A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (sequel to Garfield) has some crude humor. The villain makes rude comments about female bodies and behaves in a predatory fashion. He also tries to drown the (animated) cat, trains his Rottweiler to attack the cat, and schemes to gain control of an inherited estate; he wields a crossbow and an old-fashioned gun. The cat teases and abuses a smaller dog repeatedly, then draws the big dog into a trap by calling him a "girly dog." The dog bites a man in the crotch and the butt on separate occasions; a man is ravaged by animal-orchestrated hijinks. Animals take over and trash a kitchen (a ferret gets drunk). Some potty humor.
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What's the story?
As Jon (Breckin Meyer) tries to propose to Liz (Jennifer Love Hewitt), she's distracted by a prestigious professional speaking engagement in London. Jon follows her to England, hoping to make his move, with Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray) and the non-speaking wirehaired dachshund Odie (whom Garfield bullies mercilessly). Across the pond, they discover a second animated cat, Prince (Tim Curry), who has just inherited his dead owner's estate, leading the next-in-line human relative, Dargis (Billy Connolly) fiercely determined to gain hold of it. His efforts to kill Prince lead the other animals -- barnyard and household, voiced by estimable talents like Bob Hoskins (bulldog), Vinnie Jones (Rottweiler), Jane Horrocks (mouse), and Richard E. Grant (parrot) -- to revolt.
Is it any good?
Smarmy and smug, GARFIELD: A TAIL OF TWO KITTIES is the unwanted, unnecessary sequel to 2004's Garfield. Though the script includes some ostensibly clever references to literature (for plot, Twain's Prince and the Pauper, for title only, Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities), the majority of the film consists of dopey jokes about Garfield's insatiable appetites, selfishness, and laziness.
Garfield is quite brilliantly animated, nearly three-dimensional. Breckin Meyer's admirable effort to act opposite an animated creature is to be commended. Dargis, meanwhile, is so creepy he appears to deserve the Home Alone-ish violence directed at him, but the storyline is so unimaginative, it's hard to keep still even for the short running time of 80-some minutes. While kids at one screening laughed at the couple of fart jokes and Dargis' falling down and whimpering, for the most part, the movie left them cold as well.
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