I suppose I never wondered why or how Clifford the Big Red Dog was in fact so big. But perhaps I should have. Why take for granted that an ostensible Labrador retriever could grow to the size of a house? Why didn’t I—why didn’t any of us—ask more questions? I’ll have to live forever with my personal history of silent ignorance on the matter; but I won’t have to live any longer without an answer. The full trailer for the new Clifford the Big Red Dog trailer gets right down to cracking this longstanding case. It’s a matter of magic. The sort of magic that entails a mysterious geriatric peddler and the glowing tear of a loving child.
The 2021 film plants Clifford in New York City; if you haven’t been, that’s probably one of the worst places on Earth to house a dog of his grandeur. A normal-sized, but jarringly bright red puppy finds himself in the care of a young moppet named Emily Elizabeth; she lives with her hapless uncle Casey in a Central Park-adjacent apartment that I’m skeptical he could really afford.
Upon inheriting tiny Clifford, Emily Elizabeth loves him just hard enough to prompt a supernatural growth spurt. Now, it’s hard to tell if this confluence of phenomena was inevitable for a dog of Clifford’s breed, or if the whole matter is some kind of spell cast by dog-benefactor John Cleese. And we can lie awake dissecting the information at hand to answer this question. Or we can return to the blissful complacence we enjoyed for all those years regarding Clifford’s titanic stature. Whatever gets you from one day to the next.
Clifford the Big Red Dog stars Darby Camp as Emily Elizabeth and Jack Whitehall as Uncle Casey. It also features a slew of familiar faces, like Tony Hale, Kenan Thompson, and Rosie Perez. But most curiously, it stars David Alan Grier as the voice of Clifford. We can ascertain from this detail that Clifford will speak. How does he speak? What will he say? Is this the ramification of the same magic that rendered him a behemoth? Also why is he red? Will pulling at this yarn yield answers none of us can really handle?
Clifford hits theaters on September 17.