Fox // 1988 // 131 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // May 15th, 2008
Nerd is the word.
After having to sit through the awful Garfield: The Movie and its disastrous sequel Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, it feels pretty good to spend some time revisiting the original cartoon series Garfield and Friends. The show had a successful run from 1988 to 1995, entertaining kids and grown-ups alike with hilarious episodes showcasing Garfield's incredible laziness and his special relationship with nerdy Jon. In Garfield: A Cat and His Nerd, the fat cat returns to DVD with 15 short episodes selected from several of the show's seven seasons.
Here's what the disc has to offer:
* "Wedding Bell Blues"
Garfield thinks Jon is getting married, imagining what life would be like if Jon had kids.
* "Jukebox Jon"
Jon tries to get rid of his nail biting, but Garfield accidentally disrupts his plans.
* "The Great Inventor"
Garfield explains to his viewers how a great cat once invented lasagna.
* "Jumping Jon"
Jon wants to go skydiving, but Garfield thinks it's the stupidest idea ever.
* "Supersonic Seymour"
Jon hires a man to help him do more stuff around the house.
* "Jon the Barbarian"
Jon the cartoonist risks everything to win over the love of his life.
* "Jailbird Jon"
Jon visits the prison to give inmates cartooning lessons, at least until he gets mistaken for a prisoner himself.
* "Rolling Romance"
Jon wants to buy a new car, but Garfield thinks he's being ripped off.
* "Sit on It"
Garfield decides to sit on Jon's Spanish book and refuses to get off.
* "Model Behavior"
Jon runs into a supermodel at the beach.
* "Garfield Goes Hawaiian"
Every time Garfield hears the word Hawaii he starts dancing, prompting Jon to sign him up for an animal talent show.
* "The Black Book"
Jon is excited about his first date with Heather, until something goes wrong.
* "Twice Told Tale"
Frozen yogurt takes over Jon's home.
* "D.J. Jon"
Jon, Garfield and Odie pay visit to cousin D.J. George.
* "Dream Date"
Failing to hook up with women, Jon hopes to find true love on a popular TV show.
Each of the 15 episodes runs about seven minutes, which gives Garfield plenty of time to stir up trouble wherever he goes. Interestingly, the short stories on this disc don't feature many of Garfield's friends, which shifts most of the attention on the relationship between Garfield and Jon. More specifically, each episode showcases in what ways Garfield can either ruin or save Jon's day. There's fast-paced storytelling and solid humor galore for everybody who enjoys simple but hilarious cartoons. While parents may not necessarily feel like watching this disc over and over again, kids will certainly find plenty of pleasure observing the hungry cat putting Jon through the most embarrassing situations.
I have to admit that, while all 15 episodes are funny and original in their own way, only a handful of them really stand out. One of my personal favorites is "Jumping Jon," in which Jon wants to go skydiving and Garfield takes a look back at the stupidest things Jon has ever done in his life. It's a great episode especially because it both shows how well Garfield and Jon can work together and how mean they can be to each other at the same time. I also had a wonderful time watching "Sit on It," in which Garfield deliberately refuses to get off Jon's Spanish book. Other highlights include "Wedding Bell Blues" and "Jailbird Jon."
If I had to pick two episodes I liked least, I would definitely go with "Model Behavior" and "Garfield Goes Hawaiian." As I said before, most of the episodes on this DVD are tons of fun, but these two seem to be the only ones not really fitting in. It's hard to clearly explain why these didn't impress me as much, but I guess I picked them because I quite simply didn't laugh as much. That being said, this little collection is definitely worth an investment. Garfield remains a great cartoon character, and some of his catchy lines are just totally enjoyable to listen to. Here's a sample: "Sleep's not as good as food, but it's a close second."
The episodes' one-minute title sequences get pretty annoying after a while, which is why the fast-forward button on my remote came to great use this time. Even if you choose the "Play all" option in the main menu, you still have to sit through the same introduction before each episode. They really could have cut it short a little.
The disc comes with an English and Spanish mono track, but for what it is, the audio transfer is just fine. For a show that aired at the end of the '80s and early '90s, the sound is quite clear and balanced fairly well with the background music. As far as the picture quality is concerned, you can clearly see the differences between then and today's animation, but the image is sharp enough to enjoy each episode to the fullest extent.
As with most other older animated series, it's always great to see them released on DVD. Garfield: A Cat and his Nerd proves to be more than two hours of light fun for everybody who used to appreciate the series back when it aired and everybody who never got to experience the original episodes and would like to know what the adventures of the fat, lazy cat are all about. Call me a nerd, but I sure like this show.
Meow -- not -- meow -- guilty.
Review content copyright © 2008 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (Spanish)
Running Time: 131 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site