

The second theme song ("We're Ready to Party") first appeared in the third season and was used for almost the rest of the show's run. This theme was up-tempo and featured clips from episodes of the show. The second song supplants the first and third songs in syndicated reruns of the first, second, and seventh seasons. The DVD releases restore the first song used in the first two seasons.

In the seventh (and final) season, an upbeat rap-based theme song was used, sung by J.R. Johnston.[7] This theme is not included on the DVDs because the show was already in reruns by the time the rap theme song came out, and the song was not well received by viewers.

The close of each version of the theme included a recurring joke made by Garfield (e.g., "Welcome to my world... Did you bring food?", "Heathcliff, eat your heart out" and "It doesn't start till the fat lady screams.").

DVD releases[edit]

Region 1[edit]

In response to the financial success of Garfield: The Movie, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment released all seven seasons of Garfield and Friends to Region 1 DVD in five volume box sets, with each set having 24-25 episodes on three discs. Each set features an image of Garfield with a character from U.S. Acres.[8] These DVD sets show the original telecast versions, rather than the edited versions once seen in syndication and on cable networks. Almost all of the DVD sets are now out of print as of October 2013.

Release name Release date Eps. No. Years aired Seasons
Garfield and Friends, Volume One July 27, 2004 24 1988–1989 1 & 2A
Garfield and Friends, Volume Two December 7, 2004 24 1989–1990 2B & 3A
Garfield and Friends, Volume Three April 19, 2005 24 1990–1991 3B & 4A
Garfield and Friends, Volume Four August 30, 2005 24 1991–1993 4B, 5 & 6A
Garfield and Friends, Volume Five December 6, 2005 25 1993–1994 6B & 7

Region 2[edit]

Fox Entertainment and Jim Davis released one volume of Garfield and Friends on DVD in the UK on 21 Nov 2005. It was called Box of Fun and it was the same cover as the Vol. 1 box set. Unlike the USA sets, this is just a single disc with 8 episodes.

Region 4[edit]

Fox Entertainment also released the Volume One set to Region 4 DVD on December 13, 2004. The contents of this set are exactly the same as that of the Region 1 release with only minor changes to the set cover. The set was also made available as individual volumes. The complete "Volume 1" set is now discontinued. The remaining four volumes were never released.

Release name Release date Eps No.
Garfield and Friends, Volume One December 13, 2008 24
Garfield and Friends, Volume One, Disc 1 November 4, 2007 8
Garfield and Friends, Volume One, Disc 2 November 19, 2007 8
Garfield and Friends, Volume One, Disc 3 November 23, 2007 8

Also released were single-disc compilations based on a theme, such as Garfield and Friends: Behind the Scenes in 2006.

Syndication history[edit]

Garfield and Friends has been syndicated on television around the world, beginning in the late 1980s and remaining on air in present day. In Latin America, it played on Cartoon Network from 1992 to 2005, on Boomerang from 2005 to the present, and on Warner Channel from 1998 to the present. Currently, all three of these networks have lost the rights to the show, however, though it still runs on Boomerang. Televisa's Canal 5 also played the show for many years, from the mid-1990s to early 2000s (decade).

In Australia, Garfield and Friends began syndication on Network Ten from 1989 to 1999. Most recently it played on FOX8 and ABC1 from 2004 to 2006.

The show was also syndicated in Chile from 1989 to 2003 on Canal 13 and from 1998 to present on Warner Channel. In Estonia, the show appeared on TV 3 from 2000 to 2002, and in Finland on YLE TV2 between the years 1992-1994 and 1998-1999.

The cartoon had also appeared in Hungary, oddly with two other sychronizations. Hungarian Television's channel M2 (what now repeats the whole series) broadcast the first season in 1994-'95, and then, RTL Klub shown a re-synchronized first season (Garfield's voice was the same, József Kerekes) and that continued through the 121 episodes. Garfield is still very popular in the country, Drize Publishing publishes monthly magazines and daily newspapers buy comic strips, too.

The United Kingdom and the United States remain the highest syndicators of the show. In the UK, it appeared on CITV from 1989 through 2002, on Sky1 from 1998 to 2002, and on Boomerang from 2003 to 2006 with Season 1 and 2 only. It also appeared on The Children's Channel in reruns. It is unknown if it will ever return to the UK.

In Ireland Garfield and Friends aired on RTÉ TWO Monday to Friday at 6pm (followed by Home & Away), it replaced RTÉ teen magazine programme Jo Maxi and was eventually replaced by The Simpsons.

In the United States, the series appeared in syndication from 1992 to 1995, on TBS, TNT, and Cartoon Network from 1995 to 1997, and Nickelodeon from 1997 to 2000. In 2001, it appeared on Fox Family Channel. Toon Disney aired it from 2003 to 2006 and Boomerang carried it from 2006 to 2007.

Currently, Garfield and Friends is hosted on Netflix, allowing for the first four seasons to be streamed; and Amazon Prime, which is currently streamlining all seasons.

Garfield and Friends aired in Canada on the cable TV channel YTV from 1989 to 1996. As of September 5, 2011, the show is currently broadcast on Teletoon's 24-hour classic-animation network, Teletoon Retro.

Only 73 episodes out of the 121 episodes were syndicated by The Program Exchange between 1993 and 2007, and aired on local stations such as WCIU-TV in Chicago from 2001 to 2004. This is due to the producers selling syndication rights when the show was still on air and CBS wanting to keep the rights for certain episodes. Since the 73-episode syndication package performed well enough on other stations, additional episodes were deemed unnecessary.[9]

The Garfield Show[edit]

Further information: The Garfield Show

A new CGI series of Garfield came out in 2009. Many people who worked on Garfield and Friends also worked on this series such as executive producer and creator Jim Davis, and co-writer and voice director Mark Evanier.

Frank Welker replaced Lorenzo Music as the voice of Garfield due to Music's death in 2001, while Wally Wingert replaced Thom Huge as the voice of Jon Arbuckle due to Huge's retirement in the same year. Other familiar voice actors have appeared as well, some of them reprising their roles (such as Gregg Berger as Odie and Herman Post).

The series does not include the US Acres series and characters, as well as other main characters from Garfield and Friends (although a lookalike of Sheldon and Booker appear in Down at the Farm). However, in one episode, Binky the Clown is mentioned, to which Garfield then replies, "My contract says he's not allowed to be in this series".[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mendoza, N.F. (September 6, 1992). "Cel Mates : A look inside the world of the people who make cartoons". The Los Angeles Times (USA). Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  2. ^ "Garfield and Friends". The Cartoon Resource. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
  3. ^ The Intelligencer - September 8, 1995
  4. ^ Evanier, Mark. "Today's Video Link". NewsFromMe.com. Archived from the original on December 18, 2008. 
  5. ^ CaRtUnz4LyFV200. "Garfield and Friends - Moo Cow Mutt". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  6. ^ Garfield and Friends: Volume 2 DVD, Disc 3
  7. ^ "Garfield and Friends Season 7 Intro". YouTube. 2012-01-17. Retrieved 2013-10-14. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ Evanier, Mark. "Artistic License Fees". NewsFromMe.com. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 

External links[edit]