Garfield on the Town

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Garfield on the Town
Title card
Written byJim Davis and Lorenzo Music
Directed byPhil Roman
StarringLorenzo Music
Thom Huge
Gregg Berger
Julie Payne
Sandi Huge
George Wendt
C. Lindsay Workman
Desirée Goyette
Allyce Beasley
Theme music composerEd Bogas and Desirée Goyette (music and lyrics)
Robert Vandervort (co-writer of "Home Again")
Desirée Goyette and Lou Rawls (vocals)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
Executive producer(s)Jay Poynor
Producer(s)Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez
CinematographyAmy Barrick
Editor(s)Roger Donley
Michael Tomack
Richard C. Allen
Running time24 minutes
Production company(s)Mendelson–Melendez Productions
United Media Productions
Distributor9 Story Media Group
Original networkCBS
Original releaseOctober 28, 1983
Preceded byHere Comes Garfield
Followed byGarfield in the Rough

Garfield on the Town is a 1983 animated television special, directed by Phil Roman and based on the Garfield comic strip by Jim Davis. It once again starred Lorenzo Music as the voice of Garfield (who also co-wrote the special with Davis), and also featured the voices of Thom Huge, Gregg Berger and Julie Payne.

The special was first broadcast October 28, 1983 on CBS. It won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program and has been released on DVD.


Jon becomes concerned about Garfield's behavior after he and Odie mess up his house. While Jon tries to take him to the veterinarian, Garfield accidentally falls out from Jon's car and later becomes lost in downtown. Garfield soon runs into a large gang of unfriendly alley cats known as the Claws. After antagonizing their leader, Garfield flees into an abandoned Italian restaurant, where he is reunited with his long lost mother. The building was Garfield's birthplace and where he discovered his love for lasagna. Meanwhile, Jon calls Garfield's vet, Dr. Liz Wilson, to tell her about Garfield's disappearance, but Liz hangs up on Jon instead.

The next day, Garfield's mother takes him to see the rest of his extended family including his tough maternal grandfather, his sickly half-brother Raoul, and his cousin Sly, who is the security guard on watch for the Claws. Garfield is appalled to learn that everyone in the family are mousers. The Claws finally track Garfield down and surround the entire building, demanding that Garfield must come out. The family decides to fight instead of giving up Garfield to the Claws. Garfield cowardly hides while his family fights and finally chase the Claws away. Although Garfield is triumphant, his grandfather advises him to live with Jon instead. Reassured by his mother that they all envy his easy life at Jon's house, Garfield sadly says goodbye to his family and leaves.

Exhausted and hungry, Garfield walks along a street and it soon starts to rain. A car drives by and Garfield realizes it is driven by Jon. Garfield pursues Jon's car until he collapses onto the sidewalk and passes out. When Odie finally spots Garfield unconscious, Jon pulls over to reunite with him. Afterwards, Jon drives Garfield home and later put him into bed for the night. The next day, Garfield wakes up at Jon's house and wonders if his entire experience was real or not. However, Garfield glimpses his mother looking at him through the window. His mother quickly disappears, while Garfield smiles and emotionally whispers: "Thanks Mom, for everything".

Voice cast[edit]


  • "Good Morning" (instrumental)
  • "Just Another Crazy Day" performed by Lou Rawls
  • "The Monday Morning Blues" (instrumental)
  • "Out on the Town" (instrumental)
  • "Startin' from Scratch" performed by Lou Rawls
  • "Showdown" (instrumental)
  • "Home Again" performed by Desirée Goyette
  • "Reunited" (instrumental)
  • "The Claws" performed by Goyette / Rawls
  • "Final Showdown" (instrumental)
  • "The Rescue" (instrumental)
  • "Because I'm Home" performed by Desirée Goyette
  • "Goodnight" (instrumental)
  • "I'm Home" performed by Desiree Goyette
  • "Out on the Town (reprise)" (instrumental)


Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez, best known for the Peanuts specials, produced Garfield on the Town.[1] The special was directed by Phil Roman, who had previously directed Here Comes Garfield in 1982. It was the last Garfield special Roman directed before founding his own company called Film Roman to produce the specials himself, starting with Garfield in the Rough (1984).[2]

The character of Jon Arbuckle was voiced by Sandy Kenyon in Here Comes Garfield, but was recast with Thom Huge in Garfield on the Town.[3] Huge later voiced Jon in the remaining specials and in the Garfield and Friends TV series.

Broadcast and release[edit]

The special was originally aired on CBS on October 28, 1983, [3] and was viewed by 40 million people.[4] It has been re-broadcast in subsequent years.[5] Ballantine Books published a 64-page illustrated book adaptation in 1983.[6]

In July 2004,[7] Garfield on the Town was released on the DVD Garfield as Himself, along with Here Comes Garfield (1982) and Garfield Gets a Life (1991).[8] It was released on another DVD compilation, The Garfield Holiday Collection, on November 4, 2014, sold only by Walmart, and was also made available for digital download on November 11 that year.[9]


In 2014, Garfield creator Jim Davis identified Garfield on the Town as a personal favorite special.

At the 36th Primetime Emmy Awards in 1984, Garfield on the Town won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program.[10] Louisiana's The Town Talk's 1985 review called Garfield "outrageous" and said there was "popular demand" for the special.[4]

In 2004, DVD Talk critic Randy Miller judged the Garfield as Himself specials to be "quite enjoyable," highlighting "a long-lost family reunion."[8] In 2014, with the release of The Garfield Holiday Collection, Jim Davis identified Garfield on the Town as a personal favorite, explaining, "Garfield actually meets his mother on that. It was very special."[9]


  1. ^ Douglas L. McCall, Film Cartoons: A Guide to 20th Century American Animated Features and Shorts, McFarland & Company Publishers, 2005, p. 231.
  2. ^ Jeff Lenburg, Who's who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award-Winning and Legendary Animators, Applause Theatre and Cinema Books, 2006, p. 306.
  3. ^ a b Vincent Terrace, Television Specials: 5,336 Entertainment Programs, 1936-2012, 2d ed., McFarland & Company Publishers, 2013, p. 161.
  4. ^ a b "Garfield Is Back," The Town Talk, December 28, 1985, p. 29
  5. ^ "Television," New York, 10 September 1990, p. 196.
  6. ^ Jim Davis, Garfield on the Town, Ballantine Books, 1983.
  7. ^ "Top DVD Sales," Billboard, July 24, 2004, p. 59.
  8. ^ a b Miller, Randy III (June 29, 2004). "Garfield As Himself". DVD Talk. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  9. ^ a b Jue, Teresa (4 November 2014). "Jim Davis talks 'Garfield' origins, holiday specials, and calls Garfield 'a human in a cat suit'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  10. ^ "AWARDS & NOMINATIONS". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 27 October 2016.

External links[edit]