On August 30th, Garfield fans can get their paws on the massive fourth installment of Garfield and Friends on DVD. The cartoon series was executive produced by the artist behind the cat, Jim Davis.
This set contains 3 discs loaded with 550 minutes of now classic episodes of the Garfield and Friends Saturday morning cartoon series. Included are episodes 73-96 which originally aired in the late 1980s. Also included are "U.S. Acres" shorts, which fall between Garfield episodes and is a wacky cartoon series about a group of barnyard animals. These short cartoons have not been shown in syndication, so many Garfield fans will be thrilled to see these once again.
These discs contain some welcome nostalgia for older folks, but will still be loved by your small children. Amazon is taking preorders for $27.99, which may seem like a high price, but that's only $9.33 per disc.
Bill Murray was the voice of the famous fat cat in last year's big screen Garfield the Movie. The film grossed $198,567,693 across the world, so I expect this latest edition of the original cartoon series to do quite well. The Movie was my 2 ½ year-old daughter's first exposure to Garfield and she absolutely LOVED it. We rented the Garfield movie DVD and all she wanted to do was watch it. She instantly understood that it was Garfield the cat when I put this Volume 4 DVD in for her, even though the 2D version looks quite different than the 3D movie version. The length of the episodes and discs make it great for parents who want to dictate how much TV they allow their children. 20 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours? You can easily plan how much Garfield they can have in one sitting, up to over 9 hours! Hopefully, no parent will leave his or her child in front of the television for this long, but its good to know you are getting your money's worth with this collection.
If for some reason you're not familiar with Garfield, it started as (and continues to be) one of the most recognized Sunday Morning comic strips in the world. Created by Jim Davis (pictured at right), it follows the exploits of a fat, lazy, orange, lasagna-addicted cat, his owner Jon Arbuckle and the "intelligence-impaired" family dog Odie. The cartoon series is an animated version of the comic strip, which stays true to the aesthetic and humor created by Mr. Davis. It's family friendly and can appeal to adults as well as children, although not to the same degree as a Sponge Bob Square Pants or The Simpsons. You won't find a lot of moral lessons or educational value, but you won't find offensive content either. Garfield is simply good clean family entertainment.