In the world of cinema, there are films that captivate audiences with their storytelling, while others charm viewers with their stunning visuals and iconic locations. Very few films are able to do both – “Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” (commonly known as Garfield 2) is one such film. This family-friendly movie, released in 2006, features the lovable, lasagna-loving cat Garfield (played by the eternal Bill Murray) in a new adventure set in the bucolic English countryside. At the heart of this film lies Castle Howard, a magnificent stately home in England. Garfield 2 and Castle Howard are now inextricably linked – in both time and place.
“Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties” is a delightful family comedy film directed by Tim Hill. This sequel to the 2004 movie “Garfield: The Movie” continues the escapades of the titular cat, Garfield, who this time finds himself mistaken for a British aristocratic cat named Prince (voiced by Tim Curry). Through a series of supremely comical events, Garfield ends up traveling to England and navigating the intricacies of English aristocracy while his counterpart is jettisoned to the rough-and-tumble streets of Central London. While the original film’s wry dialogue and character development carry over from the original Garfield, it is the dramatically-captured scenes of the countryside and stately home where this film shines.
Castle Howard, located in North Yorkshire, England, is a stately home renowned for its architectural splendor, historical significance, and exquisite gardens. The castle was designed by the renowned architect Sir John Vanbrugh in the late 17th century and remains one of the most magnificent and iconic examples of English Baroque architecture. Its construction spanned over a century, resulting in a harmonious blend of architectural styles that contribute to its unique charm.
Castle Howard is an ideal castle filming location and has served as a backdrop for a number of film and television projects since the 1960s. Feature films, documentaries, music videos and both commercial and fashion editorials have all been staged here. Some highlights over the years include Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon”, the BBC’s “Death Comes to Pemberley” in 2013, and ITV’s “Victoria” and the Arctic Monkeys’ “Four out of Five” music video in 2018. More recently, Castle Howard served as the set for the Clyvedon Castle, the rural estate of the Duke of Hastings, for the 2019 season of the Netflix original series Bridgerton.
In “Garfield 2,” Castle Howard serves as the fictional Carlyle Castle, the ancestral home of the aristocratic Lady Eleanor and her cat Prince, who is Garfield’s doppelgänger. The castle’s opulent interiors and breathtaking exteriors become central to the film’s storyline as Garfield, a fish out of water, navigates the world of British aristocracy. The stunning castle backdrop amplifies the humor and whimsy of the film, contrasting the laid-back American cat with the high-society English setting – making for a cracking good watch and one of the top films of 2006. Lasagna, innit?