Directed by Peter Hewitt, starring Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowsky, the voice of Bill Murray and Evan Arnold.
Like all successful cartoon characters, it was only a matter of time before Hollywood brought the sarcastic, fat cat to the big screen. Of course Garfield is also a widely loved comic strip character, and hardcore fans may not be pleased with what they see here. The cat in this movie is definitely more like the TV version than the print one.
While the animated cat bears little physical resemblance to the ones who have gone before (other than being orange-furred and obese), his voice (performed by Bill Murray) is remarkably similar to the sarky tone made famous by the late Lorenzo Music in the 1980s.
The plot is fairly threadbare but such is the way with this genre. Meyer (of 'Road Trip' fame) plays the bumbling Jon Arbuckle who takes a pet dog, Odie, into his home to impress Garfield's vet Liz (Hewitt). The lazy moggy is not happy with the mutt intruding on his territory and his selfishness leads to Odie running away. Without his collar the stray is then kidnapped by local TV personality Happy Chapman (Tobolowsky), who wants to launch a career in New York of the back of Odie's ability to dance to rap music. The rest of the movie sees everyone, including Garfield, attempting to find the canine and bring him back home.
While it isn't a classic there have been far worse efforts at similar movies. However, prospective viewers should be aware that there is no real attempt to make this film more accessible to an adult audience.
The jokes are a little hit and miss, although it does produce more grins than frowns. Like Roy Keane's temper, the movie is a little on the short side, but 75 minutes seems like an eternity when you're a pipsqueak.