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Movie Reviews

The Garfield Movie

Garfield, voiced by Chris Pratt, and Jon Arbuckle, voiced by Nicholas Hoult, appear in "The Garfield Movie." The OSV News classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (OSV News photo/Sony)

NEW YORK (OSV News) – The world’s most famous lasagne-loving, Mondays-averse feline gets a third big-screen outing with “The Garfield Movie” (Columbia). Director Mark Dindal’s animated adaptation of cartoonist Jim Davis’ long-running comic strip is generally amiable and family-friendly. Yet it’s only fitfully amusing and feels disposable.

Chris Pratt voices the gluttonous orange tabby cat. Kidnapped by Jinx (voice of Hannah Waddingham), a villainous female Persian, Garfield soon discovers that his abductor’s real target is his estranged dad, Vic (voice of Samuel L. Jackson).

Garfield believes that Vic abandoned him when he was a kitten, leaving him on his own until he was adopted by his human buddy, Jon (voice of Nicholas Hoult). Now, however, he must put away his resentment and learn to cooperate as together father and son endeavor to obtain the king’s ransom in milk Jinx is demanding.

So it’s off to a dairy farm where Garfield, Vic and Jon’s dog, Odie (voice of Harvey Guillén) — who doubles as Garfield’s best friend — receive training in tactics from Otto (voiced by Ving Rhames), a bull resentful over the treatment his beloved cow has received at the hands of the establishment’s managers. Cue a sequence mildly satirizing various action movie tropes.

There are a few moments of enjoyable comedy and some gentle sentiment. But the script’s lessons about not judging others too hastily and the value of teamwork can’t disguise the slapdash nature of the proceedings.

That said, there’s not much for parents to worry about along Garfield’s path to greater insight. Even the potty humor — seemingly inevitable in kids’ movies — is kept in bounds with only one sight gag and a single throwaway line of dialogue. Tots, however, might find some scenes of peril too frightening.

The film contains cartoon violence, characters in danger and a couple of mild scatological jokes. The OSV News classification is A-I — general patronage. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

John Mulderig is media reviewer for OSV News. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @JohnMulderig1.

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