Garfield: The Movie
Garfield: The Movie (titled simply Garfield onscreen) is a 2004 American live action/computer-animated comedy film directed by Peter Hewitt 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, who was created with computer animation, though all other animals were real. The film was produced by Davis Entertainment Company and 20th Century Fox. It was released in the United States on June 11, 2004. While the film received negative reviews from critics, it was a box office success, grossing over $200 million on a $50 million budget. The movie was originally acquired by Paramount Pictures, but then sold to 20th Century Fox
|Garfield: The Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Hewitt|
|Produced by||John Davis|
by Jim Davis
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$203.2 million|
Garfield is an overweight, lazy and free-spirited orange cat who lives with his owner Jon Arbuckle in Los Angeles. Garfield passes his time by antagonizing Jon and teasing his aggressive neighbor, Luca the Doberman. Aside from Jon, Garfield maintains an unlikely friendship with a helpful mouse, Louis. Garfield also socializes with his fellow neighborhood cats, Nermal and Arlene.
Jon has made a habit of bringing Garfield to the veterinarian, in order to see vet Dr. Liz Wilson (whom he is in love with). Jon tries to ask Liz out, but due to a misunderstanding, Jon is given custody of a dog named Odie, who is lovable, playful and friendly. Regardless, Jon and Liz begin dating. Garfield, however, begins to dislike Odie and pokes fun at him in any given moment. Odie is brought to a canine talent show, where Liz is a judge. Garfield gets involved in an altercation there with other dogs, which moves Odie to the center of the ring, where he begins dancing to "Hey Mama" by the Black Eyed Peas. Odie's improvised performance is a hit. A local television host named 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.
When Garfield comes back, frustrated over Odie's presence in his life, he hits a ball, causing a chain reaction that trashes the house. When Jon finds out, he forces Garfield to sleep outside for the night. When Odie comes out to comfort Garfield, he gets inside and locks Odie out on purpose. Nermal and Arlene witness this as Odie runs away where he is then picked up by an elderly woman named Mrs. Baker. Jon and Liz search for Odie while the neighborhood animals angrily ridicule Garfield for locking Odie out and making him run away the night before while Garfield states that he only was protecting his turf and never wanted Odie to run off.
Meanwhile, Happy Chapman, who is revealed to be allergic to cats, is jealous of his news reporter brother Walter J. Chapman, and wants to be more by performing on the TV show "Good Day New York". Chapman and his assistant Wendell find a notice 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, Garfield sets out to rescue Odie. Jon discovers Garfield is also missing so he tells Liz to start searching for him and Odie. Garfield gets into the broadcast tower via the air vents and finds Odie locked in a kennel, but Chapman enters and secures a shock collar to Odie, which, when activated, releases an electric shock that forces Odie to perform tricks.
Chapman heads for Union Station (Los Angeles) with Garfield in close pursuit. However, an animal control officer catches Garfield, mistaking him as a stray. Meanwhile, Mrs. Baker tells Jon that Chapman took Odie, making him believe Garfield was taken by Chapman as well and then learn Chapman is leaving for the train station. At the same time, Garfield is released from the pound by Chapman's abandoned feline star Persnikitty, who is really named Sir Roland, along with the other animals. Chapman boards a New York-bound train, with Odie in the luggage car. Garfield arrives only to see the train depart. Garfield sneaks into the train system control room and frantically switches the tracks, leading to an impending multiple train wreck. Garfield hits an emergency stop button which halts all the trains just in the nick of time, then returns Chapman's train to the station. Garfield frees Odie and they prepare to leave. However, Chapman chases them and eventually corners the two in a suitcase area. Chapman threatens Odie with the shock collar, but is stopped by Garfield's friends from the pound, led by Sir Roland. They attack Chapman and place the collar on his neck, allowing Odie to escape.
Shortly after, Garfield and Odie subdue Chapman by activating the collar. Jon and Liz arrive and find Chapman, whom Jon punches in the face for the theft of his pets. Garfield, Odie, Jon, and Liz reunite and return home, while Chapman is arrested for his supposed involvement with the trains, as well as his theft of Odie. Back home, Garfield regains his friends' respect as they hail him as a hero. Liz and Jon form a relationship, and Garfield learns a lesson about friendship.
- Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle, Garfield and Odie's owner.
