Because of a misunderstanding on his part, Clifford the Dog thinks his huge appetite threatens his owners' financial well-being--so Clifford and his three canine pals join a traveling carnival. Their goal is to enter a contest that will guarantee Clifford a lifetime supply of his favorite doggy snacks.
This feature, spun off from the PBS series (itself spun off from Norman Bridwell's beloved picture books), will probably satisfy its intended audience of pre-schoolers. Its story, which sends the enormous red dog and his pals, Cleo and T-Bone, out on the road with a traveling carnival, is bland and innocuous, as every hint of trouble is quickly turned into a soothing lesson. The gaudy, unimaginative animation is a step down from the simplicity of the series, and adults may find the cloying harmlessness oppressive. They may also feel a twinge of nostalgic sorrow on realizing that Clifford speaks in the voice of John Ritter. — A. O. Scott
2004-02-20 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Clifford's Really Big Movie