Garfield’s Thanksgiving (1989)

garfields thanksgiving poster 1989 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

A Thanksgiving special

Feels like a normal episode

TV Show Info

TV Show Name:  Garfield’s Thanksgiving

Studio:   Film Roman Productions/United Media Productions/Paws

Genre(s):  Animated/Comedy/Seasonal

Release Date(s):  November 22, 1989

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

garfields thanksgiving odie

The cat that likes to eat gets the holiday meant for him

Thanksgiving has come, and Garfield is ready to celebrate!  A trip the veterinarian has Liz putting Garfield on a diet, and Jon getting a date for Thanksgiving.  When Jon screws up the Thanksgiving dinner, will his grandmother be able to bail him out and will Garfield get to enjoy his Thanksgiving by eating to his content?

Directed by Phil Roman, Gerard Baldwin, Bob Nesler, and John Sparey, Garfield’s Thanksgiving is an animated holiday special.  The cartoon first aired on November 22, 1989 on CBS where it continued to aired for a few years (but A Garfield Christmas and Garfield’s Halloween Adventure aired more frequently).  Jim Davis also did a Garfield storybook adaptation of this special.  It was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program (One Hour or Less).

garfields thanksgiving grandma turkey

Lesson learned…you can always cook a turkey quicker

There aren’t many Thanksgiving specials or movies out there.  With A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Garfield’s Thanksgiving is one of the few cartoons (special or even movie) honoring the holiday, so you if you want a holiday special you’re stuck with this one.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Garfield’s Thanksgiving is a rather nice episode that feels a lot like the Garfield and Friends cartoon series.  The show starts out about Garfield’s diet on the holiday but quickly jumps ship to Jon’s date with Liz.  The Jon/Liz relationship was always a theme in the old comic and the series, but it never made much sense because of shows like this which shows Liz and Jon having a great time together…also Jon is a little aggressive and pushy by trying to trick Liz and manipulate her into a date (which does not sit as well now).

garfields thanksgiving meal jon arbuckle odie liz

Remember to say grace!

I like how the show forces the Thanksgiving issue by having Jon tell Liz about Thanksgiving to stall for the dinner.  It is amusing because Thanksgiving is promoted as an excuse to eat a lot in the special and then Jon uses Thanksgiving as an excuse to keep Liz busy so they can eat a lot.  It is almost a bit of irony.

Garfield’s Thanksgiving is a decent show for a holiday that doesn’t get much love from Hollywood or TV.  I wish there were more specials on Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving is a tricky holiday.  The options are rather slim, but Thanksgiving location between Halloween and Christmas hurts it…so enjoy Garfield’s Thanksgiving and have some turkey.

Related Links:

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (1985)

A Garfield Christmas (1987)


Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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