Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts On: Garfield

The cat’s outta the bag on what we thought about one of our childhood icons.

See the original review here –

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. Hey Doug and Rob, I’d like to hear a Real Thoughts on Heavy Metal. That looked like a pretty cool movie, and I’m wondering what led you to reviewing it with that weird, scary Joker woman.

  2. In terms of characters from media having an influence on you, I feel that Garfield has had the most influence on my personality and worldview. I even feel he changed my life in one way or another, but that’s a long, boring Freudian tale, so let’s talk about the movie.

    While I’d agree that miscasting is part of the problem, I think much of the problem at least in comedy is the script. You all lightly touched on it, but didn’t really talk about the boring dialogue in this film. If you listen to the characters, everyone except for Garfield just sounds so… normal. None of the characters except Garfield have their own quirks or voices in this film, so the way they talk just smooches them together, leaving Garfield the only one who has something funny to say. Jon’s not a lovable, comic dork, Liz is not a snarky woman, Nermal isn’t a cute but annoying kitten, etc. etc. So these normally funny comic actors are not funny because they have nothing funny to say, no personality to play with. This leaves Garfield without any jokes because his cynical humor cannot play off of anything although Bill Murray clearly does his best and the writers put their most effort into Garfield’s character.

    I cannot for the life of me understand why they didn’t spend the extra time to call someone like Mark Evanier or one of the other Garfield TV writers to do the script. I suppose it’s because Davis Entertainment (the studio that made this film) has Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow as their go-to comedy picture writers. That said, I can’t imagine why out of all the comic writers available you’d have the two responsible for Money Talks (a critically looked down upon film), Goodbye Lover (a movie that lost approximately twenty million dollars or so), and other forgotten about comedy films except for Toy Story (where they composed only two of the four screenwriters onboard).

    By the way, Garfield’s Babes and Bullets, an amazing film noir spoof. I have that one along with probably every other Garfield DVD. Well, everything but the new Garfield show, which I view like a month old cracker, edible but stale.

    • Also, to ensure there is no confusion, Davis Entertainment is not run by or associated with Jim Davis. It is run by John Davis (yeah, as though it was not confusing enough), who produced this feature. Davis Entertainment is also responsible for other adapted schlock such as Richie Rich, Gulliver’s Travels (the one where the Lilliputians get caught up Jack Black’s butt), and Mr. Popper’s Penguins. However, they are also responsible for Chronicle and Predator, so it seems that Davis Entertainment should just stay away from adapting from comic sources and stick to original action-adventure flicks.

  3. Rob: “Nobody’s sitting here saying this movies good.” Clearly you haven’t seen the comment section and like-to-dislike ratio for Watch Mojo’s “Top 10 Worst Live-Action Movies Based on Cartoons.”

  4. You wanna know what really astounds me? Roger Ebert was the only critic who stuck up for this film and when Roeper questioned him, his response was ‘Did you read the comics’. When I heard him say that, the first thing that popped into my head was ‘Yes, I love the comics. That’s exactly why I hate this movie. I’m surprised someone who’s read the comics can honestly say the people behind this film did a good job adapting the source material.’

  5. Steve the Pocket

    Thing about that Internet-cat-videos plot you cooked up… it couldn’t have worked, because this movie came out two years before YouTube even existed. It was also before “The Smurfs” or “Alvin and the Chipmunks”, fyi. I think the only “CGI/live action adaptation of an animated property” movies that had been put out at the time were “Scooby-Doo” and “Rocky and Bullwinkle”, and the latter almost didn’t count because it had a Roger Rabbit style plot of the cartoon characters literally coming to life.

  6. Doug, if someone likes Gerard Butler’s singing as the Phantom, don’t you think the appropriate medical professional to contact would be an otolaryngologist to get their hearing checked? (Also, seriously dude, telling someone they need psych help as an insult? Not cool.) Although you probably didn’t want to pronounce that. I’m actually a phan, and considering my gender, one could call me a phangirl, and I think Gerard Butler has a passable baritone and not at all a bad falsetto…but he did not have the chops for the part of the Phantom. And he did some profoundly asinine things like (I’m going to speak Melissa Cross here for a second) put heat and fire into notes during the denouement and ended up with sad off-key growling. I absolutely adored the movie when I saw it as a 13-year-old, then I saw the actual stage show and my reaction was “OH. So THIS is Phantom of the Opera. Can I just watch a filmed version of this?”.

