Clifford the big red dog is a fun children’s movie that will delight the whole family. An intimidated and lonely girl’s desire for friendship ends up being a playful, vibrant red, ten-foot-tall puppy. Crazy antics ensue when the dog wreaks comic havoc in Manhattan. Clifford the big red dog has a winning combination of physical humor, witty double meaning, and perfect casting. I found myself laughing constantly and walked out of the theater with a big goofy grin. That’s a rare thing for this grumpy critic. Kids are definitely going to love it Clifford the big red dog.
Twelve-year-old Emily Elizabeth Howard (Darby Camp) dreads going to her stuffy New York City prep school. Bad girls call her “food stamps” because she attends a scholarship and lives in Harlem. She thinks everyone hates her, but doesn’t realize that Owen Yu (Izaac Wang) is completely in love. Maggie (Sienna Guillory), Elizabeth’s mother, has to go on a sudden business trip and can’t find a babysitter. She is forced to ask her silly little brother.
Casey Howard (Jack Whitehall) is an unemployed illustrator, secretly living in his truck and fighting mightily to be an adult. He imagines himself as a “cool guy”, but Emily tires of his immaturity. A trip to Central Park takes them to the Bridwell Animal Sanctuary. Emily is in love with a little red puppy of strange colors. Casey is adamant that they cannot adopt the dog. His mother would be furious and his horrible super (David Alan Grier) does not allow pets. Bridwell promises that the puppy will grow up with all his love. They leave and go home. But to Emily’s surprise, the dog appears in her backpack. She calls him Clifford. Emily wakes up the next morning to a truly gigantic surprise.
The cubs are a handful. Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows how much damage an energetic puppy can do. Now imagine that dog is the size of an elephant. Filmmakers spin comedy gold with Cliffordantics. He has to eat, drink, urinate, poop, and play like any other dog. Casey and Emily’s efforts to hide Clifford they are a riot of laughter. Her secret quickly becomes an internet sensation that catches the eye of the misleading LifeGro CEO (Tony Hale).
British actor and comedian Jack Whitehall is tremendous. His performance anchors the movie. His clumsy interactions with the CGI dog and young Darby Camp are hilarious. Whitehall nails the physical falls without looking silly or forced. He’s totally believable as a guy who can’t eat a slice of pizza without accidentally dirtying or forgetting his niece on the subway. Clifford It’s certainly the appeal here, but Jack Whitehall elevates the material on the page and the screen with his talents.
I have criticized previous films for having unrealistic CGI animals. Clifford watch and act accordingly for most of the runtime. The action takes a cartoonish turn during the multiple chase scenes. This is an adaptation of the popular children’s books about a giant red dog, so the angle of realism isn’t a big deal. Clifford the big red dog Exceed expectations. It is a wonderful family movie on all fronts. Children will ask for puppies after looking. Hopefully they are well cared for and not painted red. Clifford the big red dog It is produced by New Republic Pictures, Entertainment One, and Scholastic Entertainment. It will be released simultaneously in theaters and Paramount Plus on November 10.
Topics: Clifford, Paramount Plus, Streaming
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