Op-Ed: Chris Pratt’s Garfield is Actually Perfect

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Chris Pratt as Andy Dwyer in Garfield

Credit: Inside the Magic

Chris Pratt is set to voice the famous fat feline; viewers aren’t happy about it. Is Garfield’s casting choice really that bad, or are fans just pressured into hating it?

Jon Arbuckle grating cheese over lasagna while Garfield and Odie look on
Credit: Columbia

Jim Davis’ Garfield is the next classic cartoon to get a modern animated treatment, but reception has been mixed at best and eye-roll-worthy at worst, namely due to Pratt’s involvement. Although the actor received critical acclaim as Marvel’s Star-Lord in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, his animated characters have been found wanting.

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In his own way, Chris Pratt has the same phenomenon that actirs like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood have. You don’t go to the movies to see Rooster Cogburn or The Man With No Name; you go to see John Wayne and Clint Eastwood be themselves.

Audiences Hate Chris Pratt Out of Pressure

Chris Pratt crying as he decides whether or not to shoot Gamora.
Credit: Marvel Studios

While Pratt is far from a one-note actor, he has become a victim of typecasting due to some of the characters he’s played in the past. Pratt is essentially famous for over-the-top action heroes and the occasional himbo. As a result, he’s heavily criticized whenever he tries to deviate from the norm.

Related: James Gunn Explains Why Star-Lord Looks Different in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 3’

Characters like Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)  or Owen Grady from the Jurassic World series made Pratt a household name. So when he stepped into roles like Super Mario in his recent film adaptation, audiences outright slammed his performance before the movie was even released.

mario, princess peach, and toad in the super mario bros movie
Credit: Universal Pictures

Granted, a lot of Pratt’s Mario criticism was due to him stepping into a part previously tenured by the legendary Charles Martinet, but the reception still stands with most audiences. While the pudgy plumber might not have been ideal casting, can the same really be said for a character like Garfield?

Related: Chris Pratt Rumored To Abandon Disney for Major Competitor

Traditionally speaking, Garfield is a lazy, lasagna-guzzling, fat feline who often thinks with his appetites in mind at the best of times. Although there has been an outcry for Bill Murray to reprise the role from the 2004 film, Pratt might be a better fit than most are thinking.

Garfield with Andy Dwyer
Credit: Inside the Magic

Cutting his teeth on the role of Andy Dwyer from Parks and RecreationPratt has built his career on playing thick-headed and occasionally goofy characters who think more with their hearts or stomachs instead of their heads. That certainly sounds like a certain orange tabby from the comic strips, doesn’t it?

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In this writer’s opinion, the main reason viewers detest Chris Pratt’s casting as Garfield is cultural osmosis. In short, people trash Chris Pratt because it’s the popular thing to do.

Chris Pratt in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Credit: Marvel Studios

The point can even be made that if they were to suddenly replace him with Bill Murray, the same thing could be said about his vocal performances. Both actors have a distinct voice and a gift for playing similar characters, so what’s the difference?

Related: Bradley Cooper Controversially Returns to MCU, Prohibited From ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Chris Pratt might make his living playing a specific type of character, but dozens of beloved actors do. That doesn’t mean he should be dragged through the mud because of a previously hated performance. In the end, doesn’t it make sense to hold critiques until after the movie premiere?

Do you think Chris Pratt is getting a bad rep? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

 

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