/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment .
R4 . COLOR . 77 mins .
G . PAL
Everyone knows who Garfield is, the slightly overweight, obnoxious but loveable orange tabby cat with the black stripes was brought to life by cartoonist Jim Davis and with 260 million readers worldwide would have to be the one of the most recognizable comic strip characters in history.
i feel like pizza tonight, like pizza tonight.
It was inevitable that Hollywood would turn this popularity into a motion picture and with Garfield:The Movie all the characters are brought to life from Garfield’s famous teddy bear Pookie to Odie, Jon and Liz. Naturally, casting a real cat in the role of Garfield would be virtual impossibility so the decision was made to have Garfield as a totally computer generated character. What is unusual is that none of the other characters (with the exception of Pookie) was computer generated, although some were heavily modified with CGI to allow them to talk or do other unnatural acts.
So, Garfield: The Movie is a mix if live action and computer generated trickery combined with the unmistakable voice of Bill Murray to bring the two dimensional comic strip to the big screen.
Presented on this DVD the movie is shown in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is enhanced for widescreen displays.
The video portion of this disc is class A all the way. The cartoony realism of the movie is represented really well; emphasis on bright colours doesn’t present a problem at all. The picture is sharp and clear at all times and no obvious faults could be found.
While not strictly a topic for the video section a comment on the CG in the movie is warranted. For the most part the integration between the computer imagery and the live action shots is seamless and impressive. There are a few minor instances where it is blatantly obvious that a real actor (or animal) is working with a puppet or stand in to be substituted in with the CG version at a later date.
The only audio track available in this disc is Dolby Digital 5.1 with the audio commentary in the usual 2.0 sound format. Subtitle options consist of English and, well, English but with the added extra of having the audio commentary as a subtitle track as well, a recent but welcome addition to some of the newer DVD releases.
These things will never sell.
The audio content is up there with the video presentation and is a great example of what the DVD format is all about. All the channels get a decent workout, the surrounds are particulary obvious during the musical score and the subwoofer likewise gets a decent showing in the appropriate places in the soundtrack. Finally, the center channel presents the spoken parts with crystal clarity so no complaints at all about the audio on this disc.
On the surface this disc comes with a impressive looking set of extras but upon digging through the content most of the extras are shallow and short.
easy back there.
Audio Commentary featuring Director Peter Hewitt and Writer John Davis
While not one of the most interesting commentaries I have heard in recent times Hewitt and Davis bounce ideas and concepts off each other and explain to the viewer production notes and techniques for some of the key scenes in the movie. Some of the most interesting comments involve what is real and what is not, you’ll be surprised.
Just under 17 minutes of scenes that didn’t make the movie. Some of the scenes shown here are just reshoots of scenes that did make it and others are animatics of the final scenes, so in reality we’re not actually getting a whole lot of ‘deleted’ scenes but more a set of alternate or pre-production takes.
Game: Find Odie Maze Game
One of two interactive games on this disc, as with all DVD based games it’s not exactly deep or involving but can be a short distraction for the kids (or adults?)
Game: Mixing Moments with Garfield
Not so much a game as an interactive single frame cartoon, you use the controls to place characters, backgrounds and accessories into the scene and then do absolutely nothing with them, not fun at all.
Featurette: Garfield: Bringing the Cat to Life
A very short (7 minutes) ‘making of’ which details some of the computer wizardry required to bring Garfield from the funny pages onto the big screen.
consequences of a cat-apult.
Grab a Number 2 Pencil: The Evolution of Garfield
A unique feature that allows us to sit with Garfield’s creature Jim Davis as he runs through a short illustrated history of Garfield and some of this other works. This extra includes multiple angles; one lets you look over Jim’s shoulder as he draws the other looking down from the front.
Fans of Ice Age will recognize this little skit staring Scrat the nutty nut collector, but this reviewer is a little perplexed as to why this was included on this disc apart from obvious and shameful self promotion by Fox.
Garfield the comic strip appeals to a very wide range of age groups, but the sardonic humour and obviously strikes a chord with adult audiences. Unfortunately for the millions of adult fans this Garfield is more of a ‘family’ affair than the closest comparison, the Scooby Doo movies. This may come as a small disappointment for those fans expecting some more adult themed humor but Garfield: The Movie succeeds as a kids movies as well as it would have if aimed at an older audience.