Garfield (film)

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Garfield: The Movie
Garfield ver6.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed by Peter Hewitt
Produced by John Davis
Written by Joel Cohen
Alec Sokolow
Based on Garfield 
by Jim Davis
Starring Bill Murray
Breckin Meyer
Jennifer Love Hewitt
Stephen Tobolowsky
Music by Christophe Beck
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Edited by Michael A. Stevenson
Peter Berger
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates June 11, 2004 (2004-06-11)
Running time 80 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $50 million
Box office $200.8 million[1]

Garfield (officially known as Garfield: The Movie) is a 2004 American live-action film directed by Peter Hewitt based on the Jim Davis comic strip of the same name. It stars Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle, Jennifer Love Hewitt as Dr. Liz Wilson, and features Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield. Garfield the cat was created with computer-generated imagery, though all other animals were real. The film was produced by Davis Entertainment Company and 20th Century Fox. The film shares several similarities to the 1982 animated special Here Comes Garfield.

The movie was released in the United States on June 11, 2004. Reviews of the movie were generally very negative, although Murray's voice work received some positive notices.

Baha Men performed the song "Holla!" for the film and its soundtrack. The music video premiered in early summer 2004 and featured clips from the film and gags showing obvious references to the Garfield franchise (such as lasagna jokes).

Plot[edit]

Garfield is a fat cat who lives with his owner, Jon Arbuckle a middle class American, in a cul-de-sac in Ferndale, MI, a suburb of Detroit. Garfield passes his time by harassing Jon and mocking a neighbor Doberman Pinscher, Luca. Aside from Jon, Garfield maintains an unlikely friendship with a mouse, Louis. He also interacts with and occasionally manipulates his fellow neighborhood cats, including the dimwitted Nermal and Garfield's romantic interest, Arlene (who are both seen as live-action cats).

Meanwhile, a local television host, Happy Chapman, known for his cat "Persnikitty" is introduced as supposedly a happy man. In reality he is allergic to cats, jealous of his brother Walter J. Chapman a news reporter, and wants to outwit him in success wise by performing on TV show Good Day New York. Jon has made a habit of bringing Garfield to the veterinarian, hoping to woo vet Dr. Liz Wilson. Jon tries to ask her out, but due to a misunderstanding, he is given custody of a stray dog, Odie. Regardless, Jon and Liz begin dating. Garfield is displeased at having to share the house with a dog, of whom Jon grows fond. Odie is brought to a canine talent show, where Liz is a judge. Garfield gets involved in a ruckus there with other animals, which moves Odie to the center of the ring, where he begins dancing to "Hey Mama" by The Black Eyed Peas.

His impromptu performance is a hit. Happy Chapman, who also is a judge of the dog show is impressed with Odie, and offers Jon a television deal for Odie, but Jon declines leaving Happy to apparently be envious of Odie. After Garfield causes a mess inside Jon's house, Jon puts him outside, where Odie comes to comfort him. Garfield reacts by running inside and locking Odie out. Odie runs away, and is picked up by an elderly woman named Mrs. Baker. A distraught Jon works with Liz to search for him, while the neighborhood animals ridicule Garfield for what he did to Odie. Meanwhile, Chapman and his assistant find a "lost dog" found poster Mrs. Baker created, of Odie and recognizing the lucrative possibilities, claim Odie as Happy's own. When Garfield sees Odie on television and hears Chapman announce he and Odie are going to New York City by train for a big performance on Good Day New York, Garfield, realizing his selfishness, vows to intervene. Garfield leaves his house on a rescue mission for Odie. At Chapman's studio at Telegraph Tower, Garfield finds Odie captive in a room; Chapman enters and secures a shock collar to Odie, which, when activated, releases an electric discharge that forces him to perform tricks.

Chapman heads for the train station, with Garfield in pursuit. However, an animal control officer snags Garfield as a runaway before he can reach Odie. Meanwhile, Jon contacts Mrs. Baker through her poster, and is told Odie's real owner had already retrieved him. Garfield is sprung from the pound by Chapman's abandoned feline star, Persnikitty who turns out to be actually named as Sir Roland. At the train station, while the P.A. saying that the Texas Eagle is going to Dallas and San Antonio, Texas, Chapman boards the train, with Odie in the luggage car. Garfield arrives only to see the train depart. As the train speeds away from the station, and seeing a child with a toy train engine (probably the Flying Scotsman in a different shape and size) makes Garfield remembers that his train set at home is similar, so he sneaks into the control room and attempts to stop Odie's train. The tracks get rearranged, leading to an impending train wreck. Garfield hits an emergency control and causes Chapman's train to return, and Garfield frees Odie and they exit the train. However, Chapman notices them walk out and gives chase. Chapman corners the two, and threatens Odie with the shock collar, but is greeted by Garfield's friends and animals from the pound, led by Sir Roland. They swarm and attack Chapman, allowing for Odie to escape.

