Garfield The Movie: The Purrrfect Collector's Edition Pete Hewitt

Love or hate him, the world’s most popular cynical, overweight cat returns to DVD in a fat package that will satiate both child and adult fans. Garfield’s 2004 hit returns with an added DVD bursting with extra features that are better than the actual film. The movie (once you skip past all the trailers for other films) features Garfield as a computer-animated cat eating his way through scenes with veterinarian Jennifer Love Hewitt and a real-life Odie who enters Garfield’s household. Bill Murray’s droll voice nicely suits Garfield’s deadpan humour, but the mix of animation and real-life cinematography doesn’t always look convincing. The story and tone is family-friendly, meaning light, inoffensive humour for the kids. Adults can better sink their teeth into the bonus disc. A good documentary, "Pick of the Litter,” allows Garfield creator Jim Davis to tell the story behind his creation. Most interesting is Jill Davis describing the merchandising of Garfield, about what products she approves and how they keep public demand high by limiting supply. Decent featurettes interview the director, writer and actors to describe the production of the film, though Bill Murray’s absence is a glaring omission. For animation students, a decent featurette walks us through the CGI process, while the "Composite Workshop” presents five scenes in five different stages of animation by smartly exploiting the angle button of your DVD player. In some angles there’s only the background, or only the live actor (without Garfield), or Garfield as a rough sketch. Four storyboard-to-screen comparisons are a nice complement, while the commentary by director Hewitt and producer John Davis is informative. A hidden, totally unrelated gem is "Gone Nutty,” a funny animated short starring Scrat from Ice Age. (Fox)