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Fox Home Entertainment presents
Garfield Fantasies (1988)

"This poor dog hasn't got a chance."
- Garfield

Review By: Chuck Aliaga   
Published: September 29, 2005

Stars: Lorenzo Music
Other Stars: Gregg Berger, Tom Huge
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:35m:15s
Release Date: May 24, 2005
UPC: 024543183129
Genre: animation

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ A-B-B- D-

DVD Review

The loveably lazy cat that is Garfield has been in our lives since his first newspaper comic strip appearance in 1978. His popularity soared to new heights in the 1980s, when the animated TV series, Garfield & Friends enjoyed a successful run. Also during this time, nearly a dozen half-hour "specials" appeared in prime-time.

The first batch of these specials have been compiled in the previous Fox Video releases, Garfield as Himself, Holiday Celebrations, and Travel Adventures. This disc, Garfield Fantasies, is a collection of the last three of these "special" episodes.

Garfield's story is pretty well known by now, but for the uninitiated, this feline's tail is as follows: Garfield the cat lives in a house with his owner, Jon, and his canine friend, Odie the dog. On the surface, Jon and his pets lead a very dull life, with much of their time spent lounging around the house. However, Garfield likes to stir up trouble whenever he can, using his imagination to the fullest. This lover of any kind of food (especially lasagna) treats Odie as his dumb slave and is basically the real man of the house, even though Jon is the human providing Garfield with his luxurious (by feline standards) existence.

While there haven't been many changes to the overall Garfield storyline, these characters are still as interesting and witty as they were over 25 years ago, 2004's Garfield: The Movie notwithstanding. Never were these characters more interesting than in the aforementioned prime-time specials. As a kid growing up during the heyday of these shows and of Garfield & Friends, I remember jumping for joy when I saw a commercial for the latest holiday-oriented, or fantasy-themed Garfield show. Now, with the release of Garfield Fantasies, all of these specials are finally available on DVD for the next generation of kids to enjoy.

The three shows in Garfield Fantasies are:

Babes and Bullets: Garfield is Private Investigator Sam Spayed, currently involved in the case of the lovely Tanya O'Tabby's dead husband. It appears that everyone is a suspect in this case, including Garfield...I mean Sam's girlfriend, Kitty.

Feline Fantasies: Garfield spends most of the day, every day, daydreaming, and today is no exception. Whether he's a Wild West cowboy, an Indiana Jones-type, or deep-sea diving, there's never a dull moment inside Garfield's brain.

His Nine Lives: This much longer show (48 minutes) takes us on a journey through Garfield's past lives. From his early days in Ancient Egypt to his time as a lab animal, it soon becomes apparent that Garfield's legacy has spanned all of time.

Fox Home Video has done a solid job with this Garfield Fantasies DVD. The lack of extras is disappointing, but the audio and video are up to par with their original TV-broadcast quality.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: These full-frame presentations look just as good, if not ever-so-slightly better than they did when they aired on television. Given their age, it isn't surprising that there's a lot of dirt present, and the color rendering isn't always consistent. Still, purists will love to enjoy these shows just the way they remembered them, and these transfers definitely make that possible.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio also sounds good given the age of these shows, but pales in comparison to today's animated shows. The sharp, clear dialogue is the best aspect of the tracks, never fading or being drowned out by the other audio aspects. Everything pretty much stays up front, but the surrounds do make a whimper from time to time.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 19 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Other Trailer(s) featuring Strawberry Shortcake
Packaging: Keep Case
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Unfortunately, the only extra feature is a Strawberry Shortcake trailer.

Extras Grade: D-


Final Comments

The last of the Garfield prime-time specials are now available on DVD in the Garfield Fantasies collection. While it's great to have these shows at our fingertips, it would be even better if they were together in one nice DVD set.


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