Chapman gets up to find the shock collar has been placed on his own neck, from which he receives two powerful jolts. Jon and Liz arrive to reclaim the animals and find Chapman off-balance. Jon punches Chapman for stealing his pets, and leaves with Liz and the two animals. Chapman is arrested for his supposed involvement with the trains, as well as for abducting Wendall gives chase to the cops. Garfield regains the trust of his animal friends. Back at home, Liz kisses Jon, while Garfield seems to have learned about friendship, love and not to envy others. He then shoves Odie off his chair repeatedly, and the film closes with Garfield singing and dancing to James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)". He does a split and can't get it back up without help.

As the credits roll over the pics from the movie, Garfield is heard in the background asking Odie for ice.

Cast[edit]

Live action actors

Garfield creator Jim Davis appeared as an uncredited drunken convention attendee, but his role was cut from the final version of the film.

Voice actors

Production[edit]

The film was directed by Peter Hewitt, produced by Davis Entertainment for 20th Century Fox, and stars Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle, Jennifer Love Hewitt as Dr. Liz Wilson, and features Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield.

The film was released in the United States on June 11, 2004. Reviews of the movie were generally very mixed, although Murray's voice work received some positive notices. Murray has claimed that he only took part because he was under the misguided impression the screenplay, actually co-written by Joel Cohen, was the work of Joel Coen.[2]

Filming was at several locations including Los Angeles Union Station in downtown where the Metro Gold Line & Metro Red Line as part of the metro's hub. Chuck E Cheese's is mentioned in the film when Garfield leaves to go to the vet while Wendy's was mentioned and shown numerous times throughout the film.

Home media[edit]

Garfield was released on VHS and DVD on October 19, 2004.

Music[edit]

Baha Men performed the song "Holla!" for the film and its soundtrack. The music video premiered in early summer 2004 and featured clips from the film and gags showing obvious references to the Garfield franchise (such as lasagna jokes).

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Garfield: The Movie received negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 15%, based on 134 reviews, with an average rating of 3.5/10. The site's consensus reads, "When the novelty of the CGI Garfield wears off, what's left is a simplistic kiddie movie. "[3] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 27 out of 100, based on 37 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[4]

Among the few positive critics were Roger Ebert who gave the film a "thumbs up," saying the movie was "charming."[5]

Murray said in an interview with GQ that he was fooled into playing the voice of Garfield for the film.[2]

I thought it would be kind of fun, because doing a voice is challenging, and I'd never done that. Plus, I looked at the script, and it said, "So-and-so and Joel Coen." And I thought: Christ, well, I love those Coens! They're funny. So I sorta read a few pages of it and thought, Yeah, I'd like to do that...So they went off and shot the movie, and I forgot all about it. Finally, I went out to L.A. to record my lines. And usually when you're looping a movie, if it takes two days, that's a lot. I don't know if I should even tell this story, because it's kind of mean. [beat] What the hell? It's interesting. So I worked all day and kept going, "That's the line? Well, I can't say that." And you sit there and go, What can I say that will make this funny? And make it make sense? And I worked. I was exhausted, soaked with sweat, and the lines got worse and worse. And I said, "Okay, you better show me the whole rest of the movie, so we can see what we're dealing with." So I sat down and watched the whole thing, and I kept saying, "Who the hell cut this thing? Who did this? What the *bleep* was Coen thinking?" And then they explained it to me: It wasn't written by that Joel Coen.

In Zombieland, when Bill Murray (playing himself) is shot he is asked if he had any regrets. He responds by saying "Garfield, maybe."

Garfield: The Movie on the marquee of a theater in Lakeview, Oregon.

Box office[edit]

Despite the negative reviews, Garfield: The Movie was considered a financial success.

First weekend gross US$ 21,727,611
Domestic US$ 75,369,589
Non-domestic US$ 125,434,945
World-wide US$ 200,804,534

Sequel[edit]

A sequel, titled Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, was released on June 16, 2006 in North America.

References[edit]

External links[edit]