NOTE: This post is completely irrelevant if you haven’t read the first part of this saga.
Apparently I was wrong about what I heard in Garfield’s Pet Force. A return cal from Scott Young, senior rater with the motion Picture Association of America clarified what the dialogue was. I still have to recommend this title be something all parents skip over, but I’ll get to this in a minute.
Scott picked up a copy of the film and watched it himself, and came to the same conclusion I did. He had his son listen to the dialogue (upon reflection, I should have asked what age the child is) and even he came to the same conclusion.
This is where it gets tricky. After determining that indeed the offending word seemed to be heard, the subtitles came in to play. I hadn’t thought of reading the subtitles to determine what was actually being said. I was simply too offended by what I heard. The dialogue in question sounds like “Must… obey… that bitch.” When in fact, apparently, it is “Must… obey… Vectrix.” The name of the evil character that takes control of characters is named (wait for it) Vectrix.
Besides checking the subtitles, Scott young also checked in with the people who performed the actual ratings review of Garfield’s Pet Force. None of them apparently heard what Scott, his son, or myself heard. Maybe their sound system when reviewing the film was better. Maybe they had a copy of the script to reference. Either way, they didn’t hear the offending word, and the film was given a “G” rating.
So Garfield’s Pet Force skates by on a technicality. Bad taste is not a basis for a film rating, and apparently sloppy execution can slip in as well. Despite my issues with the MPAA (and they are many) I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to the organization for looking into this and clearing it up.
As for the film itself, it’s crap. What little humor there is simply doesn’t justify the lengthy action sequences and overly convoluted plot. Garfield’s Pet Force on plot alone seems like it should be a “PG” film, with its maniacal villain and its body-swapping, dimension jumping plot. I have always been of the view that “G” rated films were the kind you would let your 4 year old watch unsupervised. Garfield’s Pet Force has too much going on that the average 4 year old simply wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as intended – plus the bonus swear word thrown in (even if it isn’t actually in there).