Garfield Christmas Special Reviews
A Garfield Christmas has never gotten the airplay on television that A Charlie Brown Christmas gets every year. Why that's the case is anyone's guess, especially considering that Garfield even had his own Saturday morning cartoon series. That series--Garfield & Friends--ran for roughly seven seasons between the late 1980's and early 1990's. His comic strip still runs in newspapers nationwide today. So it's a surprise that A Garfield Christmas doesn't even run on ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas, or on any other network. Thankfully though, the Garfield holiday collection is still in print, and available on dvd.
Clocking in at about half an hour, A Garfield Christmas is a great holiday special for the entire family. It's also a great special about the family. And the half hour run time is perfect for young children, as most kids start to get fidgety after about that length of time. The special emphasizes to audiences that "it's not about the giving. It's not about the getting. It's about the love". That's a simple statement. But it speaks volumes. One of the most important parts of Christmas is being with family. And the special's near Waltons-esque nostalgia developed from that message--and the general setting and story--really enhances that message. It makes it that much more enjoyable.
The positive message of the special isn't all that makes A Garfield Christmas so enjoyable. As minute a factor as it seems, the fact that it boasts hand drawn animation makes it that much more endearing to audiences. Unlike so many of today's cg-based movies and television specials, the hand drawn animation of the likes of Garfield give it its own identity. The animation for A Garfield Christmas (and Garfield & Friends, and the garfield comic strip) is nothing like any other hand drawn cartoons. That in itself develops an added feel of nostalgia. That added nostalgia makes A Garfield Christmas a solid, family friendly feature that no matter how many specials come and go, it'll continue to be relevant. And thanks to dvd, regardless of whether it ever gets airplay, it's such an endearing special that it'll live on long after other specials have faded away.
As always, 'Garfield' is enjoyable and educational for children. There is plenty of humor so the film does not 'talk down' the meaning of Christmas. Rather, it makes it enjoyable and makes it understood through emotion. I miss these old Christmas specials. I wish they would show them again.