If you go to Garfield: The Movie, you’ll also get to see ”Gone Nutty,” a digitally animated 2002 short from the creators of ”Ice Age.” It features Scrat the fanged beastie and about 1,000 acorns (at one point, he attempts to knock them into a cushion while hurtling toward the ground), and it’s a marvel of slapstick kinetic physics. The only downside? It makes the cloddish, unfunny dud that is ”Garfield” look even worse.
On paper, at least, Bill Murray as the voice of Garfield sounded like an inspired idea: His vaguely decadent singsong meshes snugly with the comic-strip fat cat’s lazy-eyed, blasé narcissism. But Murray has been given nothing to deliver other than a series of exceedingly lame, tyke-friendly wisecracks. When Garfield’s owner, the redoubtable Jon (Breckin Meyer), brings home a dachshund mutt named Odie, the jealous Garfield exclaims, ”You had me, a chick magnet, and now you’ve got a tick magnet!” It’s enough to make you long for the wit and wisdom of Mike Myers’ ”Cat in the Hat.” Garfield, while animated with supple proficiency, moves through a cheaply photographed suburban landscape in which he’s the only creature – feline, canine, or human – who enjoys the luxury of a personality. That’s one very long stupid pet trick.