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Film Reviews

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (dir. by Phil Roman) 

80.0
Score

Pros

  • While not as impacting as The Great Pumpkin, Garfield & Odie's Adventure is a good one.
  • Kind of a lighter rendition of John Carpenter's The Fog.
  • Lou Rawls music is pretty catchy.

Cons

  • There was more to this story that should have been included.
Animation
8
Fear Factor
7
Plot / Story
8
Music / Sound
9

Final Verdict

Garfield's Halloween Adventure is a fun watch, though perhaps not as impacting as The Great Pumpkin. With a storyline that echoes John Carpenter's The Fog, Garfield & Odie experience a fantastic (if short) Treat or Treat time. I wish the storyline from the book was fully in the animated version, but it's still enjoyable.

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Halloween 2023

Remembering Halloween as a kid, there were two animated staples that marked the season. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is indeed the one to never miss, but there was also Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. I was a Garfield fan growing up, and even had my own miniature plush Garfield named Nermal (which matched my older brother’s larger version, named Garfield, of course). Directed by Phil Roman and written by Garfield’s creator Jim Davis, it was a 30 minute special originally released under the name Garfield in Disguise, based off the comic version with the same title. I remember the skull and crossbones on Garfield’s pirate hat taking on different expressions in each frame – when Garfield was scared, it was too. I have to see if there’s any way to track down the original book. It was the one I always tried to catch, since it also included spooky pirates (much like John Carpenter’s The Fog). The Halloween Special can be found on NBC/Universal/Comcast’s Peacock streaming service, along with the Garfield & Friends channel on YouTube at the time of this writing.

We open on Halloween morning, with Garfield being lazy as usual. When he’s awakened by Binky the Clown’s morning broadcast, it’s business as usual – turn it off and go to sleep. Catching the word “candy” reminds him of the reason Halloween is so special. Garfield comes up with a plan to go trick or treating and bring home as much candy as he can. The idea is improved upon when Odie, the house’s ever faithful canine companion, is brought into the mix. Double the candy, all for Garfield.

Their first job is to find some costumes, and thankfully, everything they need is in the attic. Jon Arbuckle, the pets’ designated Human, kept boxes of clothes. Garfield and Odie manage to come up with OrangeBeard the Pirate and his first mate, Odie the Stupid.

The two begin to have their Trick or Treat, with some spooky (and musical) moments throughout, until Garfield has the idea to across the river for more candy treasure. Like true pirates, they find a boat and sail off until they find an old house. Inside, a old man tells of them of an ancient treasure that was buried on the island and a group of pirates who would return in 100 years on Halloween Night to reclaim it. Shortly after the old man finishes his tale, he disappears, stealing Garfield & Odie’s boat and leaving them to deal with the pirate ghosts.

One element missing from the show (but kept in the book) had the pair actually finding the treasure and stealing part of it in the form of a ring. In the animated piece, Garfield & Odie are chased by the pirates, and swim for their lives. Thankfully, they make it ashore to their side of town, discovering their stolen boat and the candy bags still on board. They finally arrive home and as thanks for saving his life, Garfield awards Odie with one of the candy bags. In the book, the pirates follow Garfield back home, where he gives them the ring. Either way, all is well, and it’s a Happy Halloween for all.

Again, the show is a fun watch for anyone of any age.

Series NavigationAt Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul (dir. by José Mojica Marins) >>

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