What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cartoon series (based on Jim Davis' long-running comic strip) is silly and quirky. Garfield is, as ever, a lasagna-loving, dog-kicking sarcastic grump, but he always comes through for Jon and Odie in the end. Among the barnyard animals in the U.S. Acres portion of the show, some characters are good role models and some aren't, but, again, they always work together as a team when it matters. Some of the series' jokes might fly over kids' heads, but overall the show shouldn't raise any eyebrows.
What's the story?
GARFIELD AND FRIENDS chronicles the animated adventures of comic strip megastar Garfield (voiced by Lorenzo Music), his dorky owner Jon (Thom Huge), and his canine sidekick Odie (Gregg Berger) -- as well as a barnyard full of farm animals based on another strip by Garfield's creator, Jim Davis. Whether Garfield is plotting to get a lifetime supply of Meow Chow or escaping to the tropics to avoid a Monday, kids are guaranteed to giggle at his schemes and antics. And just to make sure he doesn't wear out his welcome, the show includes lots of segments starring the U.S. Acres gang -- Orson the pig (Berger), Roy the rooster (Huge), Wade the duck (Howard Morris), and sheep siblings Bo (Frank Welker) and Lanolin (Julie Payne).
Is it any good?
It's safe to say that kids won't learn much from watching Garfield and Friends, but as "fluffy," mental-break cartoons go, at least it isn't full of violence and innuendo. Just be prepared to explain that Garfield's sometimes selfish, lackadaisical behavior isn't something to aspire to if your kids start craving lasagna and kicking the dog.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about the way Garfield acts. Why is he so likable despite the fact that he's lazy and selfish? Would you like a person who acted the way Garfield does? Why or why not? How can you tell that Garfield cares about Odie, despite the way he treats him sometimes? Which farm characters remind you the most of Garfield and his friends? Do you like Garfield or the U.S. Acres gang better? Why?