DVD Review: Garfield Holiday Collection

When I was kid I was a huge Garfield fan. I had all the books and I loved watching Garfield and Friends on Saturdays. I also enjoyed the just about yearly TV specials that aired. There were eleven released between 1983 and 1991. This collection brings us five of those.

Included is “Garfield On The Town” (1983), “Garfield’s Halloween Adventure” (originally titled “Garfield In Disguise”) (1984), “Garfield In Paradise” (1986), “A Garfield Christmas Special” (1987) and “Garfield’s Thanksgiving” (1989).

“On The Town” is very strange. Garfield gets lost in the city, meets his wild family and learns to appreciate the home he has with Jon. “In Paradise” finds Garfield, Jon and Odie on a tropical island and craziness ensues. The main focus of this collection is the holiday themed episodes. In “Thanksgiving” Jon somehow manages to get a date with Garfield’s vet who he’s had a crush on for a long time, in “Christmas” Garfield gets to meet Jon’s crazy family, and in “Halloween” Garfield and Odie go out trick or treating and find themselves on a haunted island.

All of these short films are directed by Phil Roman, which makes sense. He’s responsible for many of the great Peanuts specials. If anyone understands newspaper comics, it’s Phil Roman. So he was the logical choice for adapting Garfield to the screen.

These are all very cute animated shorts if you’re a Garfield fan. They feel a little dated, but that only adds to their charm. The drawings and animation feel a little rough at times as well. It’s very refreshing when all animation today is so cleanly animated by computers.

Lorenzo Music, the voice of Garfield obviously sounds like Bill Murray, which has always brought an added level of charm to the show. It’s no wonder Music voiced Dr. Peter Venkman on the Ghostbusters cartoon and Murray eventually returned the favor by voicing Garfield in the live action films.

All-in-all this is a fun collection of cartoons if you’re a Garfield fan. Sadly it doesn’t include the complete short films collection. That’s about the biggest complaint I can muster for this collection.

The short films are presented in a full screen format and 2.0 stereo sound. These are great presentations of all these films. They all look and sound great.

The House That Garfield Built (22 min.) A fun interview with Jim Davis as he takes the viewer on a tour of his studio. Though it feels like it could have been edited a little better.

If you like Garfield cartoons this is a great collection for you. It might not include all the shorts, but the ones included are a lot of fun.

Anderson Digital presents Garfield Holiday Collection. Created by Jim Davis. Directed by Phil Roman. Starring: Lorenzo Music and Thom Huge. Running time: 150 min. Rating: Not Rated. Released: November 4, 2014.