Saturday, August 18, 2007

Review: New Garfield DVD

New Garfield DVD: Something to Stay Awake For

(NewsUSA) - The success of comic strip characters branching into television and the movies is nothing new, but fans of the "Garfield" series have certainly seen a lot of firsts, including a mention in the "Guinness Book of World Records."


Today, Garfield is the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world, with more than 263 million readers daily, according to the brand's Web site, www.garfield.com.


The ubiquitous feisty feline character is such a favorite among children and their parents that Fox Home Entertainment is releasing a new DVD titled "Garfield: Dreams and Schemes." It features 15 humorous adventures - presented in English and Spanish - showcasing Garfield's classic cattitude. Even in slumber, Garfield dreams up playful schemes taking on adventures with creepy monsters, giant robots and, of course, lasagna.


Episodes on the DVD include "Nighty Nightmare," "Mystic Manor" and "The Invasion of the Big Robots." The DVD will sell for $14.98 at mass merchants, warehouse clubs, specialty stores and online.


Garfield the comic strip was created by Jim Davis and made its first appearance in 41 newspapers in 1978. By the following year, it was appearing in more than 100 papers around the country.


In 1980, Davis' first book, "Garfield at Large," was at the top of The New York Times bestsellers' list, and pretty soon Davis had seven bestsellers to his name and a hit TV special, "Here Comes Garfield."


By 1983, Garfield was in 1,400 newspapers in 22 countries and was being translated into seven languages. In 1987, it became only the third comic strip to have appeared in 2,000 papers.


And in 2002, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Garfield the "Most Widely Syndicated Comic Strip in the World." Riding the wave of popularity, a live-action movie was even released in 2004, starring Bill Murray (as the voice of Garfield) and Jennifer Love Hewitt.


When Davis was first starting out as a cartoonist, he noticed there were a lot of dogs on comic pages, but no cats. So he started sketching felines, remembering the 25 cats he grew up with on the family farm in Indiana. The character that he thought would be the funniest was a fat grouchy cat he named Garfield, after his
gruff, but lovable grandfather, James Garfield Davis.

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