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Garfield and Friends: Volume Three (June 1/05)

There are some cartoons that, although they're made primarily for children, manage to keep adults engaged thanks to smart writing, stellar voice work, and top-notch animation (Looney Tunes remains the best example of this). Garfield and Friends, unfortunately, is not such a show.

The series follows Garfield as he embarks upon a series of adventures, along with hapless owner Jon and put-upon sidekick Odie. The formula is fairly simple: Garfield drags Jon and Odie into some kind of crazy scheme, and wackiness ensues. For example, in an episode entitled "Beddy Buy," Garfield finds himself in the market for a new bed and heads off to the store with Jon to find an appropriate replacement. After rejecting almost every bed in the store, Garfield finally finds one he likes - which just happens to be the most expensive one there. Jon relents and purchases the garish and expensive item, only to later discover Garfield sleeping in the bed's box. It's a predictable outcome for a story that's not exactly clever (Jon has to sleep in the cat bed in order to get his money's worth), but essentially sums up the series quite well.

Garfield and Friends also features stories from U.S. Acres, another of Jim Davis' creations. The show revolves around a group of animals that somehow run their own farm, including a pig named Orson, a duck named Wade, and a sheep named Bo. Said animals generally find themselves in one unusual situation after another (ie in "Quack to the Future," a time-traveling tractor is invented and must be dealt with).

Garfield and Friends might appeal to nostalgic adults who grew up watching the show, but otherwise, this one's best left to the kids.

 

About the DVD: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment packs these three discs with 23 episodes of the series (each episode includes three stories and a couple of shorts), although the transfers do leave something to be desired. Bonus features are limited to trailers for Garfield: The Movie and Strawberry Shortcake.