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Why is Garfield a cat? Creator Jim Davis explains |

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Why is Garfield a cat? Creator Jim Davis explains

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Why is Garfield a cat? Creator Jim Davis explains
Scene from 'The Garfield Movie'
Columbia Pictures / Released

MANILA, Philippines — "Garfield" creator Jim Davis shared the story behind the beloved Monday-hating, lasagna-loving indoor cat in "The Garfield Movie."

For Davis, who is one of the film’s executive producers, he was thrilled to see an animated film break Garfield out of his three-panel confines.

“It goes without saying that Garfield gets out and around more in animation. Otherwise, why animate him?” said the character’s creator.

“Garfield has the same personality in both mediums. However, since animation is more than three frames, Garfield must get involved with a plot demanding that he leave his bed… In animation, you have the luxury of time to tell the story, plus you get to use music, sound effects, and audible dialog to execute the gags and drive the story.”

Davis said that he created the character to stand in contrast with the many dogs that were ruling the comics page at the time.

“I saw a lot of dogs doing very well – Snoopy, Marmaduke, Fred Basset, you name it,” he said in a statement sent by Columbia Pictures.

“But there were no cats at the time. And I grew up on a farm with about 25 cats on average, and so I knew and loved cats. I thought, ‘Well, if dogs are doing that well, maybe I could use a cat.’ Cats are kind of standoffish – you know where your dog stands, but cats are aloof.”

Because of that, he said, “it’s natural to attribute human thoughts and feelings to cats. Garfield is a human being in a cat suit.”

Indeed, Davis said that Garfield’s staying power comes in the fact that his millions of fans recognize themselves in his foibles. Cats – they’re just like us!

“I hold a mirror to the reader and show them back with a humorous twist,” said Davis. “We’re made to feel guilty for overeating, not exercising, and oversleeping. Garfield relieves our guilt by enjoying all of those things.” 

“Garfield's frustrations are universal,” agreed director Mark Dindal, who helms the lazy and sarcastic hero’s first fully animated big-screen adventure.

“He reminds people of their childhoods. The visual humor will always play. You can find Garfield comics from 15, 20, 30 years ago, and they don’t feel dated because they’re never really rooted in something specific to that time period.”

Producer John Cohen added, “It’s such an honor that Jim Davis entrusted us to be custodians of his creation – there’s nothing that has made me happier than to hear his joy and enthusiastic reactions to the film over the course of production.”

"The Garfield Movie," from Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International, is now showing in cinemas. 

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