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Dr. Liz Wilson, Garfield's vet, and Jon's love interest.
- 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
- Evan Helmuth as Steward
- Joe Bays as Raccoon Lodge Member
- Leyna Nguyen as News Reporter
- Joe Ochman as Engineer
- Rufus Gifford as Dog Owner #1
Garfield creator Jim Davis appeared as an uncredited drunken convention attendee, but his role was cut from the final version of the film.
- Bill Murray as Garfield, Jon's overweight, lethargic, arrogant and free-spirited orange cat.
- Alan Cumming as Persnikitty (he renames himself "Sir Roland"), an irascible cat.
- Nick Cannon as Louis, a friendly mouse.
- David Eigenberg as Nermal, Garfield's dim-witted friend.
- Brad Garrett as Luca, a 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, Jordan Kaiser and Alyson Stoner as unnamed kid rats – Kid Rat No. 1, Kid Rat No. 2 and Kid Rat No. 3 respectively
Jim Carrey was considered for the role of Jon Arbuckle. Jennifer Garner and Angelina Jolie were considered for the role of Liz, but both dropped out with busy schedules. Brad Dourif, Thomas Lennon, and Michael Ironside were considered to play Happy Chapman. Ironside was cast, but he dropped out after one day for unknown reasons, and Lennon was busy on Reno 911. Jack Nicholson was considered for the role of Garfield; he was the only candidate besides Bill Murray. According to Murray's Reddit AMA, he was interested in voicing the titular character because he mistook the screenplay writer's name, Joel Cohen, for Joel Coen of the Coen brothers. He accepted the role, briefly skimming through the script.  Co-writer Alec Sokolow disputed Murray's claim in 2014: "He knew it was not Joel Coen well before he met Joel Cohen. It's a funny take. And it kind of defends him against the criticism of making such an overtly commercial film. But, it's complete horse shit."
Principal photography began on March 10, 2003, and wrapped on June 12, 2003. The film was shot in Los Angeles, California, including some scenes that were shot at an Amtrak station in that city.
The film was released in theaters on June 11, 2004 by 20th Century Fox, exactly one week before Garfield's 26th anniversary on June 19, 2004. During its theatrical run, it was preceded by an Ice Age short film, Gone Nutty.
Garfield: The Movie was released by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on VHS and DVD on October 19, 2004. The special features includes 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..
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 film opened up with $21,727,611 domestically in its first weekend. It grossed a total of $75,369,589 domestically, and a further $125,434,945 internationally. The film grossed in total $200,804,534 worldwide.
Garfield: The Movie received generally negative reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 14% based on 138 reviews, with an average rating of 3.52/10. The site's critical 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". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
Joe Leydon of Variety magazine wrote: "Only very small children still easily impressed by interaction of human actors and CGI quadrupeds will be amused by Garfield." A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote: "That Garfield speaks in the supercilious, world-weary drawl of Bill Murray is some small consolation, as are a few of the animal tricks."
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.
Murray reprised his role two years later in the Cohen co-penned Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties.
- Garfield: The Movie at Box Office Mojo
- Evans, Bradford (March 17, 2011). "The Lost Roles of Jim Carrey". Vulture.com. New York Magazine.
- Griwkowsky, Fish (June 15, 2018). "Garfield's Jim Davis talks lasagna, Bill Murray and 40 years of Earth's most famous cat". Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
- Child, Ben (July 21, 2010). "Bill Murray's Garfield blunder – a real-life Lost in Translation". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 17, 2019. Retrieved April 17, 2019.
- Sokolow, Alec. "IAMA Alec Sokolow. AMA". Reddit. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- Sokolow, Alec. "Bill Murray here: OK, I'll TALK! I'll TALK!". Reddit. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- "Garfield – The Movie". Archived from the original on October 20, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
- "Garfield". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
- "Cinemascore". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
- Ebert, Roger (June 11, 2004). "Garfield: The Movie Movie Review (2004)". Chicago Sun-Times.
- Leydon, Joe (June 11, 2004). "Garfield: The Movie". Variety (magazine).
- A. O. Scott (June 11, 2004). "A Cat From the Comics, Full of Lasagna".
- "Bill Murray Is Ready To See You Now". GQ. August 2010. Archived from the original on December 25, 2010. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
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