Parents' Guide to

Clifford's Really Big Movie

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Animated dog tale has some peril, emotional intensity.

Movie G 2004 73 minutes
Clifford's Really Big Movie Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 3+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 4+

age 4+

A truly good movie for little ones

My kids are pretty sensitive to scary scenes, and as their mother, *I'm* pretty sensitive to inappropriate scenes and language as well! So I was happily surprised by this movie's innocence. It succeeds without adult themes or words like "moron" in every other scene. It's great for kids who want the treat of watching a full-length movie once in awhile, but aren't ready for all those other kids' movies out there quite yet.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (3 ):

This movie will entertain preschoolers, but it's not a perfect viewing choice. The limited animation style looks static on the big screen, and the movie is too long for its intended age group, even at just 75 minutes. The story itself is questionable, with Clifford and his friends leaving home without thinking about how upsetting that will be for their families. The song lyrics justifying it are downright unsettling at times; it cannot be wise to sing to kids about how "You've got to be lost if you want to be found. ... It only gets better after it gets worst / happy-ever-after needs the scary part first." It's fine to let kids know that problems can be solved, but this suggests that they cannot be happy unless they make sure something bad happens first.

Still, Clifford is not just a Big Red Dog; he's a big red phenomenon, hero of a series of books by Norman Bridwell, an animated PBS series, a live road show, and now this film. Clifford is a really, really big red dog, which is part of his appeal to preschoolers, who live among giants and are thus drawn to huge, powerful, but kind creatures who love kids (like Barney). Preschoolers also like the way that Clifford explores the world around him, learning gentle lessons about getting along with others and solving problems like finding lost toys and not being afraid of a storm.

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