The Garfield Movie (2024) Review

the garfield movie (2024) review

The Garfield Movie (2024) Review

Everyone’s favourite orange, lazy tabby cat is back with a mood! From his roots in Mamma Leoni’s Italian Restaurant eating lasagna as a kitten to his time being adopted to his owner Jon Arbuckle, this grown-up Garfield is up to his biggest adventure yet. For the last 46 years, the indoor-loving cat has been warming hearts, speaking his truths, and making people laugh out loud—from comic strips to TV and movie adaptations.

In this iteration, Chris Pratt’s (Jurassic World, Guardians of the Galaxy) 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—scruffy street cat Vic (Samuel L. Jackson)—Garfield and his canine friend Odie are forced from their perfectly pampered life into joining Vic in a hilarious, high-stakes heist.

the garfield movie (2024) review

The Garfield Movie (2024) Review

The two must make amends if they are to pull off the heist to pay back the villainous Persian cat Jinx (Hannah Waddingham) and her two goons—Roland and Nolan. The narrative beats were about as expected as one could hope for in a Garfield-esque story. What made the comics and previous media adaptations great were the mix of slapstick comedy and heartfelt moments. This movie had all of that. My eyes almost formed tears at two parts of the film!

“The Garfield Movie used a lot of referential jokes to carry the more adult-oriented jokes, which made me chuckle.”

It was obvious The Garfield Movie took inspiration from many different popular movies, most prevalently was the Mission Impossible films. It is almost impossible not to do a heist story without the nod to those Tom Cruise-led films. I laughed at the fact that Ving Rhames was in this movie and was almost playing the same character in the Mission Impossible films in this movie—just as a talking bull.

Garfield even makes a Tom Cruise joke in the movie! The Garfield Movie used a lot of referential jokes to carry the more adult-oriented jokes, which made me chuckle. They mentioned things like dating apps and Tinder; they also added commentary to drone delivery services. Do not get me wrong, physical comedy gets me cracking a smile still—but definitely more for the younger audiences.

the garfield movie (2024) review

The Garfield Movie (2024) Review

Sony Pictures carried on its tradition of product placement in its films, yes, even the animated ones. It was most notably seen in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse with Miles Morales’ headphones when listening to the iconic song “Sunflower.” Then, in the sequel, he was using a Sony Xperia phone model. Sony also loves using a lot of music from various soundtracks, which I thought worked well for a property that was making fun of other properties.

I have to be honest; the animation style initially gave me Illumination Pictures and Despicable Me vibes. But when I realized it was DNEG Animation, I was like oh, this makes sense with the mashup of art styles throughout The Garfield Movie. This was not to say the movie had too much going on, but some scenes took some liberty to change its art styles for different purposes. Seeing their different work on Netflix’s Nimona and Entergalactic showed me this studio was able to blend a wide array of styles to elevate the storytelling principles.

For example, the visualization of planning the heist used an edgier, darker tone style to contrast the brighter, softer animation of the main art style. Another style was used to show some backstory from Jinx’s perspective as well. This is all to say that I liked the blend of styles to represent a different narrative beat or scene. Visually, we learn to understand that a cloudy, blurred border around an animated scene is typically a flashback. It is these types of visual cues that enhance the experience for me, and it is nice when films do something different.

the garfield movie (2024) review

The Garfield Movie (2024) Review

Garfield’s voices have gone through different vibes, but Bill Murray most recently nailed it for the live-action, computer-animated films. As Pratt takes on more animated roles, I think he needs to start expanding his voice-acting abilities. Jackson has a very distinct voice, but there is a difference between his live-action work and animated works. The best representation of that would be when Jackson plays the character Mace Windu in the live-action Star Wars films versus in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

“Seeing their different work on Netflix’s Nimona and Entergalactic showed me this studio was able to blend a wide array of styles to elevate the storytelling principles.”

The bottom line was that I could not tell Pratt’s Garfield apart from his Mario in The Super Mario Bros. Movie or Emmett from The LEGO Movie films. I will admit that sometimes forcing actors to do an accent can go terribly wrong. But when it comes to voice acting, I find the strong ones are those who maintain their core voices while being flexible to change their vocal mannerisms—even if it is just a tinge different from their regular speaking voice.

The Garfield Movie had one fundamental special quality: a whole lot of lasagna! Kidding. While it had plenty of Mamma Leoni’s best Italian dishes, it had a lot of heart in it. I thought it had an interesting lesson to teach about understanding family ties and learning to be more understanding of people we may have lost trust in in the past. In a weird way, it was about second chances—second chances to meet an estranged father, second chance to do the right thing, and second chance to save the ones we love. Those values were thoroughly and clearly explored in this film, and I enjoyed that.

the garfield movie (2024) review

The Garfield Movie (2024) Review

Through all the product placement and company references, The Garfield Movie was a fun ride for a lazy indoor cat as its protagonist. The main characters and the new characters worked for me. Waddingham went off the rails with her voice acting in this one, almost carrying a similar energy from her most recent character in The Fall Guy. While the 1 hour and 40-minute runtime felt a little long at times, I thought it was a great setup for a dynamic, climactic ending. I can truly say this will be a delight for the whole family, whether you were already a Garfield fan or not.

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