Clifford the Big Red Dog

Common Sense Media says

Kids will love this big dog with lots of smarts.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Packed with prosocial lessons about fairness, being kind, cooperation, etc.

Positive messages

The town of Birdwell Island is full of diverse people who all model good behavior.

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

Parents say

Kids say

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 show 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, including jealousy, honesty, and friendship. Are Clifford and his pals good role models? What lessons do your kids learn from watching the show? What are some of Clifford's "big ideas"?

TV details

Cast:Grey DeLisle, John Ritter, Kel Mitchell
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Book characters, Friendship
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD

This review of Clifford the Big Red Dog was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byrebma97 September 19, 2010

A cute doggie show

Clifford is a fun show for little kids, and kids who love dogs would be charmed with this series/ I have to admit that I myself can watch this show! There are good messgaes, and the role models are postive, but Jetta can be snooby at times. But little kids probably won't notice it
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bymanay_4511 September 12, 2010

Very cute, and friendly show to watch!

Kids will love this big red dog, it has alot of education to be seen!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 8 years old January 22, 2011
What other families should know
Great messages


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