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Garfield

Year: 2004
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Peter Hewitt
Writer: Jim Davis
Cast: Bill Murray, Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Stephen Tobolowsky
It's amazing to think how far CGI has come in just a few short years. Originally it's use seemed restricted to random visuals like explosions, waves and tornadoes.

Much was made about mainstream cinema's first completely CG character, Jar Jar Binks.

Now, just five years later, we hardly bat an eyelid when the star of the show is front and centre like we expect of the hero and yet is absent in every principal scene shot, plugged in later from a hard disk somewhere.

Despite the critical and financial mauling Hulk received, there's no doubt the creation of Bruce banner's alter ego (and his effect on his immediate environment) was amazing.

And together with the advances made producing other textures (like hair, which was supposed to be the final frontier for computer animators), the technology that makes Garfield possible is now run of the mill.

At the risk of sounding like the early 20th century inventors who claimed everything that could be discovered had been, or that there'd be no use for a computer in the home, CG seems to have gone as far as it can go.

The story itself is standard Disney fare, given an edge by the sardonic personality and voice of Bill Murray as Garfield. When Odie is first bought home, Garfield's coddled existence in threatened, and when his determination to get rid of the mutt succeeds, his guilt about it drives him to embark on a quest to save Odie from the clutches of an evil talk-show host who's gimmick is his animal companion.

Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt are Jon Arbuckle and Liz the vet who he's in love with, and without Murray's charming sarcasm, the whole thing could have been a lot more pedestrian than it was, being essentially a kid's movie.

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