  7. Fifteen minute mark Doug channels Ask That Guy.

  8. As someone who owns several of the Garfield anniversary books, countless plushies, and was once part of a Garfield Fan Club, you can probably imagine how pissed off and disappointed I was with this movie and the characters. Everyone one around kept telling me to calm down and it’s just a movie, but I couldn’t, I loved Garfield too much! I was so torn. I wanted to hate the movie, but I love Bill Murray.

  9. It seems to me that at least part, and perhaps most, of the reason this Garfield movie wound up being a big enough hit to get a sequel is that so many of us had certain, rather high, expectations as to what a Garfield movie was going to be, and we went to see it without knowing that it was anything but that, and since the Internet wasn’t quite what it is today, there wasn’t much in the way to tell us otherwise. Just my thought on it, so could be wrong.

  10. Acetylsalicilique

    … Ok I’ll be that guy.

    The Product Placement in Man of Steel didn’t bother me. *dodges tomatoes*

    Part of it is probably because I’m not American, so these brands aren’t really familiar to me. But even if I imagine the same scene except with them crashing into “Carrefour” and “Total” it wouldn’t bother me because, that’s the brands I see when I go in town… yeah, if you fly around a small town crashing everywhere… you WILL crash into stores and gas stations, and they’ll have brands on it.

  11. You know what I love about the Garfield movie? It gave me one of the best memories. My mom is forgetful, she has pretty bad taste in movies too, she will watch just about anything. When this movie came out we got free tickets to the theaters, any movie we wanted. (Dont remember how or why) it was her birthday so she said we would see what she wanted to. Saw one preview of Garfield (The scene where he falls into that truck and says “my life has been saved by lasagna”) she blinked for a second, and just said “well we are definitely not seeing that pos.” I loved her so much for that.

    • Your mom’s bad taste has nothing on my mom’s. She liked this movie thinking it was cute not acknowledging that it had nothing to do with the character. She’s almost 50 years old but has the movie mentality of a 7 year old.

  12. As far as blatant but funny goes, I expect there be at least one example of product placement in the Deadpool movie where Deadpool turns to the camera and talks to the audience to try and sell the product. Possibly in the middle of a bad guy’s monologue.

  13. Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends first aired on ITV over here in the UK in 1984, not sure when it made it’s way to PBS. Also, I know people will have mentioned this before but the lack of mouth flaps is part of the charm. A lot of people who grew up with the show dislike that they have mouth flaps in the newer CGI show.

  14. If I were to cast someone to play Jon, it would be someone from SNL like Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, or Charlie Day. One of the 3 guys from Horrible Bosses would do a great job playing a geeky loser like Jon.
    As for Liz, it would be any actress with a cynical personality.

  15. There’s a fully animated Garfield movie that was released in theatres in 2007, and while it’s not very good it’s still a masterpiece compared to the live-action crap.

  16. I want to see you guys do a review of Garfield 2! Please do it!

  17. If you didn’t like this movie, avoid garfield: tale of two cats.

    Want a good garfield movie? Watch “Garfield Gets Real”, it takes the idea of the garfield movie a bit and it’s all cgi animated. Basically garfield is a cartoon but ends up in thr real world; but it’s still all cgi, no real actors anywhere.

    Take a look if you can doug, it even has some other non-garfield character’s that they owned as well. Like billy bear and Randy rabbit.

    Here’s the wiki artice for it, take a look: or you can google it, up to you.

  18. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE review the sequel! I personally think that it’s slightly better. It got two laughs out of me compared to no laughs in this movie. But hey, what’s so bad about product placement? I don’t get it. Gerald Butler is okay. Just meh. Crowe’s singing voice was better. Also, OMG, I hope they make a Wicked movie. Imagine the outfits! 😀

  19. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Yeah i too have no idea why the alvin and the chipmunks movies are still running (and the ice age franchise as well)

    I myself am a garfield fan and this movie is one of my guilty pleasures well it doesnt represent garfield its just a wonderful waste of my time and i like to watch it with kids (heck i own the film on dvd) but i havent seen the sequel a tail of two kitties and i actually should see if they have it onlinw somewhere (but i do agree on the points you brought up in the review).

  20. Have you guys done the John Hughes films? Even only the ones he wrote? I’d love to see what you think of them.

  21. I was surprised that nermil was a guy this whole time. In the cartoon I always thought he was a she. Since the look and voice.

  22. Please do a Phantom of the Opera review. You mention your feelings about Gerard Butler every so often, and I just really want to see your amusement/disdain for the film version fully explored. Honestly I think you could make a hilarious sketch out of it, plus pay some lip service to some NC fan girls by having someone don the mask. ??

  23. I used to love Garfield when I was younger, and I remember seeing this movie in theatres. I pretty much forgot about it until you came out with this review, if that says anything about it.

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