I have loved Garfield ever since I came across him as a boy. I mean, what’s not to like? He is sarcastic, he is comical, he hates small dogs, and he loves sleeping, pigging out, and attacking mail-carriers. So, the attraction was obvious from the beginning, as far as I was concerned. I enjoyed the comics a great deal. And when the television series began to air in the late 80’s, I knew it was going to be a hit. The only question was: who on earth is going to be the voice of the feline sensation that has gripped the nation?! This is huge. I mean, it had to be perfect. Just perfect. Enter Lorenzo Music.
This is where Garfield seriously broke out. Now that he was given a voice – and what a voice – the circle was complete. The drawings by Jim Davis were complemented in such an amazing way by the lazy, hazy, sarcastic voice. It was lovely to behold, and a joy to watch. The comic came to a life in a way that no other had done until then. It was the perfect choice. Now, who’s to say there wasn’t someone else? Maybe there was, maybe there wasn’t. I’d have loved to be there at the auditions (if they were held), and to witness all of the would-be Garfields.
Later on, the movies came out, and it was Bill Murray (if I am not mistaken) who had taken over. I love Bill. Honestly, I do. But it wasn’t the same, and I didn’t enjoy the full-length features as much as I did the cartoon. There is something so classically Garfield about those cartoons, and the films – while appreciated – never lived up to them, in my opinion. Not that I am saying I could have done better, mind you. Those films were great and all, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for those earlier days. And it isn’t just nostalgia, I think. Thinking about on those awesome cartoons, it really was the comic strip come to life, which is something that cannot be easily said for the films.
The Garfield Quickie scenes which were interwoven with the episodes were literally pieces from the comic strip which were animated. How awesome is that? When I backtracked through the comic strips, years later, I could see the originals and it fits. It all fits wonderfully.