'Clifford the Big Red Dog’ is an enchanting tail/tale

Category: Movies

Young Darby Camp steals the show in Clifford the Big Red Dog. The movie is based on the Scholastic book character that has been beloved by millions.

The film starts out on a gut-wrenching note when a little red puppy is left alone. His mother and siblings have been taken to the pound, so this little fellow wanders the streets of New York City. Then he is found by Mr. Bridwell (John Cleese), a mysterious animal rescuer who takes in the little fellow.

Emily (Camp) is a lonely middle-schooler. She is bullied for being the new kid at school and also for being there on a scholarship. When her mother (Sienna Guillory) leaves her under the care of her bumbling uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) for a few days while on a business trip, things kind of get out of hand. Let’s just say Casey gets in over his head. Okay, enough puns.

On their first day together, Emily and her uncle discover Bridwell’s tent filled with amazing animals. Emily is immediately drawn to the little red puppy. But since no pets are allowed in her building, and since Uncle Casey doesn’t want to get in trouble with his sister, she is not allowed to adopt the dog.

The puppy mysteriously makes his way into Emily’s backpack and she discovers him later that day. She desperately wants to keep him. They bond immediately and she names him Clifford, with his approval. That night she makes a wish that he is bigger and when she awakens the next morning, you guessed it – he’s big. Not just big. He’s gigantic. However he’s still the playful puppy she loved and still loves.

While Emily and Casey try to track down Bridwell to find out how to reduce his size, they are photographed around the city (after all it’s not every day one sees a ten foot tall red puppy) and soon become news stories. They capture the hearts of the city and the attention of one devious businessman (Tony Hale) whose company is trying to develop a way to enlarge food to feed the world. Of course it will also feed his bank account.

He sets out to capture Clifford for his experiments while Emily, Clifford, Casey, and Emily’s friend Owen (Izaac Wang) stay one step ahead. Can they keep Clifford safe?

This is a cute romp through the Big Apple with some adorable scenes, but there are also some sad ones. Rest assured, there is a happy ending.

This delightful little/big dog will be adored by viewers of all ages. It’s a sweet story about love and acceptance. Clifford the Big Red Dog is rated PG for impolite humor, thematic elements, and mild action. Audiences are in for quite a ride (pun intended) with Clifford!

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 25 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, is the entertainment correspondent for Good Day Orange County, and has her own TV show, Beyond the Red Carpet, on Village Television in Orange County. She is a longstanding member of the Television Critics Association, was a longstanding member of the Los Angeles Press Club, and is accredited by the MPAA. Follow her on Twitter.