If it's true that cats have nine lives, then we could be in for some real punishment with the Garfield franchise. The first film stank like an old litter tray and this sequel is "pretty paw-ltry" too. Even the vocal talent of Bill Murray was not enough to put bums on seats, although easy-to-please toddlers were probably rolling in the aisles.
Quick On The Draw
Behind the scenes access is limited on this DVD. Visual effects supervisors give a dry explanation of their work over random clips in the Nine Lives featurette. If you're not familiar with the storyboarding process and don't know what CGI is, then you may be impressed, otherwise the only point of interest is the fact that director Tim Hill used a cuddly toy Garfield as a stand-in for lighting set-ups. There are no interviews with the human cast, but let's face it, there's not much for them to boast about.
Garfield creator Jim Davis does his Rolf Harris bit in Drawing With Jim Davis. Budding animators can see how a carefully ordered bunch of circles come together to form Garfield, Odie and Pooky. Pen & Ink goes a little deeper into the process of crafting an entire comic strip with Davis insisting, "Garfield writes his own material – I just edit." (It's no use blaming the cat, Jim!) After a few quick sketches, a bit of ink outlining and some colouring on, the final result is a three-window gag, showcased separately on this DVD.
A small menagerie of live action critters enjoy their moment in the spotlight in the featurette Working With Hot Dogs And Cool Kitties. We use the word 'enjoy' loosely, as 'Butch the Bull' looks so depressed he needs an animal wrangler to remind him to breathe. Similarly, 'Theo the Ferrett' takes a flying leap off a tree stump when one of the trainers asks him to stand up and beg for the umpteenth time.
Garfield and Odie take a whistle-stop tour of London in On The Town, a featurette that claims pigeons leave one tonne of "poop" in Trafalgar Square every year. Is that what that smell is?...
A music video and a couple of set-top games round off the package. The games are simple enough for young children to play, but there's little else to hold their interest. Your household cat could cough up more interesting fluff than this.