The movie was directed by Peter Hewitt, produced by Davis Entertainment for 20th Century Fox, and stars Breckin Meyer as Jon Arbuckle, Jennifer Love Hewitt as Dr. Liz Wilson, and features Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield.
The Story takes place in Los Angeles. It begins when Garfield, a fat lazy cat (voiced by Bill Murray) wakes up from a good night's sleep and awaits a tasty breakfast. Jon is woken by the fat cat with a dogpile. After switching his liver flavored cat food with Jon's corned beef hash, Garfield spots a pie outside on the neighbors window. He tricks the dog Luca (voiced by Brad Garrett) in order to get the pie and tangling his leash around many bushes and ceramic ducks.
After walking the cul-de-sac, Jon spots a mouse and counts on Garfield to get it. Garfield refuses and Jon runs after the rodent. He than trips and says "What good is it to have a cat, if it can't catch a mouse" Garfield runs outside and catches up to the mouse. Its name is Louis (voiced by Nick Cannon) and he was warned by Garfield that he should not run around the house when Jon is home. Jon walks out after Garfield and sees Louis in his mouth. Jon is proud of the tabby cat and when he leaves Garfield spits him out and spares his life, for now.
At the telegraph tower, Happy Chapman (the main villain played by Stephen Tobolowsky) the star of a Saturday morning show is sick of cats (because of his allergies) and wishes for a dog star along with him, and to outdo his more successful twin brother Walter, a news anchor. After his show, Jon comes home with some food he bought at the store. Garfield pigs out of the lasagna trays and Jon is terribly disappointed. Garfield is brought to the vet, with Jon and is checked out by Liz (a vet played by Jennifer Love Hewitt), a nice and attractive veterinarian and is also Jon's high school crush. Jon tries to ask her out when a dog is brought in. His name is Odie and Liz asks Jon to take care of Odie or he will not survive on his own. Garfield comes out of the vet and sees Odie in the car, and Liz ends up asking Jon out.
Garfield is not very happy now that a dog is running around the house, sitting in his chair, getting the paper, and sleeping beside Jon when Garfield is not allowed too. Just when things get a bit worse, Liz shows up and Jon comes out with Odie, they leave to go to a dog show, and Garfield chases after them. At the dog show, Liz is a judge and Jon was in the audience, along with Odie. Garfield is spotted by the dogs competing in the show and is chased after them. The music goes on and Odie leaps out of Jon's hands and attempts to dance (just as when Garfield was dancing back at the house). The judges are impressed as well as the audience. Garfield succeeds in escaping and Odie is rewarded by Happy Chapman (also a judge) He says Odie may have a future in television, but Jon turns it down. When a picture for the news paper is taken, you can see Happy looking at Odie.
Garfield hangs on under Liz's truck on the way back, and Jon and Liz plan a dinner on Sunday. Garfield is very angry because Odie got all the attention. He smacks a ball which started a, unusual Rube Goldburg contraptions and results to the square selfs above the computer to fall down. Garfield gets kicked out and he watches in the windows how much Jon loves Odie. He sleeps on the porch that night and Odie comes out to comfort him. Garfield is touched, but then hops inside and locks the doggy door, and locks Odie out. Odie runs away and ends up found by a sweet old lady.
Jon finds out Odie has gone and he feels terrible. After putting up posters around town, Liz arrives for the dinner, Jon cancels the dinner and tells Liz about Odie. Jon and Liz than work to together to find Odie. Meanwhile Happy Chapman finds a found poster by the old lady and knows it is Odie. He takes back Odie (which is a crime, because it is not his dog) and the dog performs on the Happy Chapman show. Garfield sees him and Happy announces that he and Odie are going to New York by train for a big performance. Garfield attempts to show Jon, but the show goes to a Wendy's commercial. Garfield then sets out on a mission to rescue the pup.
In the city, Garfield meets Louis again and the mouse guides the fat cat to the Telegraph Tower. Garfield can't go in by the doors, so he climbs the vents and finds Odie in Happy's room. Happy comes in and puts on a inhumane shock collar that with a press of a button, Odie gets a small shock and performs backflip. Happy than heads to the Train Stationa and Garfield follows behind, The tabby is than caught by Animal Control and is thrown in the pound. Jon sees Liz at a clothing store and tells Liz that Garfield has run away too. The couple goes and investigates. Finding a found poster of Odie, the old lady says Odie is Happy Chapman's dog and the two drive to telegraph tower.
Garfield, at the pound meets Persnikitty (voiced by Alan Cumming), Happy's last show cat that he thrown inside the pound. A family arrives to take a cat home for a pet. Persnikitty, Garfield, and 3 other cats are taken and lined up behind a wall. The little girl picks Persnikkity. The old show cat tells Garfield that he will press the red button (opens all the cages) in order to escape. All the caged up animals ran like mad cows out in the city.
At the Train Station, Happy places Odie in the luggage cart and sits down for lunch. Garfield just misses the train. Jon and Liz arrive at the Train Station after being told that Happy was going to leave. Garfield sneaks into the control room, and messes with the commands. The tracks get rearranged that all the trains are on the same tracks. Just when the trains are about to collide, Garfield stops all the trains with the press of a certain button. Garfield climbs in the luggage cart after the train returns to the station. He reunites with Odie.
Happy sees Garfield and Odie run out and is shocked. He runs out and chases them into the Stations Luggage Halls, he traps the two animals and threatens Odie with the shock collar. Garfield jumps to the rescue and Happy throws the tabby on some luggage. Garfield gets up and is greeted by the pound animals. They've come to help. The animals corner Happy, and Garfield gives orders to attack and place the shock collar on Happy's neck. The pound animal leaves than Garfield and Odie finish off Happy with 2 shocks of the collar. Jon and Liz arrive, Jon furiously punches Chapman. Jon promises the cat and dog to never leave them out of his sight. Chapman gets arrested and Garfield is now known as a hero.
Back home, Liz and Jon began a relationship, along with a passionate kiss. Garfield learns friendship and love, and they live as a big happy family.
Yahoo! Movies critics' gave it a C-.
Overall, a majority of critics called it strictly a "kiddies' movie".
However, Roger Ebert gave Garfield The Movie a "Thumbs Up" stating that he felt that the movie "is funny and charming," while The Washington Post said it is "fun" and People thought it "Clever."
|First Week Gross||US$||21,727,611|