‘Garfield’ Creator Jim Davis Weighs in on Controversial Casting

in Movies

Garfield with Andy Dwyer

Credit: Inside the Magic

Known for his love of lasagna and hatred of Mondays, Garfield has been a prominent fixture in popular culture for decades. His latest cinematic escapade, The Garfield Movie, has earned a bit of backlash after casting Chris Pratt in the title role, but what does his creator have to say?

A vibrant movie poster for "The Garfield Movie" features Garfield, his characteristic grumpy demeanor on full display, as he sits on a blue chair with a tub of popcorn. Various characters and scenes from the movie, including other animals and humans, surround him amidst dynamic fiery visuals.
Credit: Columbia Pictures

The Garfield comic strip has graced the funnies since June 19, 1978, and Jim Davis is responsible for the lovable fat cat who has kept laughter and merchandise sales in full swing ever since. After pages of comic strips, animated series, and two cinematic films with Bill Murray, how does the cartoonist feel about Star-Lord himself stepping into Garfield’s furry shoes?

Related: “Garfield” Creator Jim Davis Drew a Story for Marvel’s Eater of Worlds Galactus

Chris Pratt is no stranger to comedic roles, but his frequent appearances in recent animated films have some fans questioning his abilities outside of an action movie. After fans were absolutely torn on Pratt replacing Charles Martinet in the titular role in The Super Mario Bros. Movie, his portrayal of Garfield is met with equal hatred.

The Garfield Movie: Panned and Praised

An animated image showing a slim, cheerful dog with a raised ear looking excitedly at a fluffy, round-bodied lion with a stern expression. They are indoors, next to a green ball in a scene from a family-friendly movie.
Credit: Columbia Pictures

At the time of writing, the animated feature already has less-than-favorable reviews. The Washington Post gives it a 1.5-star rating with the following take.

“Unlike lasagna, Garfield the cat lacks layers. He loves Italian food, hates Mondays, and is neutral toward his owner, Jon, and canine sidekick, Odie. This simplicity has sustained Garfield’s 46-year career as the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip, plus a side hustle that’s slapped his striped rump on coffee cups, car windshields, slippers, sofas, lava lamps, fish tanks, landline phones, and, now, his third theatrical feature, ‘The Garfield Movie,’ which takes the simplest of ingredients and somehow gets every one wrong.”

As harsh as that descriptor might be, not all is lost on the newest adaptation of the famous fat feline. Per Cinesthetic, Garfield’s creator was reportedly thrilled with Pratt’s portrayal, stating that he [Pratt] was the voice he heard when imagining the character.

Related: Comedian Tiffany Haddish joins voice cast of “The LEGO Movie Sequel”

Jim Davis reportedly shared,

“Chris has great attitude in his voice and incredible timing… 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.’”

Moreover, even Chris Pratt was stunned by the creator’s reaction. The actor was reportedly “very grateful” that Davis approved his portrayal of such an iconic character.

But Is It Any Good?

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

Taste is highly subjective, and one thing Garfield fans need to remember is that this is a new vision with a new interpretation of the character. While most (including this writer) will remember the animated variant with Lorenzo Music as Garfield’s primary voice actor, Pratt’s performance is for a newer audience with a different palate than the previous versions.

Related: Chris Pratt and Wife Face Backlash Over Demolition of Historic LA Home

That all being said, the fact that Garfield’s creator gives the film and its leading actor a seal of approval speaks volumes. The lasagna-loving fat cat might still swing audiences in his favor before long.

Does Chris Pratt do Garfield justice? Tell Inside the Magic what you think in the comments below!  

in Movies

Be the first to comment!