Garfield: The Movie
|Garfield: The Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Hewitt|
|Produced by||John Davis|
|Written by||Joel Cohen
|Based on||Garfield comic strip
by Jim Davis
Jennifer Love Hewitt
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Edited by||Michael A. Stevenson
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|June 11, 2004|
|Box office||$200.8 million|
Garfield: The Movie, or simply Garfield, is a 2004 American family adventure buddy comedy film directed by Peter Hewitt and inspired by 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 animation, though all other animals were real. The film was produced by Davis Entertainment Company and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film shares several similarities to the 1982 animated special Here Comes Garfield. Garfield: The Movie earned $200.8 million on a $50 million budget. The film was released in the United States on June 11, 2004 and was followed by a sequel, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.
Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray) is a content, fat, and free-spirited orange cat who lives with his owner, Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer) in a cul-de-sac in Muncie, Indiana. Garfield passes his time by antagonising Jon and teasing an aggressive neighbor Doberman Pinscher, Luca. Aside from Jon, Garfield maintains an unlikely friendship with a helpful mouse, Louis. He also socialises with his fellow neighborhood cats, including Garfield's stooge Nermal and Arlene. (both are 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 to be more successful by performing on TV show Good Day New York. Jon has made a habit of bringing Garfield to the veterinarian, in-order to see 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 angry 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 an altercation 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 improvised 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. After Garfield causes a mess inside Jon's house out of jealousy, Jon punishes Garfield by making him sleep outside for one night. Odie comes out to comfort Garfield but Garfield locks Odie out. Nermal and Arlene witness this as Odie runs away; he is then picked up by an elderly woman named Mrs. Baker. A worried Jon works with Liz to search for him, while the neighborhood animals treat Garfield as an outcast in retaliation for what he did to Odie. Meanwhile, Chapman and his assistant Wendell find a "lost dog" found poster Mrs. Baker created of Odie and, recognising 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, understanding his selfishness, vows to rescue Odie. Garfield leaves his house on a rescue mission for Odie. Meanwhile, Jon finds out Garfield is missing and he and Liz set out find him. Garfield is able to finally make it to the tower with the help of his friend Louis but sneaks in the air vents which are being worked on. Seen as a blockage from one of the workers' scanners of the vents, Garfield is blown by the vent air, hitting random walls and it finally ends when he smacks his face on the last wall. At Chapman's studio at Telegraph Tower, Garfield finds Odie locked 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 close pursuit. However, an animal control officer catches Garfield mistaking him as a runaway. Meanwhile, Jon contacts Mrs. Baker through her poster, and is told Odie's real owner had already retrieved him. After learning it was Chapman who took Odie, Jon believes Garfield was taken too and he and Liz race to Telegraph Tower and then to the train station, after learning Chapman has left. Garfield is released 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, reminds Garfield 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/Odie's train to return to the station. 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 and Garfield 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 disorientated. Jon punches Chapman in the face 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 Odie. Garfield regains the respect of his animal friends as a hero. Back at home, Liz and Jon form a relationship, while Garfield learns a lesson about friendship.
The film closes with Garfield singing and dancing to James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)". He does the splits, but can't get it back up without help. As the credits roll over still pictures from the film (in black and white), Garfield is heard in the background asking Odie for ice.
- Live action actors
- Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle, Garfield's and Odie's owner and friend.
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Dr. Liz Wilson, Garfield's vet, who became Jon's girlfriend at the end.
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Happy Chapman, a local television host, and his brother Walter J. Chapman.
- Evan Arnold as Wendell, Happy's butler
- Mark Christopher Lawrence as Christopher Mello
- Eve Brent as Mrs. Baker
- Juliette Goglia as Little Girl
- Joe Bays as Raccoon Lodge Member
- Leyna Nguyen as News Reporter
- Joe Ochman as Engineer
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
- Bill Murray as Garfield, Jon's overweight, lethargic, and free-spirited orange cat.
- Alan Cumming as Persnikitty (he renames himself "Sir Roland"), the boastful and grandest cat.
- Nick Cannon as Louis, a friendly mouse.
- David Eigenberg as Nermal, Garfield's friend.
- Brad Garrett as Luca, a very temperamental Doberman Pinscher who guards the house next door to Garfield.
- Jimmy Kimmel as Spanky (unnamed in the film)
- Debra Messing as Arlene, Garfield's girlfriend.
- Richard Kind as Dad Rat
- Debra Jo Rupp as Mom Rat
- Wyatt Smith as Kid Rat #1
- Jordan Kaiser as Kid Rat #2
- Alyson Stoner as Kid Rat #3
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.
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.
Jim Carrey, Ben Stiller, and Adam Sandler were considered for the role of Jon. All three of them were considered too expensive. Jennifer Garner was considered for the role of Liz, and Brad Dourif and Michael Ironside were considered to play Happy Chapman. Ironside was cast, but he dropped out after one day of filming because producer John Davis thought Ironside looked too much like him.
Garfield: The Movie was released on VHS and DVD on October 19, 2004. The special features includes the Garfield comic creator game, "Find Odie" maze game, a behind-the-scenes footage, deleted scenes, and the Baha Men music video "Holla!". The film was released on a 3-disc Blu-ray on October 11, 2011. It included an Ice Age short film, Gone Nutty.
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).
The movie received mostly negative reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received 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." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 27 out of 100, based on 31 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
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 before dying. He responds by saying "Garfield, maybe."
Despite the negative reviews, Garfield: The Movie was considered a financial success.
|Opening weekend gross||US$||21,727,611|
- Garfield the Movie
- "Garfield: The Movie". rogerebert.com. Retrieved 2011-12-12.
- "Bill Murray Is Ready To See You Now". GQ. August 2010. Retrieved 2011-03-09.
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