How Clifford The Big Red Dog is the perfect magical holiday movie

·3-min read

In the blink of an eye, the year is coming to an end very soon. As the season of cheer comes around, we've found just the right film for a little holiday period pick-me-up: Clifford The Big Red Dog.

Here’s how this movie is the perfect magical end to the year:

1. It features an impossibly big and happy dog named Clifford.

Like its title suggests, the film is about a big red dog named Clifford, that is, of course, created through computer-generated imagery (CGI). Blending CGI in a live-action film with real actors is never an easy feat, and Clifford The Big Red Dog does it quite well. Although sometimes Clifford may seem a little unnatural, it is generally very realistic and detailed down to its strands of fur.

Jack Whitehall and Darby Camp in Clifford The Big Red Dog. (Still courtesy of United International Pictures)
Jack Whitehall, Darby Camp and Izaac Wang in Clifford The Big Red Dog. (Still courtesy of United International Pictures)

What’s even more impressive is how the child actors — Darby Camp as Clifford’s owner Emily Elizabeth Howard, and Izaac Wang as Emily’s friend Owen Yu — are able to carry out the scenes with Clifford without any awkwardness. In films that use CGI, a lot of imagination tends to be required to picture how the animated object, in this case Clifford, will look like.

2. It's narrated by John Cleese, who also plays the character Mr. Bridwell.

The film starts off with John Cleese saying that there is magic all around us, and sometimes the magic finds us. It sets a wondrous tone for the rest of the film as something magical is bound to happen. Cleese’s voice is also really soothing to listen to, which makes him well-suited as the narrator of a family film.

Cleese also appears as Mr. Bridwell in the film, who gives Clifford to Emily when it was still a small puppy. His most iconic line in the film has to be his reply when Emily asked him how big Clifford could get: “That depends, doesn’t it? On how much you love him.” In a way, Mr. Bridwell is like the grandpa version of Mary Poppins.

Jack Whitehall and Darby Camp in Clifford The Big Red Dog. (Still courtesy of United International Pictures)
Jack Whitehall and Darby Camp in Clifford The Big Red Dog. (Still courtesy of United International Pictures)

3. It's a light-hearted adventure that embeds a deeper meaning in its story.

Based on a children’s book series of the same title by Norman Bridwell, Clifford The Big Red Dog takes its audience on a fun-filled journey, sprinkled with multiple hilarious scenes. Mainly taking on the role of comic relief are Jack Whitehall, who plays Emily’s laid-back uncle Casey Howard, and of course, Clifford, who does very dog-like actions despite his size.

While the story may seem very simple with relatively flat characters, it actually has a deeper meaning to it. Both Emily and Clifford are portrayed as outcasts due to their uniqueness. However, the ending of the film tells us that it’s okay to be different from others, which makes it an inspiring film to watch with your little ones.

Directed by Walt Becker, Clifford The Big Red Dog opens on 10 November in the Philippines, and 2 December in Singapore with sneaks from 27 November.

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