7 Things The Garfield Movie Got Completely Wrong

Like any true Garfield fan, I camped out for days to see Garfield: The Movie at midnight on opening night. It was June 11, 2004. There's no way I could forget such an important date. All us lasagna heads were excited to see the first-ever film adaptation of the world's biggest (most syndicated) comic.

Judging from the leaked footage, it appeared the movie would take cues from the classic late-'70s/early-'80s Garfield books. You know the ones: Garfield At Large, Garfield Gains Weight, Garfield Bigger Than Life.

The Holy Trinity, if you will.

In other words, I was hoping that the movie would center on the storyline where Garfield is told to not eat lasagna, is mean to Odie, and then eats the lasagna anyway. Maybe Jon expresses some mild dissatisfaction. That's the real Garfield, man. That's what we all wanted.

Little did we know the travesty against the franchise's good name we were about to witness. Peter Hewitt's Garfield: The Movie is a complete butchering of one of the most popular comics of our generation, so much so that I refused to even discuss it for years after. Sixteen years, to be exact, but I'm finally ready to break my silence. Someone has to do it. We've been quiet for too long, people. Here are seven things GTM got completely wrong about America's favorite fat cat.

#7. Garfield's Face Doesn't Look Like Garfield's Face

His face is on everything from backpacks to hats to T-shirts. Did the filmmakers think we wouldn't notice if they just fudged the details on his appearance? He looks like a police sketch artist's rendition of the actual Garfield. You can tell the marketing department caught this, because the face you see on the posters ...


... is much closer to Garfield's face in the comics ...

OG shit.

... than what we see in the film.

Garfield: The Movie
I wouldn't even wish a face that dumb on Heathcliff fans.

To be completely honest, I found staring at the poster and wondering what a great Garfield movie would be like far more satisfying than watching the huge pile of garbage we eventually got. It's not just his face that looks weird, either ...

#6. Garfield Is Too Thin

When will Hollywood's obsession with slimming down characters end?! Garfield is known for being a fat cat, as he is called this repeatedly in the comics. The Garfield we get in GTM isn't fat, even if a stick-thin Jennifer Love Hewitt says he is.

How about you quit body-shaming and go whisper at some ghosts, jerk?

He may look a little extra floof in the promo picture above, but that's just because he's being cuddled. I'm the one who needed cuddling the first time I saw his gaunt frame in GTM, though.

Garfield: The Movie
Is this movie set in a lasagna-less dystopian future?

I worried that maybe he was sick, to be completely honest. I'd stop short of even calling that plump, much less fat. Hey studio execs: Not every star needs to be 12 pounds thinner than when you found them. Given how much Garfield hates diets (second only to Mondays: issue #2148) I think we can safely say that the cat himself would have hated his slim-down in this movie. Two paws way down.

#5. He Also Walks On All Fours

It's a liiiiitle bit difficult for your wise-crack to really land when you're hunched over like an actual common cat! That's why in the Garfield universe, walking on all fours is reserved for the Odies of the world. At least that was true until this Nermal of a movie.

Garfield: The Movie
Why not just make him a lion while you're at it?

Garfield started walking on his hind legs in 1981, due to a collaboration between creator Jim Davis and godfather of comics Charles Schulz. Does Peter Hewitt know better than Schulz? If so, I'd loooooove to see him create a multi-decade, internationally beloved comic strip/Christmas special. Well, we're all waiting, Mr. Hewitt!

#4. Odie's Origin Story Is Not Canon

Odie's origin story is nothing like it is in the comics.

Garfield: The Movie
He also looks like a real dog; don't even get me started on that bullshit.

***SPOILER ALERT*** Jon adopts him in an effort to impress the vet, as opposed to assuming ownership of him when Lyman (his original owner and Jon's roommate) disappears for no reason and is never mentioned again. This completely changes Jon's relationship with Odie, which is the emotional core of many of the comic's story arcs. That said, the real spoiler alert should be given whenever this movie is played, for spoiling all of our childhood memories.

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Aaron Kheifets

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