The Garfield Show (Fr. Garfield et Cie) is a French/American CGI animated television series that premiered in France on France 3 on December 22, 2008. English-language episodes started airing on Boomerang UK on May 5, 2009. It premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on November 2, 2009, at 3:00 pm.
The Garfield Show centers mainly on Garfield's usual antics and frolics, usually in function of his laziness and gluttony. It focuses on his quirky misadventures (more bizarre ones than from previous incarnations), while always highlighting the fat cat's love for lasagna. Garfield lives with his owner, Jon Arbuckle, and his owner's dog, Odie, in a detached two story house (as opposed to the one-story house in the comics and other animated appearances). Often Garfield has to solve problems that he himself causes, yet always tries to skive off, and actually solves them in the end. The only characters from the strip who have yet to appear are Irma (aside from a depiction in The Caped Avenger Rides Again!), Grandma Arbuckle, and Binky the Clown.
Much like the original series, Garfield began breaking the fourth wall more often as the series progressed, such as asking for the script for the episode, talking to the audience, behind-the-scenes drama, and mentioning cartoon traditions, such as instant healing. One difference from the original series is that the series also started gaining continuity plots and story arcs. Morals and songs were occasionally added to the stories as well.
Voice Cast Edit
- Frank Welker as Garfield
- Wally Wingert as Jon Arbuckle
- Gregg Berger as Odie/Squeak/Harry
- Julie Payne as Liz Wilson
- Jason Marsden as Nermal/Vito Cappelletti
- Laura Summer as Drusilla/Minerva
- Audrey Wasilewski as Arlene
Based on the American comic strip Garfield, the series is executive produced by Garfield creator Jim Davis and co-written and voice directed by Mark Evanier, who also wrote most of the episodes for the previous series. Returning from Garfield & Friends are the voice actors Julie Payne and Gregg Berger as Odie and Liz. Frank Welker and Wally Wingert reprise their roles from the CGI films as Garfield and Jon, due to Lorenzo Music's death back in 2001, and Thom Huge's retirement that same year. Audrey Wasilewski and Jason Marsden also return from the CGI films as Nermal and Arlene. Also returning is David Lander, reprising his role as Doc Boy from A Garfield Christmas. The show is produced by Dargaud Media and Paws Inc. The show is directed by Philippe Vidal and the music is done by Laurent Bertaud and Jean-Christophe Prudhomme.
Being primarily a French production, the show had its premiere in France in December of 2008, almost a year before it managed to get a deal with Cartoon Network for airing in the United States. As such, since Cartoon Network tends to be a season behind with their showing of the episodes, French viewers get to see new episodes of the series long before English-speaking viewers do. The first three seasons were first run on Cartoon Network from 2009 to 2012, with reruns later airing on Boomerang. Boomerang premiered the fourth and fifth seasons from 2015 to 2016. Currently on hiatus, a sixth season is under discussion.
Despite receiving more episodes than usual for an animated series, The Garfield Show has received mixed to negative reviews. Common Sense Media gave the show 3 stars out of 5, saying "Infamous cat's antics are fun, if not exactly message laden."
Kevin Carr of 7M pictures gave the show 2 stars out of 5 stating that the animation felt unpolished compared to the direct-to-video movies and that the show was full of "throwaway stories" because it "aims for a more kid-friendly presentation of the fat feline." He concluded his review stating he preferred "old-school cell animation as the week-to-week series CGI looks too much like cheap video game emulations, but I’m not the target market of these things".
Justin Felix of DVD talk gave the show 2.5 out of 5 stating that "The Garfield Show isn't some great work of art, but it efficiently delivers cartoon animal fun that little kids would probably enjoy. The animation is a tad rudimentary and clunky at times, but it's good enough to pass muster for cartoon fare of this type."
Mike Gencarelli of Media Mikes gave the show 3.5 out of 5 stating "it doesn’t compare to the classic Jim Davis cartoon but it is all we have right now."
The series has a 3.8 score on Metacritic touting unfavorable reviews. On IMDB, the show has a rating of 5,5 out of 10.