Movie and musical deals have been announced for the world-famous lazy cat created by Hoosier cartoonist and entrepreneur, Jim Davis. Los Angeles-based Alcon Entertainment plans to launch another franchise of animated feature films. R&H Theatricals, founded in New York by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, has acquired the rights to the children’s musical "GARFIELD, The Musical with Cattitude." Garfield is licensed through Albany-based Paws Inc., which Davis founded in the early-1980s to handle business matters relating to the character.
The musical is a first for the character and his friends Jon Arbuckle, Odie the dog and Nermal the cat. In 2004, "Garfield: The Movie" was released, with a sequel called "Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties" following two years later.
"I’ve been so impressed with the quality of animation and storytelling coming out of Hollywood of late. I can’t wait to get into production with the terrific team Alcon has assembled," said Jim Davis, who will serve as an executive producer of the movies. Alcon says "Despicable Me" and "Angry Birds" movie producer John Cohen pitched the idea for the new series.
In a news release posted by Paws Inc., Davis also said "I’ve wanted to do a musical for years. I’d been waiting for the perfect opportunity and it came the day co-writer Michael Bobbitt knocked on the door. Our collaboration was seamless, and adding John Cornelius, II to do the music was the icing on the cake. Garfield, A Musical with Cattitude has a ton of warmth, humor, and charm. I couldn’t be happier than to share it with the world." The musical was premiered by the Adventure Theater Company in Washington DC. and focuses on Garfield’s adventures after his friends forget it’s his birthday.
Earlier this year, Ball State University School of Art Director Arne Flaten told Inside INdiana Business Davis was also set to return to his alma mater to teach animation classes.