Based upon the comic by Jim Davis, "Garfield and Friends" ran for six years on Saturday mornings and was recently made into a CGI/live-action feature film by Fox (with a sequel on the way for next Summer.) The series did a remarkable job creating a wide variety of adventures for a comic strip that was essentially about a fat, lazy feline whose life is largely dedicated to eating as much lasagna as possible and sleeping and/or avoiding owner Jon and his irritably perky dog, Odie.
Although Garfield's stories were always surprisingly inspired, the running time for the series was filled out by "US Acres", an amusing series - also based on a strip - about Orson Pig, who looked over his fellow farm friends, such as Wade Duck. The series was never quite as funny as "Garfield", but episodes like one where the group learns the story of the "Wolf who Cried Boy" are pretty entertaining.
It's too bad that Saturday morning fare isn't remotely like this anymore. "Garfield and Friends" is one of those rare animated shows that's targeted towards kids, and yet manages offer elements that appeal to adults. The voice work was also priceless, with Lorenzo Music doing Garfield's voice and bringing remarkably sharp and funny timing and delivery to the performance.
Automated, Animated Adventure; Truckin', It's A Wonderful Wade, Home Sweet Swindler, The Great Inventor, Forget-Me-Not-Newton, Home Away From Home, Odie the Amazing, Rainy Day Robot, The First Annual Garfield Watchers Test, The Record Breaker, Stark Raven Mad, Country Cousin, The Carnival Curse, The Name Game, Renewed Terror, Tooth or Dare, Badtime Story Taste Makes Waist, Day of Doom, The Wolf Who Cried Boy, The Kitty Council, Bad Neighbor Policy, The Bo Show, Creature, & Make Believe Moon.
Dummy of Danger,Canvasback Cat, Jumping Jon, Sooner or Later, Cute For Loot, Dream Date, Caverns of Cocoa, The Worst Pizza, The Garfield Opera, Jack II: The Rest of the Story, Airborne Odie, Bride and Broom, Once Upon a Time Warp, Cartoon Cat Conspiracy, The Picnic Panic, Who Done It?, Sound Judgment, The Perils of Penelope, Gross Encounters, Ghost of a Chance, Revenge of the Living Lunch, Roy Gets Sacked, Supersonic Seymour, Garfield Rap, & A Mildly Mental Mix-Up.
A Vacation From His Senses, The Incredibly Stupid Swamp Monster, Dread Giveaway, Jon the Barbarian, The Kitten and the Council, Uncle Roy to the Rescue, The Canine Conspiracy, Genuine Article, Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarfs, Part 1, The Best Policy, Fishy Feline, Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarfs, Part 2, Next Door Nuisance, Big Feetz, What's It All About, Wade?, The Wright Stuff, Safe at Home, Orson Express, The Pie-Eyed Piper, Sweet Tweet Treat, Fine Feathered Funnyman, The Floyd Story, The Second Penelope Episode, & How Now, Stolen Cow?
VIDEO/AUDIO: "Garfield and Friends" is presented in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The picture quality is perfectly fine, although there are some minor concerns scattered about. Sharpness and detail were not a worry, as definition remained satisfactory throughout and presented the animation clearly.
What concerns there were pretty minimal, with some slight instances of grain and minor specks/marks visible infrequently. No shimmering or edge enhancement was apparent, but a couple of trace instances of pixelation were spotted. Colors looked bright and vivid, showing nice saturation and no signs of fading.
The show's mono soundtrack was perfectly adequate, presenting dialogue, sound effects and music crisply and clearly.
EXTRAS: The only extras are a couple of Fox promos.
Final Thoughts: "Garfield and Friends" is a terrific show that adults and kids can both enjoy together, and hopefully these releases from Fox will allow the series to get a new generation of fans. This DVD set provides barely any extras, but audio/video quality is fine. Recommended.