The Garfield Movie

  • Steven Jones
  • Jun 11, 2024

The Garfield Movie: A Mixed Bag of Lazy Adventures

The Garfield Movie hit the theaters in 2024, bringing our beloved, lazy orange tabby to the big screen in a way we've never seen before. With Chris Pratt as the voice of Garfield and a star-studded cast including Samuel L. Jackson and Hannah Waddingham, it promised to be an entertaining ride. However, the film, directed by Mark Dindal, treads a fine line between captivating and falling short, offering a blend of high-stakes adventure and lackluster moments.

The Garfield Movie A Mixed Bag of Lazy Adventures

A Star-Studded Cast with Mixed Performances

One of the greatest strengths of The Garfield Movie lies in its voice cast. Chris Pratt's portrayal of Garfield shows he can indeed embrace the character's iconic laziness and sarcasm. Samuel L. Jackson, as Garfield's estranged father, Vic, adds depth and nuance to the storyline, fitting into the role seamlessly. On the other hand, some performances, such as Harvey Guillén voicing Odie, while endearing, fail to capture the character's essence from the comics.

The supporting voices of Hannah Waddingham as Jinx and Ving Rhames as Otto also bring color to the film, adding layers to an otherwise straightforward plot. They manage to create memorable performances, even if their characters aren’t perfectly rounded.

Adventure vs. Originality: Struggling for Balance

The movie's narrative is ambitious, taking Garfield on an unexpected adventure as he reconnects with his father. While the plot aims to add excitement, it often strays too far from the comic strip's original tone. Garfield fans might find themselves longing for more of the sedentary humor that makes the comic strip so beloved.

The humor and charm of the Garfield comics come from his laziness and sardonic wit, which the film doesn't always capture. Instead, it thrusts Garfield into an action-packed storyline that feels somewhat out of character. The dynamic scenes can feel disconnected from what fans expect despite being visually engaging and fast-paced.

Animation Quality

Animation Quality: Highs and Lows

DNEG Animation did an impressive job bringing the world of Garfield to life, though not without some flaws. The character designs remain faithful to the source comic, with bright colors and expressive faces that are delightful in some scenes. However, some aspects of the animation can appear flat and underdeveloped, particularly in larger crowd scenes or background details.

The integration of the characters within their settings does suffer at times, resulting in a lack of depth that can be distracting. Still, the film manages to have some visually stunning moments, especially during the high-intensity action sequences. These moments reveal the potential the film had to be a visual masterpiece if consistency were maintained throughout.

Writing and Direction: Hits and Misses

The screenplay, penned by Paul A. Kaplan, Mark Torgove, and David Reynolds, oscillates between genuinely funny moments and stretches of uninspired dialogue. The attempts at humor often miss the mark, failing to land the sharp, witty punchlines fans expect from Garfield. Director Mark Dindal brings his experience from The Emperor's New Groove to the project yet struggles to maintain the balance between action and the character-driven narrative.

The decision to steer the plot towards a reconciliation story between Garfield and his father introduces an interesting dynamic but might seem out of place for audiences hoping for the classic tales of Garfield's antics at home. There are moments of genuine tenderness and character development, though, which highlights Dindal’s strengths in storytelling. These moments resonate with the film's younger audience, offering a lesson in family and forgiveness amid the chaos.

Final Takeaway: A Film with Potential Yet Unfulfilled

Overall, The Garfield Movie stands as a blend of mixed successes and shortcomings. The film's ambitious attempt to reinvent Garfield for a new audience is evident but lacks the cohesive execution to leave a lasting impact. Fans of the comic strip may find themselves yearning for more familiar elements, while new audiences might appreciate the fresh take.


  • Strong voice performances by Chris Pratt and Samuel L. Jackson;
  • Visually engaging action sequences;
  • Moments of genuine tenderness and character development.


  • The plot often deviates too far from the comics’ original tone;
  • Inconsistent animation quality;
  • Hit-or-miss humor that doesn't always capture Garfield’s signature wit.

While The Garfield Movie struggles to stay faithful to the original charm of Jim Davis' creation, it offers enough moments of excitement and emotion to make it worth a watch for younger audiences. Die-hard fans, however, might find themselves wishing for a simpler, more laid-back version of their favorite lasagna-loving cat.