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Parents' Guide to

Clifford the Big Red Dog

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Sweet if unsurprising adaptation promotes teamwork.

Movie PG 2021 97 minutes
Clifford the Big Red Dog Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 21 parent reviews

age 10+

Good Teaching Tool

As I read the other comments I almost didn't watch the movie. Then I read something about diversity, so I took a chance. As a black teacher who teaches black and brown students this movie was great! The tough topics nobody wants to address and sweep under the rug is the reason we have such division in America. The students loved it and could relate to the bullying and the corporation wanting to USE Clifford in a negative way for their gain was very relatable to myself and students. This is a great movie to teach about what is really going on in this world in a more relatable way for young kids.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
7 people found this helpful.
age 8+

I’m honestly no prude but wow. Not appropriate content for a kids movie

* the uncle almost wipes sanitiser down his pants when “preparing” for a job interview, in full view of the view of the office secretary. WTF? * Line to take the dogs temperature - vet says - What rhymes with “nut hole” * angry sheep charges at a guy and he yells “Oh Sheep!” Which of course is supposed to sound like “oh Sh*&” * Really unfortunate portrayals of Russian and Asian characters. * Police made to look incapable * building super wants bribes to get things done like fix a dishwasher, takes a bribe to give the bad guys personal information about a tenant. Like sorry, but for real, the writers really made some huge slip ups. The occasional double entendres that are generally used to keep adults or older kids entertained aren’t supposed to be obvious to 5 year olds. Bad characters. Bad plot. Surprised this made it out of the studio really.
6 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (21 ):
Kids say (26 ):

This crowd-pleasing, if uneven, adaptation of Bridwell's beloved classic books is saved by the sweetness of its story about a girl who loves her very big red dog. There was a moment, when the movie's teaser trailer first came out, when it looked like this version of Clifford would be stuck in the creepy awkwardness of the uncanny valley. Thankfully, the final film is better -- and cuter -- than expected. Emily's bond with the red puppy is easy for any pet lover to understand. Camp does a fine job of gazing lovingly at a CGI creation, and her apartment's neighborhood is believably diverse and ready to band together to save one of their own. While it seems unlikely that Emily would get so unreservedly and openly harassed by the rich mean girls at her school, her friendship with quirky classmate Owen (Izaac Wong) is cute and built upon their shared sense of "otherness" (hers based in class, his based on being Asian and nerdy).

Where the movie struggles is the script, which is credited to Jay Scherick, David Ronn, and Blaise Hemingway. For example, why is the movie's villain the CEO of a company whose mission seems positive (feeding the world)? That's more than a bit confusing for younger viewers, who won't understand the morally ambiguous position that Big Agra holds in society. And some of Uncle Casey's one-liners and conversations with Emily are also questionably immature. There are also directorial questions, like why the British Whitehall (unnecessarily) uses his American accent while his sister Maggie is English (it's explained in a throwaway line, but it still doesn't make much sense). Despite those flaws, the story is undeniably tenderhearted, and Clifford is such a delightful dog that even cynical parents will understand why Emily's heart melts for him.

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