Clifford the Big Red Dog has been around since 1963 when Norman Bridwell published the first Clifford the Big Red Dog book. Since then, this charismatic, gentle red giant has stolen the hearts of children worldwide. He is one of the world’s most recognizable storybook characters and even became Scholastic’s official mascot.
I have a collection of Clifford the Big Red Dog books at home and have read them to both of my children since they were very young. As a result, both the boys are very familiar with Clifford and love him, so when we were invited to watch a screener of the new Clifford The Big Red Dog film, coming only in theatres on November 10, we were super excited.
The film centres around Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp), a middle schooler who struggles to fit in at school and home. She ends up stumbling upon this little red puppy at a magical animal rescuer’s tent. Clifford ends up becoming her very best friend and growing to be the gigantic red dog we all know. Emily and her clueless but hilarious uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) go on the adventure of a lifetime to stop a mad scientist from stealing Clifford and the confused New York City residents to accept his differences and learn to live with him.
The film is family-friendly, heartwarming, and very entertaining. We loved the messages around dealing with bullies at school, learning to accept others even when they are different and unconditional love. This film is bound to become an all-time favourite.
Even though we know the dog is not real and it is created with CGI, while watching the movie, we were transported and convinced that Clifford was there, and he was “real”. The magic of the film is that you believe he is there.
The acting was top-notch, and both Darby Camp and Jack Whitehall are very funny and relatable. We also attended a virtual Q&A event with both Darby and Jack, and it was terrific to hear from them as they shared their favourite scenes during the shooting and why they loved the film.
They answered our questions and explained a bit of the process of filming when one of the main characters is not with you in the room. They had a team of puppeteers and a giant puppet to stand for Clifford during the shoot. How cool is that?!
It sounds like they had so much fun shooting Clifford and you can see that fun was incorporated in the final film.
Clifford The Big Red Dog will be out only in theatres on November 10, 2021.
This is a must-watch, heartwarming family film filled with positive messages of acceptance, love, and doing the right thing while trusting you can do it. Our seven and 11-year-old boys loved the film, and we highly recommend it!