The filmmakers seemed content to toss out any old stray cat of a movie with the "Garfield" brand name, figuring fans would show up.Is anyone surprised by this? For somewhere between 15 and 20 years, Jim Davis* has seemed content to toss out any boring four-panels-with-a-weak-joke-at-the-end with the "Garfield" brand name, figuring newspapers will still feel obliged to carry it. Not to be testy, but "Garfield" has come to provide a serious challenge to the once seemingly unbreachable dominance of "Family Circus" as providing the Most Insipidness per Square Inch on the contemporary comics page.
* More accurately, the hacks who Jim Davis pays to write and draw the comic strip. He's on a beach somewhere, drinking daquiris. I bet he is planning on being cryogenically frozen when he dies and has already had said hacks put together a couple centuries' worth of lame-Odie-slobber-and-lasagna-jokes strips to keep the franchise going until medical science finally figures out how to resurrect him.
Update, 5:15pm: When I wrote this post, I didn't realize that Slate had published a like-minded, and, actually-researched, piece on the Jim Davis empire. One quote from the article: "(It's telling that he's been inducted into the Licensing Merchandiser's Hall of Fame but not the hall of fame hosted by the International Museum of Cartoon Art.)"