A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this CGI-animated series based on the long-running comic strip by Jim Davis offers more of the same exaggerated antics that viewers have come to expect from the infamously greedy orange tabby. Garfield is a model of irksome behavior, habitually shirking responsibility, abusing Odie’s loyalty, and stirring up enough trouble to keep his dim owner on his toes. That said, there’s enough fantasy to the show (Garfield talks and fixes his own lunch, after all) to ensure that most kids won’t misinterpret the content as real life lessons.
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What's the story?
The lasagna-loving orange feline made famous in Jim Davis’s long-running comic strip is up to his usual antics in THE GARFIELD SHOW, a CGI-animated series that centers on the titular cat (voiced by Frank Welker); his canine pal, Odie (Gregg Berger); and their well-intentioned but simple owner, Jon (Wally Wingert). The only thing bigger than Garfield’s insatiable appetite is his penchant for trouble, which usually results from one or more of his many personality flaws and always seems to inconvenience others more than himself. Whether it’s selfishly cashing in on the scientific find that Odie digs up in the backyard or eating Jon’s friend’s pets for snacks, Garfield is a misguided yet unstoppable force of nature who somehow always manages to solve the cycle of problems he causes.
Is it any good?
Since his introduction in 1978, Garfield has garnered legions of fans, and this series proves that a good dusting is all this oldie needs to make it appealing to a new generation. The show’s CGI animation gives it a modern look that will appeal to today's kids, and Garfield’s over-the-top adventures play to their imaginative nature. While young viewers won't be absorbing any substantial positive content from this show, the absence of anything truly iffy is welcome.
That said, were Garfield a human character rather than a furry feline, his excessive personality shortcomings would be more unsettling. The show's fantastical nature means that kids probably won’t think twice about the extent of his greediness, his sloth-like laziness, or the control he wields over Odie, but it’s worth drawing attention to these traits to talk about these issues with kids. While you’re at it, you can add some gentle reminders about the marketing techniques that the media uses to influence our buying habits, since Garfield’s image graces everything from clothing to school supplies.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the media influences our buying habits. Kids: What products have you seen with Garfield’s image? Are you more inclined to want clothing or toys when they have a popular character on them?
What are some of Garfield’s iffy habits? How do they affect the people (and animals) around him? Do you have any bad habits? Have you ever tried to change them?
How does this cartoon compare to some of your favorites? What makes Garfield likable despite his many questionable personality traits? What kinds of cartoon characters do you like most?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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