Politics & Policy

The Fat Cat Is Back

Garfield returns.

Two things can be stated with confidence regarding the new film Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties. One is that it is much better than its horrendous predecessor, Garfield: The Movie. The second is that it will make you crave two-cheese lasagna, Garfield’s favorite meal.

The film is less a Tale of Two Cities than it is The Prince and the Pauper or Babe with British accents. Not that it is anywhere near the quality of Babe, but with Bill Murray providing the voice for Garfield, the film consistently manages to amuse. At just about 80 minutes running time, the film will provide diverting entertainment for families in search of a break from the heat or the rain, depending on what one’s current meteorological affliction might be.

Lazy, self-indulgent Garfield is king of his own little castle, an ordinary American suburban home, where he lives in comfort with his bachelor owner Jon (Breckin Meyer). However, Jon’s plans to propose to Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt), a veterinarian, threaten to disrupt Garfield’s domestic bliss. So he sets out to impede the marriage. After Garfield ruins a planned romantic evening, Jon decides to follow Liz on her trip to England and propose amid the glories of the old country. The clever Garfield joins him as a stowaway. (London landmarks provide the backdrop for a surprisingly small portion of the action.)

Meanwhile, in another part of England, another cat, Prince (voiced by Tim Curry), who looks as if he could be Garfield’s twin, has just inherited Carlisle Castle. The insouciantly malicious Lord Dargis (Billy Connolly), Prince’s chief competitor for ownership of the Castle, tosses him into the river and off he floats to London, where Jon mistakes him for a runaway Garfield. Meanwhile, the real Garfield is found by the butler of the Castle (Ian Abercrombie, Mr. Pitt of Seinfeld fame) and is promptly transported to the Castle to resume his, er, Prince’s role as royal fat cat. Once there, Garfield grouses about a variety of things. When the servants try to feed Garfield a choice dish of intestines and spleen, he mocks, “What is this? Fear Factor?”

But he gradually comes to enjoy both the privileges and the authority of his unexpected elevation — one perk of which is that he can organize the entire troupe of farm animals to help him cook his favorite food, two-cheese lasagna. The culinary-deprived British animals are quick converts and end up fighting over the last morsel of the meal.

The plot is pretty thin, and the ending wouldn’t surprise even a child, but Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties is endearing and funny, with lots of physical humor, especially toward the end when the animals plot to undermine the machinations of Lord Dargis — who ends up seeming not so much odious as comically mismatched, in the way a character like Mr. Rooney is out of his league by the end of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Not a particularly memorable film, but not the disappointment of the original Garfield, either. So, if you go, take the whole family and plan to eat Italian after.

Thomas Hibbs, an NRO contributor, is author of Shows About Nothing.

Thomas S. HibbsThomas S. Hibbs is the dean of the honors college and distinguished professor of philosophy at Baylor University.

Most Popular

The Rural Way

Almost every national Election Night reveals the same old red/blue map. The country geographically is a sea of red. The coasts and small areas along the southern border and around the Great Lakes remain blue atolls. Yet when the maps are recalibrated for population rather than area, the blue areas blow up, ... Read More

The Rural Way

Almost every national Election Night reveals the same old red/blue map. The country geographically is a sea of red. The coasts and small areas along the southern border and around the Great Lakes remain blue atolls. Yet when the maps are recalibrated for population rather than area, the blue areas blow up, ... Read More
Elections

It’s Only ‘Free and Fair’ When We Win

Indeed, this is astonishing: https://twitter.com/felixsalmon/status/1331295033325219840 In 2018, after two years of media spinning tales about shady Russian infiltrators in our government, 67 percent of Democrats believed that Putin’s gremlins had bored into our voting machines and altered the outcome ... Read More
Elections

It’s Only ‘Free and Fair’ When We Win

Indeed, this is astonishing: https://twitter.com/felixsalmon/status/1331295033325219840 In 2018, after two years of media spinning tales about shady Russian infiltrators in our government, 67 percent of Democrats believed that Putin’s gremlins had bored into our voting machines and altered the outcome ... Read More

The Coup That Wasn’t

Donald Trump is not done challenging the results of the 2020 election in court, and he is by no means done complaining. But there will be no “coup.” Any prospect of Trump remaining in office without a legal process that declares him the recipient of more legal votes in the decisive states has now evaporated. ... Read More

The Coup That Wasn’t

Donald Trump is not done challenging the results of the 2020 election in court, and he is by no means done complaining. But there will be no “coup.” Any prospect of Trump remaining in office without a legal process that declares him the recipient of more legal votes in the decisive states has now evaporated. ... Read More
Books

Jordan Peterson v. the Publishing Mob

Staff at Penguin Random House Canada have “confronted management” about the decision to publish Jordan Peterson’s book in an “emotional town hall,” Vice reports. Peterson’s Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life will be released in March 2021. Apparently, one “junior employee who is a member of the ... Read More
Books

Jordan Peterson v. the Publishing Mob

Staff at Penguin Random House Canada have “confronted management” about the decision to publish Jordan Peterson’s book in an “emotional town hall,” Vice reports. Peterson’s Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life will be released in March 2021. Apparently, one “junior employee who is a member of the ... Read More
Elections

To ‘Steal’ an Election

Dan has a good article on the homepage, the main point of which is that the system worked, since Trump’s efforts to reverse the election failed. Certainly I agree with him about that. But he also finds charges that Trump tried to “steal” the election “overheated.” Since I made such a claim myself, I ... Read More
Elections

To ‘Steal’ an Election

Dan has a good article on the homepage, the main point of which is that the system worked, since Trump’s efforts to reverse the election failed. Certainly I agree with him about that. But he also finds charges that Trump tried to “steal” the election “overheated.” Since I made such a claim myself, I ... Read More