Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties

2006, PG, 90 min. Directed by Tim Hill. Voices by Bill Murray, Tim Curry. Starring Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Billy Connolly, Ian Abercrombie.

REVIEWED By Marrit Ingman, Fri., June 16, 2006

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of computer-animated summer movies for children, it was the age of bland and perfunctory sequels with phoned-in voice work. It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity that the first Garfield movie made $75 million and generated a second – a second with not one but two CGI cats and an overseas location. Viewers have everything before them (talking farm animals! a sneering villain! topiary hedges! London scenery!) and nothing before them (Meyer and Hewitt are virtually nonexistent, even when they’re onscreen together). There is a cat with a large belly and a love of lasagna (and the voice of Murray) on the throne of his master’s house; there is an identical cat (voice of Curry) on the throne of Carlyle castle, an estate on the upper Thames. There is an inevitable prince-and-the-pauper mix-up; there are fart jokes and lengthy musical interludes to pad the film. There is a Rottweiler to bite repeatedly the crotch of the cats’ nemesis (Connolly), a mustache-twirling royal pretender who also takes a ferret up the trousers. All these things, and a thousand like them, come to pass in the film’s 90-minute running time with nary a moment of pleasure. Perfectly respectable English thespians – Bob Hoskins, Jane Horrocks, Richard E. Grant, and Vinnie Jones – are laid to waste voicing the flesh-and-blood animals (Rhys Ifans fares the best as a Scots bunny) while Garfield breakdances. A children’s movie about wily farm animals besting their human enemy and saving their manor might have been worth watching, but what is Garfield doing here? Jim Davis’ cartoon strip (and its television incarnations, with voice work by the deadpan Lorenzo Music) isn’t high art, but it at least has a sly charm and a point to make: People are whipped by their pets. It’s about the loving but contentious relationship between cat and man, not about cramming a frame with as many talking animals doing as much wacky shit as possible. A Tail of Two Kitties couldn’t care less about its human principals, and all it wants its animals to do is air-guitar to “Cat Scratch Fever” and wear silly sunglasses. It’s sort of the Hollywood equivalent of a Tijuana donkey painted to look like a zebra, but not quite as funny.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Tim Hill Films
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run
Back to Bikini Bottom for another laugh-filled roadtrip

Richard Whittaker, March 5, 2021

The War With Grandpa
DeNiro back on the "wacky gram-gram" schtick (hope the check cleared)

Steve Davis, Oct. 9, 2020

More by Marrit Ingman
Wonder Stories
Wonder Stories

July 25, 2008

King Corn
The film’s light hand, appealing style, and simple exposition make it an eminently watchable inquiry into the politics of food, public health, and the reasons why corn has become an ingredient in virtually everything we eat.

Nov. 9, 2007


Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Tim Hill, Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Billy Connolly, Ian Abercrombie

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle