Garfield and Friends

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Garfield and Friends

Garfield the Cat, as seen in the show's opening sequence
Genre Animated series
Creator(s) Jim Davis (original comic strips)
Starring Lorenzo Music
Gregg Berger
Thom Huge
Julie Payne
Desirée Goyette
Victoria Jackson
Howard Morris
Frank Welker
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of episodes 121 (242 Garfield segments and 121 U.S. Acres segments) (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Jim Davis
Lee Mendelson
Phil Roman
Running time 30 minutes (with commercials)
Original channel CBS (Nicktoons (1992-1999))
Original run September 17, 1988December 17, 1994
IMDb profile summary

Garfield and Friends was an American animated television series based on the popular comic strip Garfield by Jim Davis. This show was originally produced by Film Roman, and ran on CBS Saturday mornings from 1988 to 1994. The show's seven seasons make it one of the longest running Saturday morning cartoons in history (most only lasted one or two seasons).

Regular segments featured both Garfield and U.S. Acres, a lesser-known comic strip created by Davis. The latter was retitled Orson's Farm for foreign syndication.

242 Garfield segments and 121 U.S. Acres segments were produced. There were two "Garfield" segments on each show, two "quickie" shorts based on Sunday comic strips, and in between was an U.S. Acres segment. A total of 121 half-hours were produced, and as of December 6, 2005, all of these have been released on five DVD sets by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The first season aired in a half-hour format. In the second season, it switched to an hour-length format, showing two episodes each week. However, in the show's last season, the second half-hour of the show featured either an episode from the previous season or one of Garfield's TV specials.

For a complete listing of episodes, see List of Garfield and Friends episodes.


[edit] Voice actors and their characters

The Latin American dub is made by Leornardo Céspedes Producciones, in Santiago de Chile. The voice of Garfield in Spanish is done by Sandro Larenas. Due to market decisions, the cat's voice in the 2005 movie was dubbed by Adriàn Uribe. Many people think the low success of the movie in Chile is related to this topic.

John Arbuckle's (Jon Bonachon for Latin America) voice is dubbed in Chile by the actor Alfredo Castillo, who's been working in the Chilean sitcom "Los Venegas" since its debut in 1989.

In addition to the regular voice actor cast above, there have been several celebrity guest stars who did voice acting on Garfield & Friends. They are, in chronological order:

  • Episode 5: Ami Foster, best known as Margeaux, Punky's rich friend on Punky Brewster, provided the voice of a rich, spoiled girl in the Garfield short "Garfield's Moving Experience."
  • Episode 19: Robin Leach, best known as the host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, provided the voice for the host of "Lifestyles of the Fat and Furry" in the Garfield short "Fat and Furry."
  • Episode 27: Chick Hearn, the late TV and radio commentator for the Los Angeles Lakers, portrayed a rodent version of himself named Chick Mouse in the Garfield short "Basket Brawl." In addition, he interviews a rodent version of Jack Nicholson during the episode, referring to Nicholson's constant presence courtside at Laker games.
  • Episode 45: June Foray, a voice actress for animated programs and best known as the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel and Natasha Fatale in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show as well as Cindy Lou Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, voices a witch character who kidnaps Odie in the Garfield short "Flat Tired."
  • Episode 51: Paul Winchell, famed ventriloquist and voice actor notable for voicing several animated characters such as Tigger, Dick Dastardly, and Gargamel, voices Gramps and Mr. Baggit in the Garfield short "Supermarket Mania."
  • Episode 63: Rod Roddy, the late The Price is Right and Press Your Luck announcer, voices the announcer of a game show called "End of the Rainbow" where Roy Rooster plays a Let's Make a Deal-style game with a leprechaun in the U.S. Acres short "Over the Rainbow."
  • Episode 88: James Earl Jones, best known as the voice of Darth Vader, plays a ghost named Diablo who during a meeting of fellow ghosts, points out that the smallest ghost, McCraven, has "never scared so much as a butterfly" in the Garfield short "Ghost of a Chance."
  • Episode 89: John Moschitta, best known for his very fast talking and his 1980s Federal Express and Micro Machines commecials as well as the voice of Blurr on Transformers, plays a fast talking saleman named Supersonic Seymour who tries to con Jon into doing all his errands much too fast (and take his money in the process) in the Garfield short "Supersonic Seymour."
  • Episode 91: Don Knotts, best known as Deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, plays a home security system salesman who, like Fife, is obsessed with following and obeying all rules to the letter in the Garfield short "Safe at Home."
  • Episode 116: George Foreman, a former Heavyweight Boxing Champion, plays a boxer named George Fisticuff in the Garfield short "Food Fighter."

[edit] The cast

[edit] "Garfield"

Arlene in her cameo appearance in an episode
Arlene in her cameo appearance in an episode
  • Garfield: A fat, lazy tabby cat (once described in the comic strip by his owner Jon as "an orange meatball with stripes") who wants nothing more out of life than to eat and sleep. Enjoys tormenting Odie and likes trying to mail Nermal to Abu Dhabi. He made a small handful of appearances on U.S. Acres (once wearing nothing but a black mask over his eyes as his "disguise"), but was more often seen in the form of various Garfield merchandise the characters appeared to own.
  • Odie: A beagle who used to belong to Jon's former roommate Lyman (who never appeared on the show, but was a character who appeared in the earliest comic strips). Is often kicked off the kitchen table by Garfield. Looks incredibly stupid and gullible, but is actually much more cunning and smart than he lets on. Odie is the only animal character who doesn't communicate with any form of dialogue, solely communicating with body language and his enthusiastic barking and other dog sound effects.
  • Jon Arbuckle: A bachelor cartoonist who has poor luck with women and a somewhat nerdy demeanor. Often annoyed by some of Garfield's antics, and he has an unrequited love for Dr. Liz.
  • Binky the Clown: A loud, obnoxious clown who appeared a few times in the strip before becoming a regular on the show. Within the series, Binky has his own TV show that Garfield and Jon try to avoid watching. Binky once had his own segment on the series called "Screaming With Binky" that was the length of a Quickie. (Most of these segments were removed in syndication.) His catchphrase is, "Heeeeeey, kiiiiiiids!" at the tops of his lungs.
  • Nermal: A cute gray kitten who's the self-proclaimed "World's Cutest Kitten". Nermal seems kind and playful, but likes to annoy Garfield and brag about how much cuter he is. Garfield often attempts (usually unsuccessfully) to mail him to Abu Dhabi as a result.
  • Herman Post: A mailman who loves delivering the mail. Is constantly the victim of booby traps set by Garfield.
  • Dr. Liz Wilson: Garfield's sarcastic veterinarian and long-time crush of Jon Arbuckle. She occasionally dates him, but these outings always become disasters (often thanks to Garfield tagging along for the ride).
  • Floyd: A mouse who shows up at least once every season. A common running gag with the character is his continuous complaints over not appearing often.
  • Cactus Jake: The foreman of the Polecat Flats dude ranch; behaves in the manner of an old-fashioned cowboy, and often refuses to have anything to do with modern technology.
  • Al G. Swindler: As his name suggests, he is a businessman and con artist who constantly swindles the perennially gullible Jon, but is eventually outwitted by Garfield.
  • The Buddy Bears (Bobby, Billy, Bertie): Three talking bears who spew conformist propaganda in the form of song and dance ("never have an opinion of your own," "if you ever disagree, it means that you are wrong/Oh, we are the Buddy Bears; we always get along," etc.) Their television show once replaced Binky's, and Roy Rooster of U.S. Acres has twice been stuck as the fall guy of their routines. The Buddy Bears are a satire of The Get-Along Gang and other '80s cartoons that placed the importance of group harmony over individualism. [1]
  • Penelope: Penelope is Garfield's girlfriend who takes the place of his love interest Arlene from the comics. (The reasons that Arlene does not appear in Garfield and Friends is unknown).

[edit] "U.S. Acres/Orson's Farm"

  • Orson: A friendly pig whose favorite pastime is reading books and imagining himself into many scenarios, a la Walter Mitty.
  • Roy: A self-centered rooster who prides himself on his practical jokes.
  • Wade: A duck who wears a rubber flotation tube, and is admittedly afraid of everything, no matter how trivial. As a gag, the head on his flotation tube copies every movement Wade's real head does.
  • Bo: An affable sheep with a positive, laid-back attitude, whose mannerisms and vernacular are like a California beach bum.
  • Lanolin: A loud-mouthed sheep who spends most of her time disagreeing with her brother, Bo.
  • Booker: A small chick who is constantly in pursuit of an unnamed worm. Got his name from Orson's love of books.
  • Sheldon: Booker's brother, who is still an egg, though his feet have popped out.
  • "The farmer": The unseen owner of the farm.
  • Mort, Gort, and Wart: Orson's older brothers, who are constantly trying to steal vegetables from the farm and torment Orson.
  • The Weasel: One of many predators who attempts to steal the chickens.
  • The Wolf: Another one of the many predators who attempts to steal the chickens.
  • The Worm: A cunning worm who occasionally talks. Constantly pursued by the hapless Booker.
  • Chloe: Roy's niece and a bookish chick. Roy likes her more than he'll admit. She was first introduced in "Uncle Roy to the Rescue", and then was seen again in "Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarfs, pts. 1-2".

[edit] Humor

The chief guiding force behind the show was comedy writer Mark Evanier, also known as a co-creator of Groo the Wanderer, who wrote "virtually all" of the shorts by his admission (with the exception of several shorts that were written by Sharman DiVono during the first four seasons). Because of this, the show (particularly in later seasons) had a markedly different style of humor than the previous specials or strips. Whereas the specials and strips tended to focus on more character-based humor, Garfield and Friends frequently tended to be much wackier and admittedly more sophisticated, in the vein of later cartoons such as Animaniacs or Pinky and the Brain.

Episodes were filled with puns and non sequiturs, and often lapsed into complete absurdity (such as the US Acres short "Over The Rainbow", in which Roy's quest to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow leads him instead to a Let's Make A Deal-style game show complete with Rod Roddy announcing). Running gags were frequent, throughout either single shorts (such as in the Garfield short "The Creature That Lived In The Refrigerator, Behind the Mayonnaise, Next to the Ketchup and to the Left of the Cole Slaw!", in which the name of said creature is spoken repeatedly), or entire seasons (the Klopman Diamond is mentioned in many, many episodes). US Acres characters would frequently make unexplained cameo appearances in Garfield shorts, and vice-versa. For example, the "Giant Radioactive Mutant Guppies" that Garfield and Nermal flushed down the sewer resurfaced in the US Acres quickie that immediately followed, and then one asks the others if they could maybe get on the Muppet Babies, which at that time preceded Garfield and Friends on the CBS Saturday Morning lineup. There was even some mild satire, particularly in the form of the "Buddy Bears", which spoofed such saccharine cartoons as The Get-Along Gang and Smurfs.

Many episodes tended to break the fourth wall. Garfield would frequently address the audience directly, openly acknowledging that he is, in fact, in a cartoon, or he would read through the script to find out what would happen in the short. Another example is a scene where Garfield is trying to prevent a plane from crashing and asking the audience to check the TV listings to make sure it's not the last episode. The characters would even fight with unnamed network executives over the direction of the show, and in at least one instance, the show was "canceled". Entire shorts would even be built around this conceit, such as "Mistakes Will Happen", a short that featured Garfield disputing a claim that the show was featuring various mistakes - and then proceeding to run a short that was filled with dozens of animation, sound, and writing errors. In one short, "Flat Tired", Garfield refused to do a cartoon, stating to the cameramen "Go away. I'm not in this episode." Odie takes over the short (complete with a title card with Odie's name/logo) as "A Witch In Time", wherein he is kidnapped by a witch, and rescued (reluctantly) by Garfield.

[edit] Production

When the show was originally broadcast on CBS, the episodes usually had three Quickies (30- to 45-second gags), usually two "Garfield Quickies" (the first one being played before the intro theme) and one "U.S. Acres Quickie," the latter of which was never shown in syndication. Midway through the second season, "Screaming with Binky" quickie-style segments were added. These "Screaming with Binky" segments were typically used at the halfway point of hour long blocks of Garfield and Friends (as Garfield ended each one with "We'll be right back.") to let the viewers know that unlike most Saturday morning cartoons at the time, it was not over in the usual half-hour. However, in the syndicated reruns, only one Quickie is shown per episode, and it's always at the end rather than around the shorts. The DVD sets and Boomerang reruns restore the orginial rotation. After the third season, only one "Garfield Quickie" is shown per episode.

[edit] Theme song

The show has had three different theme songs. The first one was used during the first two seasons, and was also occasionally hummed or sung by the characters within the show. It was a song-and-dance style number about friendship, presumably based on the fact that the show was called Garfield and Friends. The second theme song first appeared in the third season and was used for almost the rest of the show's run, although some of the clips in the sequence were changed in the sixth season. The idea of this song, which featured upbeat conga music, that watching the show was as much fun as going to a party. This theme song is the only one used in The Program Exchange reruns. In the seventh (and final) season, a rap-based theme song was used, and perhaps due to not being included in the international version, it does not appear on the DVD releases.

[edit] DVD Releases

Fox Entertainment has released Garfield and Friends on DVD in Region 1 for the very first time. All 7 seasons have been released in 5 Volume sets.

Vols. 1 & 2 of Garfield and Friends
Vols. 1 & 2 of Garfield and Friends
Vols. 3, 4 & 5 of Garfield and Friends
Vols. 3, 4 & 5 of Garfield and Friends

[edit] U.S. Releases

  • Volume One: Released July 27, 2004 contains 24 episodes. Features all the episodes from Season 1 and part of Season 2.
  • Volume Two: Released December 7, 2004 contains 24 episodes. Features episodes from the rest of Season 2 and part of Season 3.
  • Volume Three: Released April 19, 2005 contains 24 episodes. Features episodes from the rest of Season 3 and 15 episodes of Season 4.
  • Volume Four: Released August 30, 2005 contains 24 episodes. Features the final episode of Season 4, all of Season 5, and part of Season 6.
  • Volume Five: Released December 6, 2005 contains the final 25 episodes. Features the rest of Season 6, and all of Season 7.

Each Garfield and Friends DVD Volume Box Set features Garfield with a U.S. Acres character. Volume 1 features Orson Pig, Volume 2 features Roy Rooster, Volume 3 features Wade Duck, Volume 4 features Booker and Sheldon Chick, and Volume 5 features Bo and Lanolin Sheep. Garfield and Friends Volume Box Sets contain 3 DVDs in each box. Volumes 1-4 contain 8 episodes on each disc. The first two DVDs on Volume 5 each contain 8 episodes, while the last DVD on Volume 5 contains 9 episodes. Each disc order of each set is like this: Disc 1 always features Garfield, Disc 2 features a U.S. Acres character and Disc 3 features a different character from the comic strip. The following is the order of the inside of each disc for each DVD set:

Australian "Volume One" release.
Australian "Volume One" release.
  • Volume 1: Disc 1: Garfield Disc 2: Orson Disc 3: Odie
  • Volume 2: Disc 1: Garfield (wearing pajamas) Disc 2: Roy Disc 3: Jon
  • Volume 3: Disc 1: Garfield (wearing a scuba mask & snorkel) Disc 2: Wade Disc 3: Pooky
  • Volume 4: Disc 1: Garfield (wearing a hankercheif) Disc 2: Booker Disc 3: Arlene (although she doesn't appear on the TV series)
  • Volume 5: Disc 1: Garfield (wearing a scarf) Disc 2: Lanolin Disc 3: Nermal

These DVD sets are also available in Canada.

[edit] Australian Releases

The "Volume 1" set was released in Australia (Region 4) on December 13th, 2004. The contents of this set are exactly the same as that of the U.S. release. However, unlike in the U.S., the Australian version is also available as three separate discs.

As of 2007, the other four volumes have yet to be released.

[edit] Trivia

  • The show makes frequent references to the Klopman Diamond, a fictional diamond which was originally an old Johnny Carson joke.
  • In one segment, Garfield answers the door saying, "This is Garfield your doorman," a nod to Music's previous famous role as the unseen Carlton the Doorman in Rhoda.[citation needed]
  • In the U.S. Acres episode "The Name Game," Wade is wearing slippers that resemble Grimmy the Dog from Mother Goose and Grimm, another comic strip which also had an animated series on CBS at the time the episode aired. In commercials advertising the show, Garfield mentioned Grimmy to be a friend of his.
  • The original theme music to U.S. Arces/Orson's Farm was composed by Thom Huge.
  • In the original theme music (the song-and-dance style number about friendship), one of the female singers is Desirée Goyette the voice of Nermal.
  • One of the episodes, Fit for a King, actually had a swear word in it toward the end of the story he was reading.
  • The episode "Video Airlines" appears to be an updated version of a sequence in a Tex Avery cartoon called "TV of Tomorrow" in which a man finds, to his dismay, that the exact same thing is playing on every channel (in the original cartoon, it's a western).

[edit] Syndication history

Only 73 episodes out of the 121 episodes are syndicated by The Program Exchange. This is due to CBS selling syndication rights when the show was still on air and wanting to keep the rights for certain episodes. When the series ended, the rest of the episodes were offered to the syndicate, but declined. However, the reruns shown on Boomerang are the same as the DVD masters. The show was removed from their lineup on December 3, 2006. However, they still own the rights to the show.

[edit] International

[edit] Australia

[edit] United Kingdom

[edit] Chile

[edit] Argentina

[edit] Estonia

[edit] Finland

[edit] External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:

Garfield | Jon Arbuckle | Odie | List of Garfield characters
Television specials
Here Comes Garfield | Garfield on the Town | Garfield in the Rough | Garfield's Halloween Adventure | Garfield in Paradise | A Garfield Christmas | Garfield Goes Hollywood | Garfield: His 9 Lives | Garfield's Babes and Bullets | Garfield's Thanksgiving | Garfield's Feline Fantasies | Garfield Gets a Life
Video games
Garfield: Big Fat Hairy Deal | Garfield: A Winter's Tail | Garfield: A Week of Garfield | Garfield Labyrinth | Garfield: Caught in the Act | Garfield: The Search for Pooky | Garfield & His Nine Lives | Garfield Bound for Home
Garfield | Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties
Other media
Am I Cool or What? | Garfield As Himself | Garfield and Friends | List of Garfield and Friends episodes | Garfield's Holiday Celebrations
Jim Davis | U.S. Acres | Gnorm Gnat
In other languages