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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Garfield Holiday Celebrations (2004)

- Garfield (Lorenzo Music; from Garfield's Halloween Adventure)

Review By: Jeff Rosado   
Published: October 28, 2004

Stars: Garfield, Odie, Jon
Other Stars: Voices of Lorenzo Music, Pat Caroll, David L. Lander, Thom Huge, Gregg Berger, Pat Harrington, Jr., Julie Payne, C. Lindsay Workman, Desiree Goyette, Lou Rawls
Director: Phil Roman

Manufacturer: DVCC
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:11m:32s
Release Date: October 26, 2004
UPC: 024543130277
Genre: family

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A-C-B- D-

DVD Review

Like many family traditions at Christmastime, it's just not the holiday season unless my kin and I get a chance to view Rudolph trying to overcoming the prejudice of wattage, Frosty coming to life courtesy of a magic hat, Bing warbling White Christmas to those homesick World War II servicemen, Charlie Brown finding a special little tree. and a young Natalie Wood about to burst with joy over a last minute miracle courtesy of a man named Kringle.

Oh, good heavens! One more I almost forgot about!

That lovably sarcastic fat cat Garfield dreading a trip to owner Jon's folks in A Garfield Christmas Special, one of three classic holiday-themed specials available for the first time on a single collection by way of Fox's Garfield Holiday Celebrations.

Though his transition from Jim Davis' comic strip to the small screen wasn't as successful on a mass scale as Charles Schultz's Peanuts gang, the finicky lasagna-lovin' feline has his share of adamant devotees. And thanks to the excellent work of noted animation producer Phil Roman (the man behind many of the classic Charlie Brown specials of yore), many of Garfield's animated adventures are unceasingly fun, serving a lot of laughs with much of the credit going to the perfect casting of writer Lorenzo Music as the voice of the title character. Sounding a few shades more awake than his stoically sleepy (and Lord knows what else) Carlton Your Doorman from the mid-1970s sitcom, Rhoda, Music's monotone delivery fits the lazy house cat's personality so well that it's hard to imagine anyone else doing a better job (deep apologies to Bill Murray, who gave it a try in the recent big screen flop).

Garfield's Halloween Adventure kicks off the triple feature as the Orange One is all smiles and excitement as he awaits his favorite holiday night of the year ("no dumb bunnies, no fireworks, no relatives—just candy"). After deciding on costumes, Garfield and his ever-cheerful pup sidekick Odie hit the streets, collecting many a sweet treat until curiosity gets the best of them and they hit one house too many—and a haunted one at that.

Being of the "bulging waistline? who cares" crowd, turkey day ranks a very close second on the celebration calendar. Garfield's Thanksgiving captures our fave fat cat plotting out dinner until a serious-minded female veterinarian advises Jon to put his pet on a serious diet. What's worse, the dour doc is coming over for holiday dining. What could be worse? Odie playing food cop? Definitely.

Though the previous two specials are much fun, A Garfield Christmas Special is a certifiable holiday classic with the Roman team and crew in peak form. With yet another Christmas Eve trip to the Arbuckle family farm with Jon and Odie combined with the usual boring oft-told stories being brought out for another telling, Garfield would much rather sleep in until New Year's. Gamely giving into tradition, he finds his participation rewarded when he meets his match with Jon's feisty, lovable grandma, and it's mutual admiration at first glance. Although they neither is the caroling, tradition-minded kind, there's another reason why the elder Arbuckle isn't really in a holiday frame of mind—and only Garfield is privy to her emotions, resulting in one of the most touching moments I've ever seen in a holiday animation special. It never fails to warm my heart year in and year out.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The thrill of having these three terrific specials on one disc was quickly tempered once the visuals came up from black. Dirty, grimy prints that are no doubt existing production masters are lazily utilized here. Even Odie would be depressed at the lack of quality exhibited here. Colors are barely accurate, significant grain and an overall presentation that looks so old. Although memory sometimes creates visuals that are embellished and enhanced, there's no way these shows looked this inferior in original broadcasts. Very disappointing.

Image Transfer Grade: C-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Soundwise, the single channel mono track is pretty much in keeping with the atypical sound of mid-to-late '80s television. Not too flat, not too tinny, not just right, but it works for me.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 9 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: In terms of extras, there's a handy Play All function, but that's it.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

Garfield Holiday Celebrations gathers three terrific animated specials that will entertain the whole family—but the quality of the programs collected is served terribly by an awful set of transfers that not even an all-you-can-stuff lasagna buffet can rectify.


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