Clifford the Big Red Dog TV Poster Image

Clifford the Big Red Dog

Kids will love this big dog with lots of smarts.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

Packed with pro-social lessons about fairness, being kind, cooperation, etc.

Positive messages

The town of Birdwell Island is full of diverse people who all model good behavior. Themes of the show include communication and teamwork.

Positive role models

Human and animal characters are all positive, and even though they sometimes make mistakes -- by being selfish or careless -- they always learn from their mistakes.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Clifford the Big Red Dog is chock-full of positive lessons and likable characters -- and may remind parents of their own childhood fascination with Clifford. Kids are often magnetically drawn to stories about Clifford because he's the magical pet every child wishes for. The series is full of educational messages on social, emotional, and physical matters.

What's the story?

The magic of CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG is that it puts an extraordinary spin on a normal situation. On the surface, it's a cartoon about a girl and her dog. But the dog happens to be bigger than most houses in town and carries on intelligent conversations with other animal friends. The series follows a cast of animal and human characters through everyday experiences. In each episode, a main character is exposed to or creates some kind of conflict, and then the character resolves the problem and becomes a better person (or pet) as a result.

Is it any good?


Norman Bridwell's Clifford the Big Red Dog series of books dates back to 1963, so most parents with young children probably remember reading the stories themselves. The reason the intrigue spans generations is quite simple: Everybody who loves dogs wishes they had one like Clifford. He's gigantic, playful, and loving, and he's an unfailing friend to owner Emily Elizabeth.

The lessons of each episode of Clifford the Big Red Dog play out in an uncomplicated, formulaic manner that's easy for young minds to grasp. Sometimes, the lessons are learned by Clifford and his canine pals T-Bone and Cleo. Other times, Emily Elizabeth and her human friends do the growing. Themes have included how to be a good houseguest, why it's important to avoid prejudging others, and taking responsibility for one's actions. As with spin-off series Clifford's Puppy Days, this program's content is based on ten "Big Ideas" that provide the backbone of the show's moral messages. Some of the Big Ideas include helping others, showing respect, playing fair, and sharing -- universal values that kids should be exposed to in the preschool years.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the issues that Clifford and his friends have to deal with in Clifford the Big Red Dog, including jealousy, honesty, and friendship. What lessons do your kids learn from watching the show?

  • Are Clifford and his pals good role models?

  • What are some of Clifford's "big ideas"?

  • How do the characters in Clifford the Big Red Dog demonstrate communication and teamwork? Why are those important character strengths?

TV details

Premiere date:September 4, 2000
Cast:Grey DeLisle, John Ritter, Kel Mitchell
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Book characters, Friendship
Character strengths:Communication, Teamwork
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Clifford the Big Red Dog was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 17 year old Written bylove2 October 6, 2009

a great show

a great show for all kids 2 and up.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old July 13, 2014
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old August 30, 2013

Yet another one of my old memories...

That was a very sad event that this TV show got cancelled...
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models