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Walt Becker
Jack Whitehall, Darby Camp, John Cleese
Writing Credits:
Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Blaise Hemingway

A young girl's adopted dog grows to immense size.

Box Office:
$64 million.
Opening Weekend
$16,627,491 on 3700 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Audio Description
Danish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish Dolby 5.1
Dutch Dolby 5.1
Norwegian Dolby 5.1
Swedish Dolby 5.1
Finnish Dolby 5.1
Flemish Dolby 5.1
Latin Spanish
Supplements Subtitles:
Latin Spanish

Runtime: 96 min.
Price: $31.99
Release Date: 2/1/2022

• “Part of the Pack” Featurette
• “Acting Is For the Dogs” Featurette
• “The Magic of Bridwell” Featurette
• “Tips & Tricks for Taking Care of a 10 Foot Dog” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Clifford the Big Red Dog [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 2, 2022)

Back in 1963, Norman Bridwell’s Clifford, The Big Red Dog introduced the title character, an enormous canine. Though this property received various televised adaptations over the decades, not until 2021's Clifford the Big red Dog did the oddly tinted pooch hit movie screens.

Born to a stray mother, Clifford’s siblings all get taken to the pound while he finds himself left behind by accident. New to her middle school, Emily Elizabeth Howard gets bullied by her snobby peers, but she makes a new friend when she meets Clifford at an animal adoption event.

There Mr. Bridwell (John Cleese) tells Emily her pup will grow dependent on how much love he receives. Her intense affection for Clifford causes him to immediately grow to 10 feet in height, a factor that creates a mix of issues.

With Clifford, we find a piece of family entertainment that will seem familiar to adults. It takes the genre’s modern-day template and exemplifies it.

When I was a youngster back in the 1970s, “kids movies” didn’t work too hard to appeal to adults. Not that they didn’t attempt some form of fodder for the grown-ups who chaperoned their offspring, but they nonetheless focused on the target audience to the exclusion of most else.

Perhaps after 1990s Disney flicks like Beauty and the Beast and Toy Story showed an ample adult audience for “kids movies”, this began to change. Over the last 20 years, films that previously would’ve stayed firmly in the “kids movies” domain broadened to become… sassier and more “adult-oriented”.

To a degree, that is. Basically this means modern-day “kids movies” come with references and jokes that youngsters won’t get as well as a snarkier attitude, all in an attempt to deliver material for a broader age group.

Which seems fine, especially given that I now reside waaaay outside the youthful target. If I gotta watch these flicks, I appreciate the attempts to placate/entertain old folks like me.

Sort of. Although movies like Clifford do manage some wit and cleverness that works for oldsters, these stabs can feel a bit cynical and make me wish the Hollywood would just make kids movies for kids.

Or maybe I’m just old and jaded, as I might sound too harsh. As contrived as the adult-oriented aspects of Clifford can feel, at least they give the movie some amusement value for grownups.

Again, to a degree, as it appears unlikely adults will ever choose to watch Clifford unless accompanied by youngsters. Although the film boasts decent entertainment for grownups, it never branches out to become truly satisfying for that age group.

Like many modern-day “family films”, Clifford boasts a cast of folks who adults will recognize and theoretically appreciate. In addition to Cleese, we find “names” such as David Alan Grier, Tony Hale, Rosie Perez, Kenan Thompson, Horatio Sanz, Paul Rodriguez, and others.

Do any of these veterans elevate the pedestrian material? No, but their comedic skills manage to bring a bit of spark to proceedings that could easily turn limp.

These folks also mean we get vaguely “adult” jokes along the way. Actually, we don’t find many gags that will go over the heads of the kids, but the film’s humor leans snarky enough to make the comedy mildly appealing to grown-ups.

Unfortunately, all of this comes in the service of a badly muddled narrative. Really, Clifford should just tell the tale of a girl and her ginormous dog as they go through various wacky situations, but the movie instead attempts a slew of contrived “plot points”.

These fail to integrate well. The story beats don’t mesh and they give the movie a confused vibe that means it fails to coalesce.

Also, the computer-generated representation of Clifford himself becomes a major issue. Of course, the movie needed to use visual effects to create a 10-foot-tall dog, but apparently the flick’s budget mostly went to Tony Hale’s toupee, as Clifford looks wholly unconvincing.

Given that Clifford spends so much time onscreen, this becomes an issue. Not since 2020’s Call of the Wild have we found a less beliveable portrayal of a canine in a feature film.

Messy narrative and flawed CG aside, Clifford becomes a perfectly watchable 96 minutes of family entertainment. However, one shouldn’t expect anything especially creative or clever, as it seems wholly average.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Clifford the Big Red Dog appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.00:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.

Overall definition looked good. Virtually no softness materialized, so the film appeared accurate and concise.

I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes stayed absent. No print flaws cropped up either.

Clifford offered a fair amount of amber, with some teal tossed in as well along with occasional splashes of other hues – and plenty of red for the title character, of course. The disc made the colors look solid.

Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots showed good clarity and smoothness. I felt pleased with this fine image.

Given its slapstick action orientation, the film’s Dolby Atmos opened up pretty well. Though the film didn’t include a ton of slam-bang set pieces, it brought out some good sequences. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, when the track needed to expand, it used the full spectrum well.

Elements were properly placed and moved about the setting in a convincing way. The surrounds contributed a nice sense of space and involvement. Music depicted positive stereo imaging and the entire presentation offered a good feeling of environment.

Audio quality fared well. Speech was accurate and distinctive, without notable edginess or other issues. Music sounded full-blooded and rich, as the score was rendered nicely.

Effects showed good range and definition. They demonstrated solid low-end and were impressive across the board. Ultimately, this was an appealing track.

A few extras round out the disc, and Part of the Pack runs six minutes, 34 seconds. It brings comments from director Walt Becker, producer Jordan Kerner, and actors Darby Camp, John Cleese, Jack Whitehall, and Izaac Wang.

“Pack” looks at story/characters as well as cast and performances. We mostly get praise for those involved in this superficial reel.

Acting Is For the Dogs spans three minutes, 20 seconds and involves Becker, Whitehall, Kerner, Camp, Wang, and Clifford stand-ins Rowan Magee and Jon Middleburger. We find out how Clifford worked on the set in this mildly informative piece.

Next comes The Magic of Bridwell, a seven-minute, 11-second reel that features Kerner, Becker, Camp, producer Iole Lucchese, novelist Norman Bridwell, and executive producer Caitlin Friedman.

“Magic” looks at the Clifford novels and their adaptation. Though we find a decent history of the franchise, this mostly feels like an advertisement for the books.

Tips & Tricks For Taking Care of a 10 Foot Dog lasts two minutes, 28 seconds and gives us slightly tongue-in-cheek pet-care advice. It seems forgettable but harmless.

Three Deleted Scenes occupy a total of two minutes, 50 seconds. We find “Dr. Russ” (0:17), “Searching for Bridwell” (0:57) and “Animal Blessings” (1:36).

The first offers some minor comedy, whereas the other two add to the quest to find Bridwell. None of them seem memorable, but they come with mild laughs.

By the way, in "Pack", Becker refers to ET the Extra-Terrestrial as an influence on this film. This seems more overt when you see the "disguise" Clifford wears in "Searching".

If you seek family entertainment, you can do worse than Clifford the Big Red Dog, but you can also do much better. Innocuous and pleasant, the movie presents mild entertainment but it never threatens to turn into anything memorable. The Blu-ray boasts very good picture and audio along with a few bonus features. Expect watchable kid-oriented fun that lacks real creativity.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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