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Garfield Review

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Lazy, lasagne-loving cat Garfield (Murray) isn't happy when his owner Jon (Meyer) brings home cute dog Odie. But when Odie is kidnapped by TV star Happy Chapman (Stephen Tobolowsky), Garfield sets off in hot pursuit.

★★★★★

Jim Davis' well-known comic strip gets the big-screen treatment in an adventure aimed squarely at junior audiences - older kids reared on slicker fare like Shrek and The Lord Of The Rings won't be impressed unless they are die-hard fans of the famous feline.

A live-action movie with Garfield as the only CGI character (the other animals are played by real cats and dogs - and we assume Meyer and Hewitt have a pulse, though they don't appear to be very lively here), it's a simple story that hurls the wisecracking cat (voiced by Murray) off his chair and into a city adventure.

As his top billing suggests, Garfield gets the best lines - and thanks to Murray's sarcastic tone (he even gets to warble a Billy Joel parody 'New Dog State Of Mind'), and the spot-on animation, he delivers most of the laughs, too. As Garfield's owner, Jon, Meyer has little to do, and Hewitt, as love interest/vet (credible casting, we think not), has even less, so it is left to Stephen Tobolowsky (aka Groundhog Day's Ned Ryerson) to provide some human humour as Odie's kidnapper, a hasbeen TV presenter looking for a new pet for his act.

The plot shamelessly borrows from better films, but as a summer diversion for smaller, less demanding viewers this is catnip.

Cute and friendly enough, but for anyone over eight, not recommended.