Iconic Garfield Charms Anew in a Modern yet Nostalgic Adventure – A High Five Movie Review of “The Garfield Movie”

by Ronette Tibay
The Garfield Movie Poster
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From his first appearance in 1976, the orange tabby cat, Garfield has endeared generations of fans and once again swoons, not only cat lovers and children, but also adults who grew up to his lovable charm and wit with Mark Dindal’s The Garfield Movie.

Based on the comic strip Garfield by Jim Davis, several film adaptations have made their way to the screen but the 2024 release of The Garfield Movie sets a new standard with its impeccable animation, punch-through-the-heart storyline, and humor that expertly captures Garfield’s iconic snarkiness and humor. Here is SEA Wave Pop Culture Magazine’s High Five Movie Review.

Vic and Garfield from The Garfield Movie

Image from Sony Pictures Entertainment

Surprisingly Heartwarming Plot

 The film takes viewers on an unexpectedly suspenseful and emotional journey while maintaining the spirit of the original comics. The Garfield Movie tells the story of how Garfield (Chris Pratt) met his owner Jon Arbuckle (Nicholas Hoult) after being left in an alley as a kitten by his father, Vic (Samuel L. Jackson), which he reunites with after several years when he and his best pal Odie (Gregg Berger) were kidnapped.

It turns out that the kidnapping was a trap set by Jinx (Hannah Waddingham), a vengeful villainous Persian cat, to capture Vic and send him on a risky mission with Garfield and Odie.

The film’s action-adventure aspects are on point as it portrays how a spoiled, highly privileged indoor cat resolves challenges in the outside world. Watching Garfield’s overconfidence and at the same time, his pessimism, change throughout the movie is a wonderful experience.

But the diamond in the film’s plot is definitely its heartwarming depiction of the evolving relationship between Garfield and Vic, which adds an emotional depth to the story beyond just the comedic antics of Garfield. We say, list this film for the upcoming Father’s Day movie list!

Garfield excited for Lasagna in The Garfield Movie

Image from Sony Pictures Entertainment

Bridging the Generational Gap

 While Garfield originated in the 1970s comic strips, this film portrays him as a tech-savvy feline and unsurprisingly, his insatiable appetite for food remains an enduring trait and with Jon’s credit card at his disposal (poor Jon!), Garfield indulges his gluttonous cravings by frequently ordering meals through food delivery apps, summoning a fleet of drones to satisfy his whims to enjoy while watching Catflix.

At the same time, the nostalgic charm of Garfield’s character connects with older fans’ childhood memories of simpler times. Through comedic misadventures, the film allows viewers of all ages to find common ground in their love for the lasagna-loving feline and his sarcastic wit, reminding us that true laughter and heartwarming connections transcend generational barriers.

Whether you’re a lifelong Garfield fan or a new one, the enduring appeal of this iconic character in this 2024 adaptation is definitely an entertaining experience across generations.

Garfield, Odie, and Vic from The Garfield Movie

Image from Sony Pictures Entertainment

 

Extra Sharp Comedy and Cinematic Nod

Garfield’s sarcastic quips and razor-sharp wit have entertained audiences for decades and are not only expertly preserved but elevated to new heights. The writers have added a clever twist by peppering the script with numerous easter eggs that pay homage to classic action movies.

For instance, the film subtly references the iconic “Mission: Impossible” theme when an ox named Otto (Ving Rhames) outlines the plan for a heist sequence. During the suspenseful climax involving food-delivery drones, the feline hero boasts about performing his own stunts, delivering the line, “just like Tom Cruise,” which adds an extra layer of humor and nostalgia for movie buffs.

Garfield and Jon in The Garfield Movie

Image from Sony Pictures Entertainment

Realistic Fur Parent Scenarios

For fur parents, there’s no one else more relatable than Jon who relentlessly gives everything for Garfield to have a great life from providing love, shelter, food, and finances (again, poor Jon).

The film depicts the real-life struggles and wonders of a cat owner, from wearing protective gear when bathing cats and allowing them to take over your personal space, to receiving that tiny affection back after giving them your all.

Ultimately, many fur parents will relate to Jon when Garfield and Odie get kidnapped. Jon falls into deep distress, haunted by the misery of not knowing Garfield’s whereabouts or condition, and the daunting question of, “Is he going to come back?”

Shining a light through Jon’s life balanced the dynamics of the story with the film accurately capturing the depth of the bond between a pet and its owner, offering a poignant reminder of the impact pets have on our lives.

The Garfield Movie visit at the vet.

Image from Sony Pictures Entertainment

Classic Animation

The makers of “The Garfield Movie” evidently didn’t heed as much the original visuals of the character from Jim Davis’ original blueprint, but their approach doesn’t stray too far either. Its computer animation style sets it apart from previous Garfield adaptations that relied heavily on CGI.

However, its animation is different from the other animated films released recently, as it still has room for polishing and refinement like in other top-tier animated films. There are moments where the movements appear stilted, and the backgrounds lack the vibrancy and detail that could immerse audiences into Garfield’s world.
While the film succeeds in bringing the iconic cat to life in a fresh, modern way while preserving its recognizable charm it needs some more work in truly elevating the visual experience to new heights, settling for a decent but unremarkable aesthetic that neither wows nor disappoints.

Overall, The Garfield Movie delivers a heartwarming and entertaining experience that successfully captures the essence of the iconic orange cat while adding fresh, modern elements.

Though the new portrayal of the lazy, self-centered, and gluttonous tabby cat people loved in the comics may not hit with its fans, the film strikes a delightful balance between nostalgia and contemporary appeal. For fans old and new, The Garfield Movie offers a delightful escape into the world of the lasagna-loving feline original grumpy cat. SEA Wave rates The Garfield Movie a 4/5!

Catch “The Garfield Movie” exclusively in cinemas!

What are your favorite Garfield childhood memories? Let us know in the comment section below!

 

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