clifford the big red dog teaser

You can’t fault Clifford The Big Red Dog for being exactly what it says on the tin. At least, according to the first teaser for the upcoming family film, which features…a big, red dog. The live-action Paramount movie based on the beloved Scholastic book character, Clifford The Big Red Dog brings Clifford to the real world, where — surprise! — he looks a little weird.

Clifford The Big Red Dog Teaser

I have a weird affection for Clifford The Big Red Dog. Like many children raised on public access television, I would regularly watch the PBS animated show starring John Ritter and Grey DeLisle. He’s just a dog who grew huge because a little girl loved him so much! It’s the kind of silly, sweet stuff that warmed the heart of little 8-year-old me.

But inevitably, Hollywood would come for a beloved childhood property and bring him to the live-action world. And while I don’t begrudge them that, and it might be nice for a whole new generation of kids to come to fall in love with Clifford, there’s something about this teaser that makes me deeply uncomfortable. I don’t know, the fact that Clifford is a giant puppy is breaking my brain. Maybe if he was a grown dog? Maybe if his shade of red didn’t simply look like they ran him through a Photoshop filter?

Whatever the case, these are the kind of uncanny visuals that tanked other CGI dog movies like The Call of the Wild and forced the Sonic the Hedgehog VFX crew to put in all those overtime hours. But at the same time, I don’t know what we expected. Clifford is, in fact, a big red dog here! He towers over all the other dogs, who just look very happy to be there! Maybe we’re all just a bunch of cranks for whom this just feels like the last gasp of 2020’s hellish year.

Here is the synopsis for Clifford The Big Red Dog:

When middle-schooler Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) meets a magical animal rescuer (John Cleese) who gifts her a little, red puppy, she never anticipated waking up to find a giant ten-foot hound in her small New York City apartment. While her single mom (Sienna Guillory) is away for business, Emily and her fun but impulsive uncle Casey (Jack Whitehall) set out on an adventure that will keep you on the edge-of-your-seat as our heroes take a bite out of the Big Apple. Based on the beloved Scholastic book character, Clifford will teach the world how to love big!

Clifford The Big Red Dog hits theaters in 2021.

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