'Fails Both Kids And Their Parents': The Garfield Movie Hasn't Exactly Won Over Critics

Garfield as seen in his latest incarnation
Garfield as seen in his latest incarnation DNEG Animation

Previous attempts to bring Garfield to the big screen have never exactly won over critics, and it seems the classic character’s latest foray into cinemas won’t exactly be the exception.

Early reviews for the new animated film The Garfield Movie (boasting Chris Pratt as the voice of the titular lasagne-lover, alongside a cast that includes Samuel L Jackson and Hannah Waddingham) have now been released, and let’s just say they’ll give Garfield one more reason to hate Mondays.

Many critics have taken issue with the fact that Garfield’s character seems to have been completely reinvented from what we already know and love about him, which they’ve said makes the film struggle to stand out against animated films that are already out there.

Here’s a selection of what critics have said so far…

The Hollywood Reporter

“[The Garfield Movie] fails both kids and their parents… None of [the film’s] meta references will be entertaining for the very young target audience, nor are they amusing for their adult chaperones. It’s indicative of the laziness and cynicism permeating this enterprise, which sacrifices the character’s subversive humor in favor of routine animated hijinks.”


“The result is more a generic product in search of fleeting mass appeal than a work invested in Garfield as a unique character [...] The Garfield Movie serves as a bleak reminder that the future of much children’s entertainment made in this country is to become colourful advertisements.”


Chris Pratt’s phoned-in performance as a phone-addicted Garfield doesn’t help [...] Kids might be mildly entertained, but that doesn’t make this less of a hairball.”

Garfield and his owner Jon Arbuckle as they appear in The Garfield Movie
Garfield and his owner Jon Arbuckle as they appear in The Garfield Movie DNEG Animation

The Big Issue

“At no point does anything truly spark to life. I love a dumbass Despicable Me movie or an emotionally wrenching Pixar film. But despite some thinking out of the box, The Garfield Moviedoes not make a particularly convincing case for its existence.”

Total Film (2/5) 

“The hectic plot may keep younger minds from wandering. Long before the film reaches its action-packed, train-based climax, however, adults will be questioning if its three writers have so much as seen an actual Garfield comic strip, given how removed their work feels from its activity-averse inspiration.”

Fandom Wire

“It’s as if the studios bought the brand name and turned the character into a clone of any fish-out-of-water animation adventure. That’s what’s wrong with The Garfield Movie. What makes the character great is washed away for a run-of-the-mill animated family film that you’ve seen nine lives over. It’s purr-fectly predictable from start to its stagnant finish.”


“When I say The Garfield Movie is the best Garfield movie, it’s going to sound like faint praise. Because it is. But faint praise is still praise. While this new film isn’t especially funny it’s still a reasonably enjoyable kids flick.”

The Garfield Movie hits cinemas on Friday 24 May.