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Movie Review: ‘The Garfield Movie’

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Chris Pratt voices Garfield in 'The Garfield Movie.'

(Left) Chris Pratt voices Garfield in ‘The Garfield Movie.’ Photo: Sony.

Opening in theaters on May 24th is the new animated family film ‘The Garfield Movie,’ which stars Chris Pratt (‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’) as the voice of the title character and was directed by Mark Dindal (‘Chicken Little’).

The movie also features the voice work of Samuel L. Jackson (‘Secret Invasion’), Hannah Waddingham (‘The Fall Guy’), Ving Rhames (‘Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning’), Nicholas Hoult (‘X-Men: First Class’), and Harvey Guillén (‘What We Do in the Shadows’) as Odie.

Related Article: Chris Pratt Talks ‘The Garfield Movie’ and Voicing the Iconic Cat

Initial Thoughts

Chris Pratt is the voice of Garfield in 'The Garfield Movie'.

Chris Pratt is the voice of Garfield in ‘The Garfield Movie’. Copyright: © 2023 Project G Productions, LLC. Photo: DNEG Animation.

‘The Garfield Movie’ is a surprisingly entertaining and funny family animated film that explores the character’s previously unknown family history and origin story. Samuel L. Jackson’s Vic, Garfield’s father, is a strong addition to the franchise’s group of characters and is a great foil for our beloved feline. Director Mark Dindal packs a lot of humor and heart into the film, which is basically a heist movie that also explores family and friendship.

Script and Direction

Vic and Garfield in 'The Garfield Movie.'

(L to R) Vic and Garfield in ‘The Garfield Movie.’ Photo: DNEG Animation. Copyright: © 2023 Project G Productions, LLC.

The movie begins by reintroducing us to the lazy but lovable lasagna eating cat, Garfield (voiced by Chris Pratt). We are also quickly introduced to his owner Jon Arbuckle (voiced by Nicholas Hoult) and his canine buddy Odie (voiced by Harvey Guillén) and learn how they all first met when Garfield was abandoned by his father, Vic (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson).

Vic soon reappears in Garfield’s life and involves him and Odie in a heist plot to pay back a villainous Persian Cat named Jinx (voiced by Hannah Waddingham), who Vic is indebted to. Along the way, they meet a bull named Otto (voiced by Ving Rhames), who has been separated from his true love, and the father and son attempt to help him while trying to outsmart Jinx and ruin her evil plans. Eventually, Vic and his son are brought closer together by the events, while Garfield and Odie desperately try to return to their happy home with Jon.

Odie, Vic and Garfield in 'The Garfield Movie'.

(L to R) Odie, Vic and Garfield in ‘The Garfield Movie’. Photo: DNEG Animation. Copyright: © 2023 Project G Productions, LLC.

Director by Mark Dindal delivers a fun and heartwarming film that not only reveals Garfield’s origin, but also explores the relationship between fathers and sons in a very interesting way. Focusing on Garfield’s personal history was a wise choice, as it has not been previously explored in any other incarnation of the character. The movie is also an entertaining heist film and builds on the exploration of the characters throughout.

While the animation is not anything too groundbreaking, it does work well for the material and has a similar look to the comic strip cartoons where the character originated. The movie is clearly designed for a younger audience as some of the jokes are rather immature, but they still fit the character and there is enough nostalgia, action and emotion for an older audience.

Chris Pratt as Garfield

Chris Pratt as the voice of Garfield in 'The Garfield Movie'.

Chris Pratt as the voice of Garfield in ‘The Garfield Movie’. Photo By Trae Patton. © 2023 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Following in the footsteps of Lorenzo Music (‘Here Comes Garfield’) and Bill Murray (‘Garfield’), Chris Pratt channels his ‘Parks and Recreation’ character to deliver a lazy, sarcastic performance worthy of the cartoon cat. Pratt’s humor is also on display, and he has great chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson. In fact, the exploration of Garfield and Vic’s estranged relationship is at the heart of the movie, and Pratt delivers the emotion when needed.

The Supporting Cast

Jinx in 'The Garfield Movie'.

Jinx in ‘The Garfield Movie’. Photo: DNEG Animation. Copyright: © 2023 Project G Productions, LLC.

Of the supporting voice cast, Samuel L. Jackson is the standout as Garfield’s estranged father, Vic. Jackson’s famous cool voice lends itself perfectly to the character, and he works well with Pratt’s laidback performance. Also, a standout is Hannah Waddingham as the voice of Jinx, and the actresses own offscreen persona plays well into the over-the-top villainous feline character. Ving Rhames is also a great addition to the voice cast as his unique deep voice lends itself to Otto the bull quite well.

Nicholas Hoult and Harvey Guillén are fine as Jon and Odie, respectively, but are at times shortchanged by the script, particularly Hoult. Also worth mentioning is a cameo by the very recognizable voice of Snoop Dogg, who plays a one-eyed cat.

Final Thoughts

Vic, Garfield, Odie and Otto in 'The Garfield Movie'.

(L to R) Vic, Garfield, Odie and Otto in ‘The Garfield Movie’. Photo: DNEG Animation. Copyright: © 2023 Project G Productions, LLC.

While nostalgia for the beloved cartoon cat carries the film far, it’s his origin story, the heist plot, and exploring the relationship between fathers and sons that makes the new movie worth watching. The movie’s humor is mostly skewed towards kids, and some juvenile jokes may not land with an older audience, but adults will be able to latch on to some of the larger ideas in the movie and should find it enjoyable anyways. Chris Pratt carries the mantel of Garfield well, and Samuel L. Jackson’s Vic is a great addition to the overall franchise.

‘The Garfield Movie’ receives 7 out or 10 stars.

“Indoor cat. Outdoor adventure.”

67

PG1 hr 41 minMay 20th, 2024

Showtimes & Tickets

Garfield, the world-famous, Monday-hating, lasagna-loving indoor cat, is about to have a wild outdoor adventure! After an unexpected reunion with his long-lost father… Read the Plot

What is the Plot of ‘The Garfield Movie’?

Garfield (voiced by Chris Pratt), the world-famous, Monday-hating, lasagna-loving indoor cat, is about to have a wild outdoor adventure! After an unexpected reunion with his long-lost father – scruffy street cat Vic (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson) – Garfield and his canine friend Odie (voiced by Harvey Guillén) are forced from their perfectly pampered life into joining Vic in a hilarious, high-stakes heist.

Who is in the cast of ‘The Garfield Movie?

Chris Pratt is the voice of Garfield in 'The Garfield Movie'.

Chris Pratt is the voice of Garfield in ‘The Garfield Movie’. Copyright: © 2023 Project G Productions, LLC. Photo: DNEG Animation.

Other Garfield Movies and TV Shows:

Buy Tickets: ‘The Garfield Movie’ Movie Showtimes

Buy ‘Garfield‘ Movies On Amazon

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