‘The Garfield Movie’ Director Mark Dindal On The Journey Of Bringing An Icon To Screen

Cartoon Brew, in partnership with our exclusive online event partner INBTWN Animation, recently caught up with Mark Dindal director of The Garfield Movie, which is currently battling in theaters for first place in the U.S. over the extended Memorial Day weekend.

Dindal is no stranger to directing animated features, and some of his earlier works, like Cats Don’t Dance and The Emperor’s New Groove, are beloved contemporary classics. With The Garfield Movie, he was tasked with offering a fresh take on an iconic comic strip character that already had a long track record of animated adaptations.

The film, which introduces Garfield’s father for the first time, provided Dindal with the opportunity to explore the lazy orange tabby’s personality in ways that previously weren’t possible. “What I was interested in was that you get to reveal that this character, who’s had all this confidence for all these years, has this vulnerable human side to him as well,” said Dindal.

In the interview, Dindal touches on numerous topics include how they cast the voices for the characters, playing in the sandbox that Garfield creator Jim Davis had created, and the importance of maintaining a sense of playfulness and imagination even when dealing with production challenges, which in this case included a global pandemic and working with an international production crew that was spread across four continents.

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