Clifford, the Big Red Dog
Theatrical Release: November 10, 2021
In the live-action film based on the beloved Scholastic character, a magic animal man gifts Clifford to Emily-Elizabeth. Together, they’ll fend off the efforts of a villainous genetics company.
Based on characters from Norman Bridwell’s Clifford the Big Red Dog, the film lays out how the big red dog ends up in the home of Emily-Elizabeth in New York City. There’s plenty of drama (and hilarity) that results when a bus-sized dog takes up a home in a small family apartment, but the added dimension of Tony Hale’s nefarious Peter Tieran and his genetics company leans into the adventurous. When Emily-Elizabeth’s mother leaves her in the incapable attention of her uncle, Casey (Jack Whitehall), the new friend/pet provides plenty of opportunities for lessons about responsibility and identity.
The film is a film everyone can laugh along to, with John Cleese, Russell Peters, Kenan Thompson, Rosie Perez, David Alan Grier, and Siobhan Fallon Hogan stealing every scene they’re in. But the heart of the film is Darby Camp (The Christmas Chronicles) as Emily-Elizabeth who truly stars here, as a twelve-year-old girl who can’t find her place in the uppity private school she attends and wants to be part of something that matters. With the arrival of Clifford, the community comes together, from neighbors who can’t get along to the businesspeople around the corner, and Darby’s sweet persona shines through.
Together, the community will prove that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the heart in the community.
This one is super clean except for language and some impolite humor, and therefore is Dove-approved for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take
Clifford the Big Red Dog is laugh-out-loud fun for the whole family, with lessons about accepting oneself, taking responsibility for yourself and others, and joining together as a community to defend the defenseless.