Clifford the Big Red Dog – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Walt Becker
Starring: Jack Whitehall, Darby Camp, Tony Hale, Sienna Guillory, David Alan Grier, Russell Wong, John Cleese
Anyone with children is likely familiar with Clifford the Big Red Dog. He is the star of a popular book series, a TV show and had an animated big-screen outing in 2004. This is his first live-action cinema outing and a sequel is already in development which will give you an idea of his popularity.
When we first meet Clifford he is an average sized, albeit very red, puppy. But after a bullied young girl named Emily (Camp) wishes that he could be big, he grows to gigantic proportions. With her mother away she is being cared for by her feckless uncle Casey (Whitehall) who realises they will have to hide him as they are not allowed pets in their building. Unfortunately, Clifford is a bit difficult to conceal and soon draws the attention of Zac Tieran (Hake), the owner of a biotechnology company named Lyfegro, who wants Clifford for nefarious purposes.
This very much hangs on how realistic a live-action Clifford looks and I’m happy to say that the CGI is indeed impressive. He is incredibly cute even when towering over those around him. They have really brought him to life. Overall this is nice, inoffensive family fare. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before. It doesn’t try to break new ground and much of the story feels quite contrived, but it is colourful and entertaining enough to keep children engaged and might raise the odd giggle for adults. Not a modern classic by any means but a nice distracting bit of family fun.