‘THE GARFIELD MOVIE’ Garfield Creator talks about Chris Pratt as the voice behind his beloved character

“The Garfield Movie”
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

Garfield creator Jim Davis admits he was bowled over by Chris Pratt as the voice behind the beloved Monday-hating, lasagna-loving indoor cat in The Garfield Movie.

“Chris has great attitude in his voice and incredible timing,” says Davis. “I rate him a ten for funny. And one of the things he does is really bring the Garfield edge and attitude to the character, and so he really understood the character and absolutely nailed him. He’s great to listen to. You can sit back immediately and go, ‘Yeah, that’s Garfield.’”

In The Garfield Movie, the world-famous Garfield is about to have a wild outdoor adventure! After an unexpected reunion with his long-lost father (Samuel L. Jackson) – scruffy street cat Vic – Garfield and his canine friend Odie (Harvey Guillén) are forced from their perfectly pampered life into joining Vic in a hilarious, high-stakes heist.

Watch the trailer: https://youtu.be/HnGusjY49-A

After nearly 50 years of comic strip stardom and hilarious TV specials, The Garfield Movie brings together everything that audiences love about Garfield – plus a few things they never knew. For his part, Davis, who is one of the film’s executive producers, says he was thrilled to see an animated film break Garfield out of his three-panel confines. “It goes without saying that Garfield gets out and around more in animation. Otherwise, why animate him?” says the character’s creator. “Garfield has the same personality in both mediums. However, since animation is more than three frames, Garfield must get involved with a plot demanding that he leave his bed… In animation, you have the luxury of time to tell the story, plus you get to use music, sound effects, and audible dialog to execute the gags and drive the story.”

Davis says that he created the character to stand in contrast with the many dogs that were ruling the comics page at the time. “I saw a lot of dogs doing very well – Snoopy, Marmaduke, Fred Basset, you name it,” he says. “But there were no cats at the time. And I grew up on a farm with about 25 cats on average, and so I knew and loved cats. I thought, ‘Well, if dogs are doing that well, maybe I could use a cat.’ Cats are kind of standoffish – you know where your dog stands, but cats are aloof.”

Because of that, he says, “it’s natural to attribute human thoughts and feelings to cats. Garfield is a human being in a cat suit.” Indeed, Davis says that Garfield’s staying power comes in the fact that his millions of fans recognize themselves in his foibles. Cats – they’re just like us! “I hold a mirror to the reader and show them back with a humorous twist,” says Davis. “We’re made to feel guilty for overeating, not exercising, and oversleeping. Garfield relieves our guilt by enjoying all of those things.”

“The Garfield Movie”
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

“Garfield’s frustrations are universal,” agrees director Mark Dindal, who helms our lazy and sarcastic hero’s first fully animated big-screen adventure. “He reminds people of their childhoods. The visual humor will always play. You can find Garfield comics from 15, 20, 30 years ago, and they don’t feel dated because they’re never really rooted in something specific to that time period.”

Says producer John Cohen, “It’s such an honor that Jim Davis entrusted us to be custodians of his creation – there’s nothing that has made me happier than to hear his joy and enthusiastic reactions to the film over the course of production.”

Join Garfield and his friends on their crazy adventure when The Garfield Movie, from Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International, opens in cinemas May 29.