Movie Review: Clifford the Big Red Dog

Izaac Wang, Darby Camp and Jack Whitehall in CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

I grew up in the 80s and if you did too, then you probably remember the Scholastic book fairs. This is where I was introduced to all the greats Bernstein Bears, Mercer Mayer and of course Clifford the Big Red Dog. My parents (dad mostly) never allowed my brother and I to have a pet. So reading Clifford the Big Red Dog books really transported me to a different world without leaving my house.

You can imagine my excitement when I heard they were making a movie about Clifford the Big Red Dog, but I was a little skeptical. How would they capture the beloved Clifford for the big screen? What would he look like? Would he be the Clifford I had come to love from the books and show? Turning Clifford into an animated series was one thing, making him lifelike was different ball game.

I recently had the opportunity to screen Clifford the Big Red Dog early, and I’ve got all the details for you. Including the answer to the question on all our minds. Will I love this movie as much as the books and shows?

Clifford the Big Red Dog starts off by giving us a glimpse of where Clifford comes from and how he ends up with Emily (Darby Camp). Take note that it doesn’t follow the original story, however it does follow one thing, that Emily’s love makes Clifford grow.

Izaac Wang, Darby Camp and Jack Whitehall in CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

Emily’s Uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall), a notorious screw-up is in charge of Emily while her mother is away. He takes her to school one morning and they come across an animal rescue tent helmed by the eccentric Mr. Bridwell (John Cleese)—for those of you that do not know Norman Bridwell created Clifford the Big Red Dog so it was nice to see the movie play homage to him. At the animal rescue tent is where Emily meets Clifford. Unfortunately Uncle Casey tells her that she can’t have a dog and end up leaving only for Emily to discover Clifford in her backpack.

At this point of the story, Clifford is tiny, that is until Emily wakes up in the morning. And now the fun starts. Once Emily has Clifford, the whole city seems to be after him! Poor guy! And so the chase begins, some want to save Clifford while others want him for devious reasons.

There are a couple of scenes that will tear your heart out—have some tissues ready because this movie will pull on your heart strings.

Overall, get ready to FALL in LOVE with Clifford the Big Red Dog all over again. The movie is super cute and definitely seemed like a story I could be reading in one of my Clifford the Big Red Dog books from my childhood.

Catch Clifford the Big Red Dog in theaters and on Paramount+ November 10th!


When middle-schooler Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) meets a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese) who gifts her a little, red puppy, she never anticipated waking up to find a giant ten-foot hound in her small New York City apartment. While her single mom (Sienna Guillory) is away for business, Emily and her fun but impulsive uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) set out on an adventure that will keep you on the edge-of-your-seat as our heroes take a bite out of the Big Apple. Based on the beloved Scholastic book character, Clifford will teach the world how to love big! Rated PG


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