|Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties|
|Directed by||Tim Hill|
by Jim Davis
|Produced by||John Davis|
|Narrated by||Roscoe Lee Browne|
|Cinematography||Peter Lyons Collister|
|Edited by||Peter S. Elliot|
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$143.3 million|
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties (released in some countries as Garfield 2) is a 2006 live action/computer-animated film directed by Tim Hill and written by Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow. It is the sequel and final to the 2004 film Garfield: The Movie.
The film stars Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt reprising their roles as Jon Arbuckle and Dr. Liz Wilson respectively, and Bill Murray reprising his role as the voice of Garfield. New cast members include Billy Connolly, Ian Abercrombie, Roger Rees, Lucy Davis and Oliver Muirhead in live-action roles and Tim Curry, Bob Hoskins, Rhys Ifans, Vinnie Jones, Joe Pasquale, Richard E. Grant, Jane Leeves and Roscoe Lee Browne as the voices of the film's new animal characters. In the film, Garfield, Odie, Liz and Jon travel to the United Kingdom, where Prince, another cat that looks exactly like Garfield, is ruling over a castle after the death of his owner. His reign is soon jeopardized by an evil aristocrat, who plans to remodel the castle into condominiums, destroy the estate, and get rid of Prince.
Produced by Davis Entertainment Company for 20th Century Fox, it was released in the United States on June 16, 2006. Although it became a commercial success, grossing $143 million against its $60 million budget, like its predecessor, the film also received generally negative reviews from critics. A video game, Garfield 2, was developed by The Game Factory.
Two years after the events of the first film, Jon Arbuckle plans to propose to his girlfriend, veterinarian Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Wilson, who is going on a business trip to London. Jon follows Liz to the United Kingdom as a surprise; after escaping from a kennel, Jon's two pets, Garfield and Odie, sneak into Jon's luggage and join him on the trip. Garfield and Odie break out of the hotel room due to boredom, and subsequently get lost in the streets of London.
Meanwhile, at Carlyle Castle in the English countryside, the late Lady Eleanor Carlyle's will is read by the solicitors, Mr. Hobbs, Mr. Greene and Mrs. Whitney. She bequeaths Carlyle Castle to Prince XII, her beloved cat who lives a strong life of luxury, and bears a strong resemblance to Garfield. This enrages the Lady's greedy nephew, Lord Manfred Dargis, who will now only receive a stipend of £50 a week and inherit the grand estate once Prince passes away. Lord Dargis traps Prince in a picnic basket and throws him into the river. Garfield inadvertently switches places with Prince after Jon finds Prince climbing out of a drain and takes him to the hotel after mistaking him for Garfield, while Prince's butler, Smithee, finds Garfield in the street and takes him to Carlyle Castle after mistaking him for Prince.
In the grand estate Garfield is residing in, he receives a great deal of special treatment, including a butler and a group of four-legged servants and followers, including Prince's loyal bulldog servant, Winston. Garfield teaches his new animal friends how to make lasagna, while Prince learns to adapt to his new life with Jon. Dargis also confused Garfield for Prince, fearing that the solicitors will not sign the estate over for him to demolish the area, slaughter the animals and build a SPA resort, tries to remove him again, causing Miss Abby Westminster, another solicitor, to get suspicious of him. Dargis makes many attempts to kill Garfield, including one involving a merciless yet dim-witted Rottweiler named Rommel.
Eventually, Garfield and Prince meet each other for the first time and they convince the animals to help them defeat Dargis. Jon and Odie discover the mix-up and go to the castle, which Liz is coincidentally visiting. Garfield and Prince taunt Dargis, whose plan is exposed, and they are seen by the solicitors. Dargis barges in, holding a blunderbuss and threatening the solicitors if they do not sign the papers giving him ownership of the estate, and also taking Liz hostage. Jon attempts to force Dargis to release Liz by holding a crossbow at him, only for Dargis to threaten to kill Jon for getting involved in the first place. Garfield and Prince, with the help of Odie and Jon, save the day while Smithee alerts the authorities and Dargis is arrested for his crimes. Garfield, who had been trying to stop Jon from proposing to Liz, has a change of heart: He helps Jon propose to Liz, and she accepts.
Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties grossed $28.4 million in North America, and $113.3 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $141.7 million. The film opened to number seven in its first weekend, grossing $7.3 million. According to 20th Century Fox, the studio was aware that the film would not make as much as the first, and only made it based on the worldwide success of the first film.
The film was released on DVD on October 10, 2006. The DVD includes a "Drawing with Jim Davis" featurette, teaching viewers how to draw Garfield, Odie and Garfield’s teddy bear Pooky, and two games: Garfield's Maze, and Odie's Photo Album. It also includes a music video, trailers, featurettes, a new Garfield comic strip by creator Jim Davis, along with a making of the strip featurette and an extended cut with eight minutes of footage not seen in theaters. The theatrical cut of the film, which is 78 minutes long, is included on the DVD along with the extended version, which is 86 minutes long. The film was released on a 3-disc Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo pack on October 11, 2011, alongside its predecessor.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a low rating of 12% from 78 surveyed critics, with an average rating of 3.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Strictly for (very) little kids, A Tale of Two Kitties features skilled voice actors but a plot that holds little interest." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 37 out of 100 based on reviews from 20 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, the same grade earned by its predecessor.
Joe Leydon of Variety gave the film a positive review, saying "Good kitty! Superior in every way to its underwhelming predecessor, Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties is a genuinely clever kidpic that should delight moppets, please parents – and maybe tickle a few tweens." Janice Page of The Boston Globe gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "You'll only be attracted to Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties if you're very young, you're very easily entertained, or you just can't get enough of Jim Davis's lasagna-scarfing cartoon cat." Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars, saying "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties is actually funnier and more charming than the first film." Elizabeth Weitzman of New York Daily News gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "Connolly, bless him, throws himself heartily into the task of acting opposite a computer-generated cat given to bad puns and flatulence. Everyone else, however, looks mortified, and can you blame them?" Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film one out of four stars, saying "The best thing that can be said about Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties is that the movie isn't quite as bad as its name." Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club gave the film a C, saying "Two Kitties marks a considerable improvement over its predecessor. It's faster paced and the filmmakers wisely shift the focus away from bland owner Breckin Meyer and onto a menagerie of chattering animals. After a dreadful first entry, Two Kitties elevates the Garfield series almost to the level of mediocrity." Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film one and a half stars out of four, saying "It comes off like a coughed-up furball: a wan rehash with too many elements of the hard-to-swallow 2004 original."
The film was nominated for two Golden Raspberry Awards in 2006, one in the category "Worst Prequel or Sequel", and one in the category "Worst Excuse for Family Entertainment", but lost to Basic Instinct 2 and RV, respectively.