Clifford the Big Red Dog has been a fixture within the realm of pop culture for over 50 years now, and the lovable canine still seems to be as popular as ever. In the years since he was created by late author Norman Bridwell, Clifford has appeared in children’s books, animated series and video games. But the character is only now making his live-action debut in a feature film. Audiences have already gotten a first look at how he’ll appear in the upcoming movie, but this new teaser trailer shows a lot more of the shenanigans he’ll get into as he roams the streets of New York.
The teaser trailer for Clifford the Big Red Dog sheds light on the origins of the titular character, who initially starts out as a small dog in the possession of a magical animal rescuer (Monty Python icon John Cleese). It’s in the man’s shop that Clifford is discovered by lonely middle schooler Emily Elizabeth (The Christmas Chronicles’ Darby Camp), who is told that the dog's ultimate size will depend on how much she loves it. Well, those of you who’ve grown up with this franchise know what happens next…
When Clifford ultimately grows, he remains a loving dog, but he becomes a lot harder to manage for Emily and her uncle (Jungle Cruise’s Jack Whitehall). Overall, the trailer does a great job of showing off all of the hijinks that would theoretically come with owning a gigantic dog. Some of the funniest moments showcase Clifford's interactions with the world around him, such as when he snags someone in a walking ball while visiting a local park.
And just when you think things couldn’t get any zanier, viewers are treated to a scene that shows Clifford nearly swallowing another dog. Of course, there’s no harm done but, as Emily’s Uncle Casey jokes, Clifford should probably be fed on time.
While it’s not shown in the trailer, Clifford the Big Red Dog’s logline teases that the magical dog will also have to evade a genetics company. So audiences can likely expect a little bit of drama during the mostly kid-friendly proceedings.
Clifford The Big Red Dog is directed by Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip’s Walt Becker from a screenplay by Jay Scherick & David Ronn and Blaise Hemingway. The film is produced by Jordan Kerner (The Mighty Ducks, Charlotte’s Web) and Scholastic’s Iole Lucchese. And in addition to Darby Camp, Jack Whitehall and John Cleese, the film’s cast includes the likes of Tony Hale, Izaac Wang, David Alan Grier, Rosie Perez and Kenan Thompson.
Adapting any pre-established property for the big screen can be challenging, especially when it’s one as iconic as Clifford the Big Red Dog. But based on the trailer, it would appear that the filmmakers are all set on doing justice to the enormous pooch.
Clifford the Big Red Dog opens in theaters on September 17, 2021.