Garfield Gets Real – DVD Review

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Kyung Ho Lee, Mark A.Z. Dippe


Frank Welker – Garfield, Keith, Prop Boy, Nerd, Two Headed Guy, Goth Kid, Hardy (Voice)
Audrey Wasilewski – Arlene, Zelda, Betty, Ashley (Voice)
Greg Eagles – Eli
Jennifer Darling – Bonita, Mother, Rusty, Bobby (Voice)
Gregg Berger – Odie, Shecky, Hale (Voice)
Wally Wingert – Jon, Mike (Voice)
Jason Marsden – Nermal (Voice)

Release Date: November 20th
Running Time: 74 Minutes
Rating: Unrated

The Movie

We’ve all had days, weeks, or months were we feel like we’re in a rut, and nothing can shake us out of it. Some people try something crazy and spontaneous to try and get a spark back into their lives. This is the story behind Garfield Gets Real.

Garfield is, obviously, a cat, who has grown weary of his day to day life. Not the life we see in the comic strip each, but the life of having to make the comic strip each day. Most of us think of the comics as something that is drawn everyday, and printed into the newspapers, but the movie takes a different view of it, where Garfield and others actually act out the script, and the director takes 3 still images to tell the story. The comics are then printed on to a big screen that acts like a two way mirror, the comic strip characters can see out into the “Real World” and watch people reading the comic, but the people reading just see the comic. They call the outside world, the “Real World” even though the entire movie is CGI. Call me crazy, but a movie titled Garfield Gets Real would be a live action movie in my head.

After Odie accidentally discovers a hole in the screen that sends things to the “Real World,” Garfield decides that is exactly
the break he needs from his mundane life, so while everyone else is distracted, he sneaks through the hole into the Real World. Odie soon after follows him in a quest to get his bone back.

Without Garfield and Odie, the Garfield cartoon is canceled in a weird little plot hole. One night passes, and the newspaper is already announcing the canceling of Garfield and holding a contest to replace it. After just one day. I’d like to see any newspaper act that fast on anything. But, it moves the plot along. At the contest to decide what cartoon will replace Garfield (Complete with a geeky looking person attempting to push his comic strip based on a dot…where have we seen that before?) is when we meet the “Bad Guys” of the movie. Hale and Hardy. Here is my main problem with the movie. These two, who are supposed to be the two to take over Garfield’s strip, and trap him in the real world, aren’t built up at all. They’re in the movie for a combined 5 minutes. It’s a short movie, that flows pretty well the way it’s edited, but taking another 5-10 minutes to let audience get to know H & H, might make it a little more meaningful when they make their attempt at stopping Garfield.

And it doesn’t really stop there, none of the new characters really get any time to get attached too. In all the “star gets taken away from home and has to find a way back” movies, the star always finds new friends at his new area, and that’s the case here, Shecky is a stray that shows Garfield the ropes of being a cat in this city. But he’s not a friend in the normal flow of most movies that follow this storyline, as he doesn’t really try and help Garfield get back, he actually just makes fun of him and calls him crazy. He’s on screen for maybe 10 minutes the entire movie.

Minus a few plot holes, and poorly developed new characters, its a pretty good movie. There are some moments that will make you laugh, and even a few that will try and tug on your heart strings a bit. They don’t over use any bit for too many laughs, generally stopping at two times per gag.

In my Cross Cultural Communications class we’d look at this movie as a cultural narrative and try and figure out what the meaning of the movie really was. Try that sometime, watch your favorite movie from when you were a kid, and look for underlying messages. Or read a Dr. Seuss book and look for messages there. This movies message is loud and clear, I’ll edit it a bit to fit the site readers a little bit better, “KNOW YOUR ROLE and SHUT YOUR MOUTH!” Now the complex version. It’s really saying, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and you shouldn’t do things you think might be fun, because they’ll just get you in trouble. So stay behind, keep in line, and do your job no matter how much you hate it. Yes…thats the message we send our kids. It’s been happening for a long time.

A/V Quality
The Video is weird. The comic world looks like a video game. They are a video game based on the movie, and it really feels like a video game. If you’ve played the Family Guy video game, you know what this movie looks like. They have the same motions and it has the same overall feel. It’s definitely not setting any standards in regards to CGI movies, it doesn’t even manage to measure up to Shrek in the video department.

The audio and the Video also don’t seem to link up. Most of the characters are animals, so it’s hard to match words to their mouth shapes since they don’t talk in real life, but even most of the human characters mouths don’t seem to be making the words that are being said.

Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound

Special Features
A behind the scenes look at the day to day making of the Garfield comic.
Jim Davis(Garfield Creator) Raw and un-cat. If you go into that expecting a creator commentary over the movie, you’ll be greatly disappointed.
The Animation Process
Legends Working Together – Meet the people who do the voices
Bloopers: Voices In Our Heads (Bad)
Finding your Voice – Interviews with the voice over artists about how they came up with the voices they used.
Animating from the Seoul – Part of the animation crew was stationed in Seoul South Korea.
1 Game Playable on the DVD Player – Find 4 objects and move onto the next room (Easy)
2 Games Playable on a Computer with a DVD player. Punt a Pooch and Whack a WaWa. Punt a Pooch is just like the Kitten Cannon game that was popular and few years back. And Whack a WaWa is a Whack-a-Mole knock off. Punt a Pooch is a blast.

The Inside Pulse
Good movie. Family’s will love it. It’s friendly for the kids, with some humor for the Adults and a nice throw-me-back to those of us old enough to remember when Garfield had a cartoon on saturday mornings.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Garfield Gets Real
(OUT OF 10)
The Movie

The Video

The Audio

The Extras

Replay Value


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