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"CLIFFORD'S REALLY BIG MOVIE "
(2004) (voices of John Ritter, Wayne Brady) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
*None None Moderate *Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Mild None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None None Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Children's Animated: A gigantic pet dog runs away from home and joins a carnival in hopes of winning a lifetime supply of dog food so that he no longer eats his human owners out of their house and home.
PLOT:
Things are good on Birdwell Island where canines Clifford (voice of JOHN RITTER), Cleo (voice of CREE SUMMER) and T-Bone (voice of KEL MITCHELL) are best friends. Neither the latter two nor Clifford's young human owner, Emily Elizabeth Howard (voice of GREY DELISLE), seem to care or mind that he's a gigantic pooch, nearly as big as a house.

When the local carnival comes into town, the three dogs eagerly await Larry's Amazing Animals Show. Run by Larry Gable Gobble (voice of JUDGE REINHOLD), the act consists of Shackelford (voice of WAYNE BRADY) the trapeze flying ferret and Dorothy (voice of JENNA ELFMAN) the high wire cow who performs despite a fear of heights. Then there's Dirk (voice of JESS HARNELL) the laidback but daring dachshund who performs on rocket-powered skates and Rodrigo (voice of WILMER VALDERRAMA), the weightlifting Chihuahua.

Despite the show not really being that good, Clifford and his friends are impressed. Yet, Larry faces his act being shut down if something doesn't change. However, when Shackelford learns of an animal talent contest sponsored by the maker of the popular pet food Tummy Yummies, George Wolfsbottom (voice of JOHN GOODMAN), things begin to look up. That's especially true when he glances up - way up - to Clifford and realize the gigantic pooch is what they need to win.

Clifford isn't interested, however, until he overhears a human neighbor telling Emily's parents that the big pooch must be eating them out of house and home. Sad over learning that but determined to make things right, Clifford runs away from home and joins the carnival, hoping to help win the contest and the prize of a lifetime supply of Tummy Yummies.

As the newly expanded animal act rehearses their show, they must deal with various setbacks -- including Shackelford becoming jealous of Clifford unwittingly taking the spotlight away from him, as well as Wolfsbottom's spoiled daughter, Madison (voice of KATH SOUCIE), wanting Clifford all for herself -- that threaten to derail Clifford's plans.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Clifford and any entertainment materials associated with him, it's a good bet they probably will.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
For not containing material to warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
It's debatable whether kids view animated characters, particularly non-human ones as role models, but here's a quick look at the major characteristics of the main players.
  • CLIFFORD is a gigantic pet dog who runs away from home and joins a carnival in hopes of winning a lifetime supply of dog food so that he no longer eats his human owners out of their house and home.
  • SHACKELFORD is the star of the animal carnival show who becomes jealous of Clifford when he supplants him, and then says something mean to Clifford to try to make him go away.
  • EMILY ELIZABETH is Clifford's young human owner who worries about him when he disappears.
  • DOROTHY plays a cow in Larry's carnival who performs on the high wire despite having a fear of heights.
  • GEORGE WOLFSBOTTOM plays the owner of the company that makes Tummy Yummies and then fools Larry into signing away his rights to Clifford so that his daughter can have the giant dog.
  • DIRK is the cool, surfer-dude dog who's part of the carnival show and performs on rocket powered skates.
  • T-BONE is one of Clifford's best friends from back home.
  • LARRY is the always optimistic owner of the carnival animal show who believes they can win the contest.
  • MADISON is Wolfsbottom's spoiled daughter who wants Clifford for herself.
  • CLEO is another of Clifford's hometown friends.
  • RODRIGO is another member of the carnival animal show, the short but strong weightlifter.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this G-rated animated offering for kids. A few scenes may be a little suspenseful to very young kids, but older ones will likely have no such reaction to what's present. A few characters have bad attitudes, and some slapstick style material is present, as are various imitative phrases. Beyond that, the rest of the film's categories have little or nothing in the way of objectionable content.

    That said, should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Shackelford offers a tropical looking drink (we don't know if it's alcoholic or not) to Rodrigo, but the latter declines it.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • After learning that Larry only takes in strays, Clifford, Cleo and T-bone all lie about not having owners.
  • Shackelford becomes upset and then jealous that Clifford is becoming the main drawn in their act instead of him. He then tells Clifford, "We were all better off without you," prompting Clifford to be upset and hit the road. Later, he doesn't seem upset that Wolfsbottom has taken Clifford for his daughter.
  • Madison is spoiled and convinces her father to get Larry to sign away his rights to Clifford (without him knowing what he's signing).
  • Some viewers may not like the use of animals in the carnival show as entertainment for humans.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Younger kids may worry about Dorothy, her fear of heights on the high wire and her then nearly falling from that (although the scene is played mostly for comedy). This happens again later in the film, but Clifford saves the day by catching everyone who's falling from the high wire.
  • Larry's truck stalls on a steep mountain road. When he gets out to check it, the truck and the camper behind it (carrying the animals) starts rolling backwards toward a steep drop-off. He races after it, but Clifford shows up and saves the day.
  • As Shackelford and the others rescue Clifford from Wolfsbottom's massive mansion, T-bone accidentally trips the alarm and the guards come running.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Is she not udderly courageous" (a cow joke), "This is so lame," "Fool," "Cool," "Totally," "Zip it," "Cool, dude," "That was like way rad," "I got a need for speed," "Holy cow," "That sounded bogus," an incomplete "What the..?" "Rock on, dude" and "Biggest dang dog."
  • T-bone belches several times after eating.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • Some comedy-based and standard suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • When Clifford overhears the family's neighbor saying that the dog and his appetite will eat them out of house and home, Clifford feels bad and runs away.
  • The use of animals for entertainment purposes.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Rodrigo accidentally drops his heavy barbell and it breaks part of the floor.
  • Shackelford accidentally drops some bowling pins he was juggling and they land on Larry's head. Larry then tries to hold up Dorothy the cow who's holding onto her high wire, but she falls a few feet and lands on him, followed by Shackelford who lands on Larry's head (all played for comedy).
  • Some of the animals crash into each other during a performance gone bad, including Shackelford who bangs his butt against a stationary object.
  • Two guards run into each other slapstick style, while Clifford accidentally smacks into and breaks a full-sized Ferris wheel. Several guards slide down a huge banister-like ramp and smack into the ball (and then each other) at the end.
  • As various guards prepare to lasso Clifford, Dorothy swings through and bowls them away.



  • Reviewed April 14, 2004 / Posted April 23, 2004

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