FREAKY FRIDAY: Garfield is one of the first characters to enter Indian licensing market

Be it Disney’s Mickey Mouse or Garfield – character and entertainment licensing is one of the largest segments of the licensing business, which is mostly recognized by the general public. The segment includes properties primarily from feature films, television shows, video games and online entertainment.

Garfield was one of the first characters to enter the Indian market with its licensing program in the late 1990s. The lasagna-loving cat and its partnerships with numerous licensees have enabled wide availability of its merchandises across the country.

The Garfield merchandise is licensed by Animation International India and is copyrighted to Davis’ company Paws. Apart from the comic strip, Garfield had his own shows, movies, stage shows and video games.

Recently, the fat and lazy cat celebrated its 40th birth anniversary with spur of merchandises all over the country.

To commemorate the occasion, Game Insight welcomed ‘Garfield and Odie’ into their very own limited time event in The Tribez. The ‘Tribez x Garfield’ features a brand-new island to explore and 100 new quests that players will complete to repair the time machine and send Garfield and Odie back home.

Paws Inc had also partnered with Skechers USA for a new footwear collection inspired by the famous cartoon character Garfield.

Bewakoof.com – a one-stop solution for official merchandises had also added Garfield in its kitty. The Garfield collection includes the classic, “I Hate Mondays”, the foodie favourite “Donut Garfield” among others.

No politics for Monday-hating Garfield!

The brainchild behind the creation of the “big orange cat” doesn’t want the lasagna-loving creature to be dated by dealing with politics.

Jim Davis, an Emmy Award winner, stated “Garfield”, which holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip, is not going to enter political space ever.

Jim did not want Garfield to be an American, rather wanted him to be an Indian or a Chinese or British.

According to an IANS report, Jim felt that had he made a political comment, Garfield would have been automatically identified as an American cat. “I didn’t want to do that and also, people go to comics to have a laugh and have a break… away from the real news and real world that is often depressing,” the cartoonist was quoted as saying.

Jim, who has been doing the comic strips for 40 years asserted that Garfield is going to continue eating and sleeping for a long time.

The journey so far:

Published since 1978, Garfield chronicles the life of the title character, Garfield, the cat; Jon Arbuckle, the human; and Odie, the dog. As of 2013, it was syndicated in roughly 2,580 newspapers and journals and held the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip.

Davis has earned four Emmy awards for the Garfield TV specials, the first of which was in 1985.

In 2009, a CGI Garfield show titled ‘The Garfield Show’ was aired on Cartoon Network in 2009. On his tenth birthday, Garfield was gifted his own variety of the marigold flower, developed specially to match the colour of his coat.

He has also appeared on a talk show with Barbara Bush, wife of former US President George Bush.

Serving the legacy:

In 1997, he became the spokescat for the ‘Literacy Volunteers of America’ with Davis releasing a book titled ‘Read. Brains Get Hungry Too’.

In 1999, he appeared as part of the National Institute of Health’s campaign ‘Sleep Well Do Well’, in which he promoted the importance of a good night’s sleep to American parents and children.

Who is Garfield?

Published since 1978, it chronicles the life of the cat Garfield, the human Jon Arbuckle, and the dog Odie.

Common themes in the strip include Garfield’s laziness, obsessive eating, coffee, and disdain of Mondays and diets.

The Mondays-hating feline continues to be massively popular with 16.2 million likes and 15.7 million followers on Facebook alone

Whether he is a hero or a lazy fat cat – we still love Garfield!

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